Corporate Communications often finds itself at the mercy of the organization to sets its agenda for the year. While Communications’ efforts should certainly support company strategy, consider these 5 Communications-specific trends that will influence the function’s ability to have a real impact in 2012.
1. Stakeholders have (even more) power.
The age of individual control over what, when, and how to consume information continues in 2012. New devices, like the Kindle Fire, new services, like Spotify, and new mobile apps, like Zite, that took off in 2011 will further enable people to act in ways natural to them. Chances are, reading/viewing/listening to dry corporate messages isn’t something most people like to do naturally! As a result, Communications’ approach to everything it creates must be stakeholder-centric, not company-centric.
Smart teams will kickoff the year by asking themselves, “Do we know where our key stakeholder groups go for information?” Determine how your stakeholders consume information with CEC’s audience listening guide , and then use that information to develop a stakeholder-centric communication plan .
2. Communicators look to build their business partnership skills.
In 2012, the Corporate Communications function grows up. Once just the PR-engine for the company, Communications is now expected to impact business results in a much different way by coaching leaders to communicate more effectively, developing internal communication systems for employees to connect with one another, and feeding stakeholder insight to business leaders, to name a few roles.
A new set of skills is required for communicators to live up to these new expectations. Clear writing and a solid understanding of channels won’t cut it, but a focus on business partnership skills such as critical thinking and negotiation will enable communicators to grow into the position of consultative business partner.
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