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Article
Publication date: 4 April 2008

Lars Thøger Christensen, A. Fuat Fırat and Simon Torp

Marketing organisations increasingly talk about the importance of integrating their communications, of aligning symbols, messages, procedures and behaviours across formal…

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16764

Abstract

Purpose

Marketing organisations increasingly talk about the importance of integrating their communications, of aligning symbols, messages, procedures and behaviours across formal organisational boundaries. Often this implies tighter central control over communications and other organisational processes. This paper sets out to discuss potential negative consequences of such tight control in terms of organisational incapability to react to market changes in increasingly fluid environments due to a loss of sufficient corporate complexity and diversity.

Design/methodology/approach

In response, a flexible integration approach that draws attention to the handling of difference and variety within the context of an integrated communications project is articulated. The paper proposes a framework that balances centralisation and decentralisation through attention to dimensions of endogenous control, tight and loose couplings, networks, and common process rules.

Findings

The paper demonstrated that, in order to integrate its communications, an organisation needs to embrace diversity and variety and to balance the wisdom of its many voices with the effort to secure clarity and consistency in its overall expression.

Practical implications

The flexible integration approach advanced in this paper opens new avenues of research, practice and pedagogy, encouraging scholars, practitioners and teachers to explore the following dimensions of integrated communications: reception, variability, organisation, voice, couplings and transferability.

Originality/value

The paper contributes to the literature on integrated communications and corporate communications by addressing the organisational dimensions of integration and suggesting a new avenue of integrated communications research that is far more sensitive to the organisational context in which projects of integration exist and unfold.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 42 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2012

Trine Susanne Johansen and Sophie Esmann Andersen

Integration is a key component within marketing‐ and corporate communication. Benefits include synergetic representations, increased credibility and transparency. However…

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4484

Abstract

Purpose

Integration is a key component within marketing‐ and corporate communication. Benefits include synergetic representations, increased credibility and transparency. However, integration may be problematic. With the purpose of re‐conceptualizing integration, this paper aims to discuss how organizational self‐understanding and self‐presentation are challenged by consumer resistance as integrative communication practices prevent organizations from fully engaging in meaningful stakeholder dialogue.

Design/methodology/approach

Framed by a cross‐disciplinary review of integration as a concept, Arla Foods' “ONE” is analyzed by way of a qualitative content analysis as an exemplary case of integrated communication. Subsequently, the case is approached from a critical consumer perspective, drawing on empirical studies of consumer responses to and conversations with Arla Foods.

Findings

An alternative approach to integration is presented replacing the notion of “one voice, one sound, one story” with an emersion of the organization into consumer narratives and market cultures. Integration is re‐conceptualized as moving from an intra‐organizational perspective towards a co‐creative perspective.

Research limitations/implications

There is a need for further re‐conceptualization of integrated communication in order to develop a theoretical framework and definition that articulates a co‐creative view on integration.

Practical implications

Re‐articulating integration based on co‐creation carries different potential consequences for communication management, e.g. listening to consumer voices, self‐reflection and co‐development.

Originality/value

The original contribution lies in re‐conceptualizing integration as moving from an intra‐organizational perspective towards a co‐creative perspective with both practical and research implications.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 17 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 12 March 2018

Alfonso Siano, Agostino Vollero, Maddalena Della Volpe, Maria Giovanna Confetto, Pantea Foroudi and Maria Palazzo

The role of metaphors in information management has generally been acknowledged owing to their ability to convey immediately huge amounts of information and richness…

Abstract

Purpose

The role of metaphors in information management has generally been acknowledged owing to their ability to convey immediately huge amounts of information and richness. Their role is more and more important in the current digital context of communication and marketing activities, as the decision speed and accuracy are crucial. The purpose of this study is, thus, to analyze physical metaphors as tools for making sequential decisions to achieve effective integrated corporate communication (ICC).

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws on the critical analysis of literature on corporate communication and stakeholder management as building blocks for implementing an integrated approach to corporate communications.

Findings

A revision of two well-known physical metaphors in the communication literature (the “wheel” and “umbrella”) has been proposed. It is argued that integrated communication within corporate communications is more complex than in marketing communications, as it involves a greater variety of elements to coordinate and harmonize. The proposed physical metaphors suggest an effective sequential decision-making as they allow a clear distinction between different decision levels.

