Strategic Corporate Communication in the Digital Age

Cover of Strategic Corporate Communication in the Digital Age
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(17 chapters)

Prelims

Pages i-xx
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Abstract

Institutions and organizations are increasingly using the digital media to communicate with stakeholders on a day-to-day basis and during crisis situations. Therefore, this chapter presents a bibliographic analysis on digital corporate communication technologies. The grounded theory’s inductive approach was used to capture and interpret the findings from Scopus-indexed publications. The articles were scrutinized in their entirety, including their research questions, methodologies and interpretation of the findings. Afterwards, this contribution identifies the opportunities and challenges that emerged during an unprecedented coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. In conclusion, it implies that there is scope for institutions and organizations to incorporate digital and social media in their crises’ communications and risk management plans. This will enable them to be in a better position to engage in credible and transparent dialogic communications with different stakeholders.

Abstract

Trust is an important element for healthy human relationships, and it has notable implications for organizations and stakeholder groups. This chapter explains how trust can promote effective communication and cooperation. It highlights the role of trust in human relationships as a solution to modern-day socioecological challenges especially as they relate to corporate interactions. Building genuine human connections within the context of changing social landscapes and busier life schedules are essential to counteract the rising loneliness epidemic. The absence of trust may be a barrier to genuine human communication and connection. The absence of trust may be a barrier to genuine human communication and connection, however the presence of pro- social norms can contribute to building and maintaining trust between people. Cooperation and social trust increases subjective well-being and happiness. In an organizational context, trust-based cooperation between stakeholders can create strong relationships.

This chapter argues that trust nurtures face-to-face social interactions and can be strengthened through social and emotional competencies and the creation of policies that support the notions of community and belongingness in the corporate landscape.

Abstract

Web 2.0 and the social networks have changed how organizations interact with their publics. They enable organizations to engage in symmetric dialogic communications with individuals. Various organizations are increasingly ­using different social media to enhance their visibility and relationships with their publics. They allow them to disseminate information, to participate, listen and actively engage in online conversations with different stakeholders. Some social networks have become a key instrument for corporate communication. Therefore, this chapter presents a critical review on the organizations’ dialogic communications with the publics via social networks. It puts forward a conceptual framework that comprises five key dimensions including ­“active presence,” “interactive attitude,” “interactive resources,” “responsiveness” and “conversation.” This contribution examines each dimension and explains their effect on the organizations’ dialogic communication with the publics. Hence, this contribution has resulted in important implications for corporate communication practitioners as well as for academia. Moreover, it opens future research avenues to academia.

Abstract

Businesses are increasingly using corporate communication technologies to interact with prospective customers. Therefore, this study explores the corporate executives’ readiness to use interactive media for engagement with online users. The methodology relied on valid and reliable measures to explore the participants’ pace of technological innovation (PTI), perceived usefulness, ease of use and social influences, as these factors can have an effect on their engagement with interactive technologies. The findings supported the scales’ content validity as the structural equation modeling approach has reported a satisfactory fit for this study’s research model. The results indicated that the PTI, perceived usefulness, ease of use of online technologies as well as social influences were significant antecedents for the marketing executives’ engagement with online users through digital media. There were significant influences from the demographic variables, including age, gender and experiences that moderated these relationships. In conclusion, this contribution identifies its limitations and suggests possible research avenues to academia.

Abstract

There is a relationship between the organizations’ strategic objectives and their corporate communications. The latter is an important feature of organizational performance. Organizational leaders are continuously facing the challenge of communicating their strategic goals to their stakeholders. Very often, they are adopting performance management tools to meet this challenge. Consequently, this chapter explains that the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) can be used to evaluate and measure the firms’ corporate communications and their organizational performance. This tool has been widely recognized by academics and managers as it is capable of aligning organizational strategies (including their missions and visions), strategic indicators (leading and lagging indicators) and stakeholder management. A review of the relevant literature review suggests that many practitioners are becoming strategic in their corporate communications. In this light, this chapter clarifies that the BSC approach can be used to support them in their stakeholder engagement. This contribution is useful for both academics and practitioners as it aligns the corporate communication practices with organizational strategy and performance management in the digital era.

