Updated: Nov 24
Perception is a key component of communication. It is also the backbone of how the corporate communications world functions. Perceptions act as a lens and influences how PR professionals focus on, process, interpret and act on information. Becoming acutely aware of current and future trends in the PR industry is a corporate communications superpower.
So, what’s their secret?
Perception. Corporate Communications is no longer restricted to just managing the press. In fact, it has branched out into strategic communication which includes internal communications, social media and the key role that PR professionals play in shaping audience perceptions. The perceptions that audiences have of a brand are incredibly important and drive a significant part of consumer behaviour. Corporate communication professionals can shape and guide consumer perceptions in a way that helps them align with a brand and eventually retain loyalty.
Perceptions help brands imagine the reality they want to achieve. Corporate communication professionals are the driving force behind a brand’s image and messaging. When done right, corporate communication teams can channel the power of perceptions to crack the PR code and emerge as industry leaders. Lacoste is a great example of a brand that got this right and effectively tapped into the human psyche. Their campaign not only used the brand’s platform to create awareness of endangered animals, but also used their products to raise money for the cause as well.
So what did they do to stand out?
Simply put, they backed up their messages with action. Communication strategies and campaigns that are backed with solid plans always find a way to the top. Rather than just sending out information to the public at large, the corporate communication space currently deals a lot more with brand image and brand reputation.
The growth of digital and social platforms has cemented the ‘always-on’ nature of communication, thereby posing a few challenges for corporate communication professionals to tackle. This is where the power of perception comes in. Having a perceptive approach to communication helps corporate communication teams to avoid PR disasters, manage crisis situations and shape public opinion.
Fool(PR)oof your corporate communications plan
1. Think intuitively, create sustainably
Some of the most articulate corporate communication strategies are devised by professionals with sharply honed intuition and the ability to anticipate the needs of the audience. The responsibility of a brand’s image majorly lies in the hands of the corporate communications department. When a message is carefully crafted and hits the right notes in terms of relevancy, consumers take notice and tend to view the brand as more authentic.
2. Use perception as a central theme
When ideating a communications plan, corporate communication teams will benefit by thinking ten steps ahead and viewing campaigns from a bird’s eye view. The credibility of a brand depends on how well (or not) a message is received by consumers. By putting consumers in the center and using perception to predict their wants and needs, corporate communication professionals can set themselves apart from one another.
3. The devil is in the details
Paying attention to the finer things is a size-able, yet an underrated part of being perceptive in corporate communication. Right from a brand’s logo to their expansive 10 year projection plan, audiences are constantly on the look-out for brand communication that is clear, yet objective. The best way for corporate communication teams to leave a lasting impression is to read between the lines and focus on fine-tuning micro details that often get skipped.
The Ultimate Goal
The ultimate goal of corporate communication teams is manage crises and avoid tarnishing the brand image and reputation. The first step to improving their chances of averting a crisis is to combine facts and figures with perception and intuition. For example, using algorithms and artificial intelligence (AI) is going to re-define how corporate communication professionals communicate. Combining PR, consumer research, marketing and advertising data points will help brands create a distinct identity for themselves.
When corporate communication teams pay close attention to what consumers want and weave story-telling into how they tell a brand’s story, that’s where the magic happens!