Corporate Communication, just public relations with a new name?

by chuckgaowestminster

Before I start, I want to just updating myself a lit bit. I’m, now, suffering hardly from staphylitis, a mouth inflammation cause by heater that made my throat deadly sore. I have been tortured by it for half week in every single minute rather than only if I swallow. It is ironic that I just post a blog last week named “a great start”, so probably the god just wants to tell me a great start doesn’t mean anything, you have to stick on it, ball hard!

So here let’s go back to the topic. Firstly, let’s have a look of two professionals’ perspective:

“Anyone following recent developments in public relations, particularly in English, has noted the increasing use of the term corporate communication. It has become a popular title for communication executives; some schools are offering master’s programs in it”

                                                  -Peggy Simcic Brønn, Associate Dean, Norwegian School of Management

“Corporate Communications and Public Relations are often grouped together in universities and by employers seeking to fill communications positions. Both necessitate that you excel in fundamental communication skills — speaking, writing, and an educated and innate ability to know what critical information needs to go to the people who need it, when they need it.”

                                                  -Karen S. Johnson, Demand Media

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job titles in media centre differ in 2 corporation

European communication monitor conducted a survey in 2011, which covers 2029 PR professionals, showed that 67.9% of them no longer thought PR was still a suitable label for the profession, compared to Corporate Communication, while only 46.7% of them thought Public Relations still stands. Not only because of they have same aims, which are build reputation and trust, Corporate Communications and public relations share so many commonalities that you would be forgiven for using them interchangeably. However, There are some subtle and not-so-subtle differences.

After read some related blog articles, I deicide to put it in a simple way: start from analyse the key words and areas they working in.

Key concepts in Corporate Communications:

Image and Identity
Corporate Brand

The areas Corporate Communication working in:

Business to business marketing
Crisis and issues management
Employee Communications
Government relations
Change management
Investor relations
Corporate Social responsibility programmes
Media relations

So far, we can easily found out there is a term that PR don’t usually use too much—stakeholder. Correspondingly, some areas are obviously not belong to PR as well, such as B2B marketing, Change management, Investor relation and Corporate social responsibility (CSR) programmes. Corporate Communication looks after business relations, and always dedicated to a harmonious employee-corporation relationship.

“ Corporate communication is an instrument of management by means of which all consciously used forms of internal and external communication.” (Van Riel, 1995) While Public Relations encompasses management in identifying, building relationships between company and various publics, compare with Corporate Communication, PR have wider demand of skills apart of communication, you should expect to have a solid understanding of how media and journalism works, and you may also need have a strong ability in social and oral communication

I would like to quote an example to end this blog; this is from Richard Edelman, the CEO of Edelman, when he was responsing to internal suggestions that Edelman redefine itself as a communications agency rather than a public relations firm.

Consider a scenario: your company has been responsible for spewing toxic sludge into a pristine stretch of river, destroying wildlife and polluting the water supply. Your CEO comes to you for advice.

I know what the public relations advice in this scenario should be: stop spewing toxic sludge. What’s the communications advice? Lie? Craft a compelling narrative to convince people that toxic sludge is good for them?

The fact is that there’s no “communications” solution to this problem. It’s a problem that requires a change in behavior. Managing the relationship between an organization and its publics—public relations—requires good behavior and good communication, and if we define ourselves exclusively by the latter we are doing a disservice to ourselves, our profession and our clients.