“If you communicate, you can get by. But, if you communicate skilfully, you can work miracles” – Jim Rohn
The wheel is very basic and is often considered to be the greatest invention of all time. It has provided greater mobility and has become the base for coming up with ideas such as carts, bicycles, automobile and eventually airplanes. Communication is an even more basic necessity than mobility and ever since humans uttered the first word, methods of communication have drastically evolved as well. The ability to communicate effectively is one of the most valuable skills.
The world is moving forward at a rapid pace. For companies to stay relevant, a robust, dynamic and well-integrated communication strategy is required to cater both short and long-term communication needs of the organization, especially customer care and PR for consistency in communication both internal and external.
At the workplace, it is imperative to have clear communication with employees for better internal and external engagement. Being open and transparent enables employees to work efficiently and bring new ideas as the environment becomes conducive to enhance creativity and productivity. Having a culture that empowers its employees leads to a better experience as happy employees mean happy customers, thus enhancing morale, commitment and ownership.
As the new year is approaching, companies are revaluating their strategies and planning for the upcoming year 2020. We evaluated a few interesting campaigns and projects on the marketing front that were aspiring to connect with customers through effective communication. While a few managed to bridge the gap, other did not connect or were mundane.
From the corporate sector, we saw the banking industry launch major campaigns. For example, ‘Habib Metropolitan Bank’s Badlo Bartao’ campaign connected with their customers as it communicated freedom of choice while highlighting significant issues that need to be addressed.
The telecom sector heavily uses advertisements and brand campaigns to connect with their customers as it is a requirement of the industry. Let’s talk about PTCL, as it not only provides connectivity in Pakistan, but it also connects the country with the rest of the world by being a member of four international submarine cable consortiums. They are actively engaged with their customers through various brand and communication campaigns, including TV ads, brand initiatives, blogs, press releases and various offers & promotions on their digital platforms.
Their recent campaign ‘PTCL – Aitebar’ campaign, not only establishes the ICT company as the backbone of communication in Pakistan, but it also positions the brand as a B2B with a strong corporate customer base, including banks, airlines, aviation, NGOs, etc.
The company also spearheads a comprehensive Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program that serves in far-flung areas of Pakistan. It is also communicated effectively through various communication tools like social media, print and electronic media to create awareness about their initiatives for reaching out to the public.
In FMCG’s, ‘Tapal’s Hamari Nationalitea’ campaign was especially liked by the tea lovers. Their communication was spot-on as they connected Tapal with the people of Pakistan by calling it their ‘national tea’. Tech giants like Huawei tried to connect with the people of Pakistan with their campaign ‘Embrace The Green in You’.
Now let’s talk about corporate communication that is crucial to determine whether organizations thrive or fail. It impacts company image, reputation management, employee productivity, innovation, brand positioning and much much more.
It basically relies on External communication that includes the company’s clear message about new initiatives, projects, signings, events, public awareness for its customers through official channels such as press releases, clarifications, media briefings, press conferences, annual reports, CSR and sustainability, etc. Internal communication is the flow of information within the organization between all internal stakeholders across all levels and organizational units. This communication pattern follows vertical communication from the top management to downwards, bottom-up communication, as well as horizontal communication between similar levels. So, it’s vital that a company’s internal and external communications should be aligned for optimal output.
Telcos like Jazz & Warid, Telenor, Zong, Ufone and PTCL rely on their corporate communications to keep the brand image strong and convey company messages and share their initiatives and CSR activities with their customers.
We have seen how PTCL’s Corporate Communication has transformed itself in the last couple of years. Their strategy and focus are on proactively creating PR opportunities like sharing timely news updates, new initiatives and handling PR crises during any outages related to international submarine cables when they communicated the company’s position on technical fronts all through the night until the issue was resolved. They constantly kept their customers updated via official channels including social media platforms, print and electronic media on the situation that was helpful in keeping everyone calm and content, waiting for the issue to be resolved.
Moreover, we are constantly updated throughout the year in a regular fashion on their initiatives and programs like CSR project on tree plantation, going solar to conserve energy, beautification of landscapes, HR campaigns such as Experia and Summit programs, etc. They proactively promoted the company through various press releases and exclusive blogs & articles on major announcements such as their partnership with Netflix, an extensive PR campaign on Independence Day 2019, a country-wide campaign on the Network Transformation Project for faster and unlimited internet. The company also promoted PTCL’s solidarity with Kashmir by collaborating with the Ministry of IT&T on Defence Day. These are just a few examples of how the teams at PTCL have a hands-on and efficient approach to uplift and maintain PTCL’s brand image.
Corporate communication is no longer restricted to media relations only. Today, every employee, from executive management to support team members, can play an active role in communicating key message externally.
Communicating clearly is one of the most effective skills one can cultivate as a business leader or as a company. The reality is that developing effective professional communication takes time, needs practice and is a lifelong process of personal development. At the same time, we also need to listen carefully to all external stakeholders as it will further strengthen relationships, improve customer perspective and bridge the communication gaps.