Research limitations/implications

The paper adds to the debate on the link between theory and practice of ICC. From a practical standpoint, the proposed metaphors as simple and concrete tools for handling complex information and ICC problems could aid novice practitioners and students of corporate communications courses.

Originality/value

The paper shows that while scholars have concurred that ICC is crucial for different type of organizations, the use of physical metaphors can be beneficial for the reality-based challenge of ICC.

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2009

Simon Torp

The purpose of this paper is to show the diversity within integrated communication and to demonstrate how its scope has been broadened to include virtually everything an…

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6655

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to show the diversity within integrated communication and to demonstrate how its scope has been broadened to include virtually everything an organization says and does and everyone who is affected by the organization's existence and activities. In the most ambitious interpretations of the concept the integration endeavour extends from the external integration of visual design to the internal integration of the organization's culture and “soul”.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper is based on a critical and thematic reading of the integrated marketing communication (IMC) field. The review covers both theorists and practitioners and those who are in between: theoretical practitioners and practical theorists, since all parties contribute to the creation of the field and the phenomenon that are the object of analysis in this paper. The focus is on semantic and conceptual development in relation to the range and scope of integrated communication.

Findings

The ideal of integration in connection with marketing communication is not new. The analysis shows that the IMC field is marked by great diversity and disagreement. The ideal scope of integration has expanded. An attempt is made to “map” various approaches and perspectives within the IMC field, based on the distinctions between opponents versus advocates and theoretical versus non‐theoretical.

Research limitations/implications

The paper makes the claim that in many interpretations of the concept integrated communication is focused on control. It does not seek to demonstrate how more dialogical perspectives might be developed within the framework of integrated communication.

Originality/value

The focus in this paper is on the semantic and conceptual development in relation to the range and scope of integrated communication. It usefully asks, how far does the organization's effort at integration extend, and how deeply is it supposed to enter the individual's life: what, in short, is the extent of integrated communication's intervention and influence and outreach.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 9 May 2008

Călin Gurău

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the particularities of integrated marketing communication (IMC) in the online environment.

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27847

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the particularities of integrated marketing communication (IMC) in the online environment.

Design/methodology/approach

Both secondary and primary data (face‐to‐face interviews with 29 marketing or communication managers of UK online consumer retail firms) are analysed in order to identify the various meanings of the integrated online marketing communication, the opportunities and challenges raised by online communication, and the structure of an efficient integrated online marketing communication system.

Findings

The transparency, interactivity and memory of the internet force the organisation to adopt a proactive‐reactive attitude in online communication, and to combine consistency and continuity with flexibility and customisation.

Research limitations/implications

The number of interviews used to collect primary data is relatively small; the use of the information collected is general and unstructured; and the findings are applicable only to online customer product retailers.

Practical implications

The messages sent by the company to its online audiences have to be transformed/adapted in a three‐stage process.

Originality/value

The paper identifies the specific opportunities and challenges raised by the internet for integrated marketing communication, and proposes an original model for the adaptation of online messages to core corporate values, communication strategy and tactics, and targeted audience/communication channels.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2009

Lars Thøger Christensen, A. Fuat Fırat and Joep Cornelissen

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how tensions and challenges associated with the implementation of integrated communications in practice have intensified in…

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7815

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to demonstrate how tensions and challenges associated with the implementation of integrated communications in practice have intensified in recent years under the impact of two conflicting trends: new social and organizational “drivers” towards integration; and the appearance of savvy and sophisticated audiences.

Design/methodology/approach

Taking the point of departure in now classical discussions of structural “barriers” to integration, today more fundamental difficulties limit the implementation of integrated communications – difficulties rooted in epistemological issues of organization and communication are argued.

Findings

Integrated communications present a paradox to contemporary communication management. On the one hand, integration seems to be the most logical and sensible way of managing communications in a complex world of multiple and critical audiences. On the other hand, its prescriptions are essentially at odds with what is known today about organization and human communication. While representing a significant communication ideal, integration in communications is simultaneously beyond reach – at least if the full process of communication is taken into proper consideration.

Originality/value

The paper usefully makes the claim that it needs to adapt the ideals of what integrated communications is to what integration can possibly do to an organization and its communications.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 14 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

Hanna K. Kalla

This article's purpose is to explore the multidisciplinary nature of internal communications, and argue that an integrated approach to internal communications is…

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16361

Abstract

Purpose

This article's purpose is to explore the multidisciplinary nature of internal communications, and argue that an integrated approach to internal communications is beneficial when assessing knowledge sharing in organisations.