Abstract

Like many other organizations, universities are using social media to engage with their stakeholders as they have varying interests and commitments. This chapter focuses on strategic communication and stakeholder engagement by UK universities on Twitter. It presents a descriptive study about their engagement on Twitter in terms of their followers, number of tweets, etc. In addition, it analyzes the tweets’ content to identify British universities’ communication strategies. Hence, the results revealed a thematic model in the form of an interrelated conceptual theory that comprises three strands of communication: (i) recruiting prospective students, (ii) retaining present students and staff, and (iii) reporting activities and media coverage. This contribution presents implications for university marketing communication managers who are involved in student recruitment and/or in managing relationships with stakeholders.

Abstract

This chapter presents a thorough review on the mobile learning concept. It also explores how businesses are using mobile learning (m-learning) technologies for the training and development of their human resources. The research involved semi-structured interviews and an online survey. The research participants were expected to share their opinions about the costs and benefits of using m-learning applications (apps). The findings reported that the younger course participants were more likely to embrace the m-learning technologies than their older counterparts. They were using different mobile devices, including laptops, hybrids as well as smartphones and tablets to engage with m-learning applications at work, at home and when they are out and about. This contribution has identified the contextual factors like the usefulness and the ease of use of m-learning applications (apps), individual learning styles and their motivations, time, spatial issues, integration with other learning approaches as well as the cost and accessibility of the m-learning technology. In conclusion, this contribution identifies future research avenues relating to the use of m-learning technologies among businesses and training organizations.

Abstract

Several brands are striving in their endeavors to find new ways to improve their consumer engagement through social media. They are using different tools including influencer marketing through social networking sites (SNSs). Therefore, this chapter addresses a gap in the academic literature as it distinguishes between two types of online influencers. The researchers investigate the effects of celebrity endorsers’ and of micro influencers’ posts on a brand’s page on Instagram. They examine the number of followers, clicks, comments and likes that are generated following their influencer marketing. The results suggest that both influencers have generated varying levels and types of interactions. In sum, this exploratory study revealed that the chosen celebrity’s posts attracted more followers to the brand’s Instagram page, when compared to the micro influencer’s publications. However, the latter has garnered more clicks, comments and likes, thereby increasing the consumer-brand engagement through social media. In conclusion, this contribution identifies future research avenues relating to influencer marketing.

Abstract

The predominant role played by large-scale retailers in consumer goods markets has led to substantial changes in the promotion and advertising flows of companies operating in this sector. Manufacturing companies are in fact investing an increasingly larger share of their resources in communication strategies managed by retailers by way of in-store communications, taking advantage of both traditional and digital media. As a result, besides being a place of purchase, the point of sale has become an environment where customer relationships are being built and developed over time. In this book chapter, we take a closer look at current in-store communications via cutting-edge digital media solutions designed to boost customer experience and brand loyalty. To gain a better understanding of these new forms of communication, we have also conducted a qualitative case study on “The Supermarket of the Future,” a new retail format recently launched by Coop Italia in Milan, using data from different sources, including internal and external document reviews and in-store observations. Overall, this study outlines an innovative customer relationship format consistent with an omni-channel approach and informative in-store communications integrating traditional and new digital media.

Abstract

The latest advances in digital technologies have changed the way companies communicate with their stakeholders. This chapter explores the businesses’ usage of digital communication channels. It focuses on their utilization of social media for marketing and promotion of products, corporate social responsibility (CSR) practices and stakeholder engagement with financial stakeholders. An exploratory study was carried out on a sample of 167 Italian businesses. It investigated the companies’ websites and their social media accounts. The findings suggest that the Italian businesses are using various social media networks for corporate communication purposes. This descriptive research shows that they are utilizing Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube, among others, to communicate commercial information and to promote their business. Moreover, they are using Instagram and Twitter to raise awareness about their CSR initiatives. In conclusion, this chapter implies that marketers need to carefully coordinate the use of different digital tools to ensure that they reach their target audiences in an effective manner.

