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Developing corporate communications: insights from the Italian scenario

Maria Palazzo (Department of Political and Communication Sciences, University of Salerno, Fisciano, Italy)
Pantea Foroudi (Department of Marketing, Branding, and Tourism, Middlesex University, London, UK)
Philip J. Kitchen (UK and Rennes School of Business, The University of Salford, Salford, UK)
Alfonso Siano (Department of Political and Communication Sciences, University of Salerno, Fisciano, Italy)

Qualitative Market Research

ISSN: 1352-2752

Article publication date: 5 February 2020

Issue publication date: 14 October 2020




Based on the managerial perceptions from large firms, this paper aims to explore the emergence, growth and importance of corporate communications and how it is evolving and creating competitive advantage for Italian firms.


A qualitative approach is deployed, comprising in-depth interviews with senior managers from Italian corporations from a broad spectrum of industries, including: energy, telecommunications, automotive, transport, retail chain, appliances, technology and engineering, private shipping, government-owned holdings, marketing consultancy and construction.


The paper offers insight into corporate communications (corpcoms) practices in the sampled companies. The paper shows that corpcoms involves a complex range of activities leading to performance – managed and implemented under CEO direction.

Practical implications

Corpcoms is perceived as a strategic concept with effective application relative to managing corporate image and reputation. The findings offer insights for communication professionals who deal with corpcoms, branding and marketing communications.


Corpcoms can be viewed via the lens of social actors’ perspectives, i.e. via practitioners – including brand managers and senior executives, as they possess practical knowledge of business practice in specific contextual business settings and have the managerial ability and remit to design, implement and evaluate integrated corpcoms.



Although the views and ideas expressed in this article are those of Maria Palazzo, Pantea Foroudi, Philip Kitchen and Alfonso Siano, “Focusing on corporate communications”, “Research methods”, “Field interviews”, “Research findings”, “Definition and features of corporate communications”, “Corporate communications tasks, responsibilities, competencies”, “Discussion” are attributed to Maria Palazzo; “Implications of the study” is attributed to Pantea Foroudi; “Introduction” is attributed to Philip Kitchen; while “Conclusions” is attributed to Alfonso Siano.


Palazzo, M., Foroudi, P., Kitchen, P.J. and Siano, A. (2020), "Developing corporate communications: insights from the Italian scenario", Qualitative Market Research, Vol. 23 No. 3, pp. 407-426.



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