Every enterprise communicates with the outer world in general and with the market in particular.
For the world-class enterprise communication is not an "optional" nor an accidental affair, but the result of a strategy directed to obtain results.
In fact, all results produced by an enterprise are produced through communication.
The world-class enterprise's communication is always in-line with the enterprise's principles and values. Actually, it is a repetitive illustration, representation and coherent deployment of those principles and values.
The enterprise's communication is strictly interconnected with the enterprise's image, two ways: the one reinforce and supports the other (or, unfortunately, vice-versa: the one may be detrimental to the other....).
Being such a strategic issue, the entire enterprise's communication needs to be studied and planned in the short, medium and long term.
A program of this nature starts from the top, but requires a very high understanding, support and commitment at all levels.
Communication is - once again - an "integrated" issue.
The world-class enterprise builds its communication strategy identifying its audiences, defining the type of messages and choosing the appropriate media.
There are internal audiences and external audiences.
Internal audiences includes: the owning group and the employees.
External audiences include: all members of the value-chain (supply and demand side) - the financial world (banks - leasing institutions....) - the administrative/normative/fiscal interface (chamber of commerce - employer's federation - associations - health and safety bodies - local inspection bodies - local revenue service.....) - consultants and other external collaborators - the local community - the general public.
Messages can be classified in: compulsory, expected and useful messages.
Compulsory messages may be imposed by: the law - company's statute or articles of incorporation - contractual obligations - special agreements.
Examples: balance sheet - dividends announcements - financial statements - credit information - contractual specifications - etc.
Expected messages are those that the various audiences expect from a modern enterprise. Examples: information/data expected by internal personnel - information data expected by clients - information expected by the local community - etc.
Useful messages are all the others. They are transmitted by the enterprise in order to achieve the wanted results.
These messages are of promotional/marketing nature, commercial nature, technical nature, support nature, etc.
Available communication media: verbal - written/printed - audio-visual - electronic.
All messages, addressed to all audiences through all the available media must be coherent, consistent with the communication strategy and in line with the principles, values and image parameters of the enterprise.
Key words: honesty - congruence.
Any discrepant or fake message may contribute to ruin the enterprise, or at least to jeopardise its overall performance.
Simply, a negative result may be produced by a statement expressed by an employee in the local pub....
The rule is very simple: second and third level communication should ideally be homogeneous and congruent with the first-level one (the "official". one).
Hence the necessity, for the new-world enterprise, to plan accurately the overall communication strategy, and to transmit and diffuse its features at all levels, until a sufficient confidence that everybody "shares" them is attained.
Particular care should be dedicated to the overall communication to the internal audience: people want and need to be "informed". Employees want to be informed about their enterprise's future, because it's also their future.
Likewise, people want to know their score: their individual, team and unit score. Feed-back in this regard should be as timely as possible.
The new-world enterprise is particularly attentive also to the overall e-communication.
Web-based communication is nowadays as important as real-world communication. The two must be congruent and consistent.
This opens up a new paradigm for the world-class enterprise: the issue of the e-performance (more »).
Having defined its global approach to the market, starting with principles and values and ending up with a personalised communication strategy, an enterprise has practically set the main core parameters of its industrial culture (more »).