What's the point of Corporate Communications?

What's the point of Corporate Communications?

“What’s the point?”

It’s a question we hear all the time in life: perhaps most often aimed at a remake of an old movie that doesn’t bring anything new to the party or alcohol-free lager, likely to make us want to leave the party.

The question is often seen as dismissive and negative.

But there’s something much deeper and more human behind it. Dig beneath the question and the individual is actually saying: this doesn’t seem to have meaning for me; this doesn’t impact with me on an emotional and intellectual level.

Looked at in this way, “What’s the point?” is fundamentally a search for the purpose and meaning behind what we do and the choices we make.

Think about this in the context of corporate communications – in how we talk to and engage our people.

Most people consider themselves to be time-poor.

If we watch a training or communications film, attend a meeting or book a place on a conference, we want to feel that our time is being well spent – that it’s not five minutes, an hour, a day of our life that we’re never going to get back.

We want to know that we’re not watching it because someone somewhere has a box to tick.

We want to watch something and get it – we want to see the point. We want it to be relevant and have meaning, we want to be glad we’ve given up the time.

Our audiences are human beings who want to feel, experience, learn.

Even when watching a programme as part of a mandatory communication, forget the audience’s humanity, forget that they are a mature viewing audience who are bombarded with high-quality content all day every day, and you’ll lose them. Don’t bracket your communication as a ‘corporate’ one – it’s sort of irrelevant. Whatever its context, any communication is about engaging with and tapping into people’s humanity. And people don’t stop being human, don’t stop being considered consumers, the moment they walk into the workplace.

Any communication has to feel vital to the audience

It has to feel vital in terms of its relevance, its learning, its message, its information; but also vital in terms of the renewed energy, drive and clarity it gives to the audience – whether that’s to learn something new, to take action, to do more of something or less of something, or to do it differently.

You’ll only achieve this by putting in the time to understand and appreciate your target audience: Who are they? What do they know? What do they need to know? What are their attitudes, their belief systems? What’s likely to engage them? What’s going to turn them off or patronise them? What’s in it for them? Why should they choose to watch what you’re putting out there?

Forget all those boxes you’ve got to tick, the leadership team you’ve got to keep happy, the brand you’ve got to reflect, the compliance messages you’ve got to drum into people. If your audience doesn’t see the point, you may as well not bother.

If you’d like to explore the point of your visual communications, feel free to get in touch for a chat!

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