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Corporate Communication

Transformation of Strategy and Practice

Michael B. Goodman and Peter B. Hirsch

The forces of uncertainty, globalization, the networked enterprise, Web 2.0, privacy, "big data," and shifting demographics have dramatically transformed corporate communication strategy and practice. Now more than ever, it is more complex, strategic, and essential to the organization’s survival. Corporate Communication: Transformation of Strategy and Practice examines, analyzes, and illustrates the practice of corporate communication as it changes in response to increasing global changes. It builds on the authors’ 2010 Corporate Communication: Strategic Adaptation for Global Practice, as well as their 2015 Corporate Communication: Critical Business Asset for Strategic Global Change.

This book analyzes and illuminates the major communication needs in rapidly evolving organizations: the contemporary communication environment; the importance and impact of intangibles—corporate sustainability, identity, culture, valuation, crisis prevention; the transformation of the media environment; the transformation of the concept of decision-making; the importance of demographics and multigenerational audiences; and technical, geopolitical, economic, and socio-cultural uncertainty. These are significant forces that can potentially augment or diminish an organization’s value.

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CHAPTER 6 The Importance of Demographics and Multigenerational Audiences



The Importance of Demographics and Multigenerational Audiences

Chapter Outline

6.0The Importance of Demographics and Multigenerational Audiences

6.1Generational Labels Obfuscate or Clarify Understanding for Corporate Communication

6.2How Educational, Class, and Economic Factors Work in this Environment

6.3Gender, Ethnicity, and National Origin Complicate Communication for Corporations

6.0 The Importance of Demographics and Multigenerational Audiences

The Chief Communication Officer of a publicly traded corporation, according to the Preliminary Report of the 2019 CCI Corporate Communication Practices and Trends Study (See Chapter 2 for a discussion of the findings of the CCI Studies from 1999 to 2017), is between 50 and 54 (40%) years of age; male (60%); has a BA (75%); with a humanities major in journalism (24.1%), communication (14.8%), political science (14.8%), PR (7.4%), or English (7.4%); has the title of Chief Communication Officer (26.8%), or Vice President (31.7%); with a salary above $500,000 (34.1%), or between $200,000—$299,999 (26.8%); reports to the CEO (31.0%); and may have a seat on the company executive committee (30%). For success in this strategically important corporate leadership role, it is important for Chief Communication Officers to understand the values, needs, and beliefs of their multigenerational audiences (Findings: CCI Study 2019).

The new “Work Friend” columnist for The New York Times Megan Greenwell made a very revealing characterization about working in a contemporary office: “… I’ve had a lot of jobs. I work in...

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