Corporate Communication Term Paper

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Corporate Communication

It has been said that the product of the 21st century will be knowledge. With so much information being disseminated each day through print and electronic vehicles, it is very difficult to keep abreast of what is new and the most effective way to disseminate and take advantage of the knowledge gained. Organizations, in order to remain successful in this competitive global world, must ensure that the necessary people get the information both internally and externally. The person within larger companies who handles this role is sometimes called a corporate (or business) communication specialist. This is a broad term that encompasses a number of different communication roles, depending on the organization, such as internal communication, public relations, media relations, audiovisual specialist, and intra/Internet. In some companies, the marketing and communication person are in different functions (such as human resources and sales); in other organizations, they work together or one person holds both positions. With the changing world of business, the role of a corporate communication manger will change as well.

The communication specialist position grew out of the public relations and media relations positions, which dealt specifically with the external contacts. As it became increasingly important to have good communication inside an organization among employees and between management and employees, it became more critical to have this person aboard to interface with the community, media, board of directors and employees.

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The communications major in college includes people who write, edit, translate and report factual information. They have similar abilities and interests, such as the use of oral and written language and the clear and easy-to-understand expression of content. These individuals normally enjoy promoting and influencing and projecting themselves in front of others. They normally feel very comfortable in public, and are called on regularly to give speeches and run communication events (Fogg, Harrington and Harrington,2004, p.285).

TOPIC: Term Paper on Corporate Communication it Has Been Said That Assignment

Because the communication specialist often interacts with individuals throughout the company and may report directly to the president in smaller organizations, the courses for this degree may combine both business and communication topics. In some cases, students are provided a thorough overview of behavioral theories and concepts that explain and predict human interaction in the workplace. In addition, specific emphasis is placed on the development of writing, speaking, marketing, interpersonal, team, and leadership skills that are critical for careers in various communication responsibilities in corporate settings such as, public relations, integrated marketing communication, human resources, and advertising. Some students continue on after receiving their communication degree into graduate study in communication, law, business and administration. As new fields open or expand, communication specialists will be needed in these as well. For example, due to the growing healthcare field, communication specialists will be needed for traditional positions, such as public relations and internal communications, as well as patient advocates, family/patient liaisons, and event planners for geriatric facilities.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook by the U.S. Department of Labor (2006) includes the corporate communication position under public relations. They define this position as "advocates for businesses, nonprofit associations, universities, hospitals, and other organizations, and build and maintain positive relationships with the public (intenal and external)" These individuals can handle such functions a media, community, consumer, industry and governmental relations. They must understand the needs, attitudes and concerns of these individuals. In larger organizations, they may develop annual communication plans, serve on cross-functional teams such as emergency evacuations, and consult with different functional areas.

Corporate communication managers may be generalists, having an overview of different skills, or a specialist in such areas as writing and production, Internet, graphic design and media. While in high school, this person normally enjoys courses in English and Journalism, and may work on the school newspaper or year book. Most people in this career have a college degree. Those who have this position often join the Association of Business Communicators, and many receive accreditation by taking an examination for competence in the field (Encyclopedia of Careers, p. 156).

Graduates with bachelor's degrees in communications most likely work as wage and salary personnel in private, for-profit firms; a small proportion also working in the non-profit area for larger charities, foundations and non-profit interest groups. Nearly one in six are self-employed. This statistic reflects a growing trend in the communications field: producers, directors writers and on-air personalities are hired on a part-time or temporary contract basis to complete special projects. Educational institutions, especially colleges and universities, also hire communication people to complete various internal publications as alumni magazines and external communication, such as a website. Government agencies, as well as elected officials, also employ communications majors for speech writing and public relations (Fogg, Harrington and Harrington, 2004, p. 386).

Access to positions that are more closely related to the communications degree is somewhat limited in this highly competitive field. Less than one in three with an undergraduate degree report they work in a job closely tied to the BA. Only about 18% of communications majors state that they work as broadcasters, writers, and public relations specialists or in a like type of creative position in this field. Yet, a considerable number of graduates report that they work in jobs that are somewhat related to the field; for instance about one in six were involved in sales and marketing positions, and about 13% had managerial or administrative positions frequently in the communications field. In addition, about 30% of graduates had jobs unrelated to their undergraduate major, such as secretarial and clinical and accounting jobs (Fogg, Harrington & Harrington, 2004, p. 386). Although the median salary for those in managerial positions was about $43,000, those working outside of the field said the lack of positions, poor pay and promotional opportunities and poor working conditions were important reasons for going into other jobs. Some communication specialists work a standard 35- to 40-hour week, but unpaid overtime is common; some work at home as telecommuters (Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance, 2005, p. 158)

Some larger organizations have formal training programs for new employees. In smaller organizations, new employees work under the guidance of experienced staff members. Beginners start with the more basic responsibilities, such as compiling information, scanning newspapers and magazines, clipping articles, researching and accumulating information for speeches, helping with events and employee activities and answering calls from the press and public. After gaining experience, they begin to do more writing of speeches, press releases, news and web articles and plan and carry out larger communication projects (Occupational Handbook, 2006, p. 275).

Important skills and characteristics include creativity, initiative, sound judgment, interpersonal communication and the ability to communicate thoughts clearly and simply. Decision-making, problem-solving and research skills are also important, as is self-confidence, an outgoing personality, an understanding of human psychology and a desire for positively motivating people of all backgrounds and levels of an organization. These people have to be competitive, be able to work alone and do well as a team player and work with others (Occupational Handbook, 2006, p. 276).

Corporate communication, depending on the company and the responsibilities can be stressful, since the manager may have many project and news deadlines, have to reach people and get feedback very quickly and get approvals from officers at a moments notice. There is also a lot of multitasking involved, moving from one project to another with several deadlines at a time. The hours can be at night and weekends when there are special events.

As Layton (1999) notes, "With threats and opportunities both moving at the speed of the Internet, business organizations no longer have the luxury of crafting their messages through months of executive presentations, high volume editorial meetings and endless corporate wordsmithing." Now that this is a knowledge economy companies must create value in the form of goods and services from this new raw material called information and next bring that value to market faster than the competition. The advantage goes to organizations that can find, retrieve, digest, translate and leverage information rapidly for maximum economic gain. In this fast and complex business environment, the corporation's most relevant messages are not those that are found in newsletters and employee magazines as in the past, but on the Internet, voice mail and e-mail (Layaton, 1999).

Marianne Miller, a communications manager at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), has primarily public relations responsibilities (Berkeley Career Center). Her main job responsibility is directing the PR and communications activities for CDC's "Learn the Signs. Act Early" campaign that helps parents and healthcare providers identify autism and other developmental disabilities and early seek treatment. Her duties included with managing a national campaign such as this are varied. She brainstorms ideas with the PR team and then puts the strategy into a written plan. She then presents the plan to decision makers, including senior officials. When the plan is approved, she oversees everything from event planning to traditional media relations, such as pitching TV stations across the country for publicity.

Before joining CDC, she worked as an account supervisor at the communication company Hill and… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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