Abstract

Academics, practitioners, and standard setters have highlighted the importance of focusing on the relevance of nonfinancial reporting disclosures, calling for a debate on how best to develop corporative communicative skills with different stakeholders to conduct proper materiality analysis. To this end, the need for an inclusive process is widely acknowledged, where engagement and close relationships between an organization and its various stakeholders are crucial to identifying the main issues that the company should consider in a materiality analysis. In this chapter, an analysis of integrated reporting (IR) will be performed as an innovative corporate communication instrument that offers a complete picture of corporate performance and the important role of the concept of materiality. Then, the concept of the materiality process will be explored in a set of Spanish early adopters of IR, which will help us understand IR technology within the organizational realm and will shed some light on the materiality determination process as a communicative tool. The study revealed five main themes connected to the materiality determination process: materiality conceptualization, sources of evidence on materiality, prioritization of stakeholder engagement, the perceived advantages of the process, and its problems. The final section will set out the future challenges of IR engagement and the research opportunities that are associated with this innovative form of communicative reporting.

Abstract

This chapter presents the e-marketing practices followed by the micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) in India. It explored the owner-managers perceptions of MSMEs regarding their average expenditures, budget allocations, management, policy, sources of information, return on investment and their desire for formal training on e-marketing activities in future. Data were collected from 253 MSME owner-managers through an e-questionnaire. The researchers found that the majority of the MSME owner-managers allocate a monthly budget for e-marketing initiatives, and they have increased it over the past few years. However, the total expenditure on e-marketing activities is between 1% and 10% of their total marketing budget. These businesses are partly or fully outsourcing search engine optimization (SEO), display advertising and referral marketing, whereas other e-marketing activities are managed in-house. Generally, these MSMEs are not measuring the success of their digital marketing efforts. If they do it, they are not doing it in a professional manner. MSMEs were found to be slow in posting content and engaging their followers on social media. Surprisingly, two-third of the MSMEs that participated in this study did not show any desire to pursue courses in digital marketing. In conclusion, this study puts forward key implications to practitioners as well as to the government agencies that are involved in the promotion of information technology among MSMEs.

Abstract

In many developing and developed countries, small/medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) are a very important part of the economy and are commonly referred to as the lifeblood of the economy. SMEs in Nigeria have contributed around 48% of the national gross domestic product (GDP) in recent times and account for about 17.4 million jobs. Considering how much they contribute to national economies, it is expedient to seek ways in which they can derive value from innovative technologies to further strengthen their position. Web 2.0 technologies and associated social media applications such as social network sites, microblogging, weblogs and similar technologies are known to improve communication and collaboration among employees and customers. SMEs typically have a small budget for branding, advertising and corporate communication. Consequently, social media provides a ready and inexpensive tool that can be used to communicate with customers and for internal communication and collaboration. Several studies in the area of diffusion of innovations to SMEs argue that they do not usually use adopted technologies to its full potential and as such do not add as much value to the business. Extant research on corporate communication using social media focuses on large organizations’ adoption and use of the technology with little focus on SMEs. This contribution aims to fill this gap by considering how SMEs in Nigeria adopt and use social media to improve corporate communication.

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Abstract

This chapter presents a systematic review of over 30 types of online marketing methods. It describes different methods like email marketing, social network marketing, in-game marketing and augmented reality marketing, among other approaches. The researchers discuss that the rationale for using these online marketing strategies is to increase brand awareness, customer-centric marketing and consumer loyalty. They shed light on various personalization methods including recommendation systems and user-generated content in their taxonomy of online marketing terms. Hence, they explain how these online marketing methods are related to each other. The researchers contend that the boundaries between online marketing methods have not been clarified enough within the academic literature. Therefore, this chapter provides a better understanding of different online marketing methods. A review of the literature suggests that the “oldest” online marketing methods including the email and the websites are still very relevant for today’s corporate communication. In conclusion, the researchers put forward their recommendations for future research about contemporary online marketing methods.

References

Pages 251-252
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Index

Pages 253-259
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Cover of Strategic Corporate Communication in the Digital Age
DOI
10.1108/9781800712645
Publication date
2021-02-19
Editor
ISBN
978-1-80071-265-2
eISBN
978-1-80071-264-5