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Corporate Communication

Critical Business Asset for Strategic Global Change

Michael Goodman and Peter B. Hirsch

The communication role in organizations has changed, just as the nature of organizations has changed in response to the explosion of new communication technologies as well as global networks within organizations. Communication is more complex, strategic, and vital to the health of the organization than it used to be, and it will become increasingly important in the information-driven economy. This book builds upon the authors’ 2010 book, Corporate Communication: Strategic Adaptation for Global Practice, which focused on the role of the communicator. This volume examines, analyzes, and illustrates the practice of corporate communication as a critical business asset in a time of global change. It looks at the major communication needs in the lifecycle of organizations: M&A (mergers and acquisitions), structural change, culture change, innovation, new leadership, downsizing, global expansion, competition, ethical decision-making, political action, and employee engagement. These are all significant value-creating, and potentially value-destroying, events in which corporate communication, if used correctly, functions as a critical and strategic business asset.
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Chapter Five: Strategic Models for Corporate Communication Practice

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← 76 | 77 → CHAPTER FIVE

Strategic Models for Corporate Communication Practice

This chapter explains how the goals of the enterprise are achieved through structures and functions within the organization, the history of an individual organization, and the communication needs of a particular industry. In creating a corporate strategy, executives focus on the assessment of the competitive environment and the selection of a position in the marketplace that is profitable, defensible, and achievable. They also envision their corporation in the competitor’s position. Then considering the possible moves the competitors will make, they develop corporate strategies that will move their business enterprise to sustainable profits. Strategically, the function of corporate communication serves these corporate goals: advocacy for, or the engineering of, public opinion concerning the corporation; stewardship of corporate reputation, identity, and image; counsel to the CEO and the corporation. In addition, the importance of these different corporate goals depends on several factors such as the business cycle, the policy climate in an individual country or industry, and the maturity of the communication function in an individual organization.

As part of the CCI Practices and Trends Studies 2013, chief communication officers were asked in interviews, “What is the strategic importance of corporate communication in your organization?” The CCO of a Fortune 500 corporation answered this way:

My boss would say, because I have heard him answer this questions many times, the strategic importance of corporate communications at [our corporation] is the establishment and the maintenance...

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