Design/methodology/approach

This article presents a review of relevant current literature, and explores the issue through qualitative interview data from a world‐leading multinational companies (MNC).

Findings

The empirical data provide support for the integrated view, and also enhance our understanding of knowledge sharing as an important and strategic function of integrated internal communications.

Originality/value

The integrated perspective here contributes to the understanding of internal communications in two ways. First, it draws from the domains of business, management, corporate, and organisational communication, which together incorporate both practical and theoretical knowledge. Second, it includes all formal and informal communication that take place inside an organisation.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. 10 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 3 August 2015

Weiting Tao and Christopher Wilson

The purpose of this paper is to explore the communication strategies corporations adopt for Facebook and/or Twitter, and the consistency of communication strategies used…

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3452

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the communication strategies corporations adopt for Facebook and/or Twitter, and the consistency of communication strategies used on both Facebook and Twitter.

Design/methodology/approach

A content analysis of 2011 Fortune 1000 corporate Facebook and Twitter sites was undertaken. Specially, communication strategies on 63 Fortune 1000 Facebook sites and 65 Fortune 1000 Twitter sites in January 2012 were examined.

Findings

This study found that a majority of the examined Fortune 1000 companies emphasized a corporate ability communication strategy over a corporate social responsibility communication strategy on their Facebook and Twitter sites. Additionally, none of these companies used a true hybrid strategy on their social media sites (SMSs). Results also demonstrated that these companies were following the one message principle of integrated communication.

Research limitations/implications

This study is limited to its samples size and the coding time frame.

Practical implications

Results of this study can help public relations and corporate communication professionals leverage multiple SMSs to build strong associations, improve engagement, and strengthen relationships with target stakeholders.

Originality/value

Through examining corporate communication strategies on SMSs, this study contributes to current social media research along with corporate communication/public relations scholarship. It replicated and extended prior work by examining how existing corporate communication strategies on traditional web sites were incorporated into two new mainstream media – Facebook and Twitter.

Details

Journal of Communication Management, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1363-254X

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Article
Publication date: 7 May 2021

R. Deepa and Rupashree Baral

This study aims to expand the emerging body of literature on employer branding from the current employee perspective. It proposes that effective integrated communication

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to expand the emerging body of literature on employer branding from the current employee perspective. It proposes that effective integrated communication helps an organization fulfill its employer value proposition or employment value proposition (EVP). A firm that fulfills its brand promise in terms of EVP will derive employee-based brand equity (EBBE) benefits. Integrated communication is effective when employees experience coordination and consistency in brand communication. This influences their perception of psychological contract fulfillment (in terms of EVP attributes), which results in positive employee behavior in the form of EBBE benefits.

Design/methodology/approach

The study draws insights from the signaling theory and psychological contract literature which is based on the social exchange theory. The literature on integrated communication, employer branding and internal branding was reviewed to propose the relationships between the variables of interest. Data was collected using a questionnaire survey on 520 employees from the information technology (IT)-business process management industry in India, which is a customer-oriented industry known for its exemplary employer practices.

Findings

The findings suggest that integrated communication effectiveness impacts the perceived fulfillment of EVP attributes and EBBE. Again, the fulfillment of the relational value dimension of EVP attributes partially mediates the relationship between integrated communication effectiveness and EBBE.

Originality/value

This study is one of the first to explore employees’ perception of integrated communication effectiveness and fulfillment in terms of EVP attributes as antecedents to EBBE.

Open Access
Article
Publication date: 10 April 2017

T.C. Melewar, Pantea Foroudi, Suraksha Gupta, Philip J. Kitchen and Mohammad M. Foroudi

This paper aims to operationalise and juxtapose variables related to identity, strategy and communications, and then examine the impact of such integration on…

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32868

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to operationalise and juxtapose variables related to identity, strategy and communications, and then examine the impact of such integration on organisational stakeholders’ trust, loyalty and commitment by using commitment/trust theory.

Design/methodology/approach

This research design utilises explanatory research at the preliminary stage, as informed by the literature and conceptual framework. The subsequent model was examined via a positivist survey carried out among stakeholders in high-end retail stores in London. Structural equation modelling (SEM) via AMOS was conducted to gain insight into the various relevant influences and relationships.

Findings

The results indicate that identity and strategy are key drivers of integrated corporate communication, and they serve to build stakeholder trust, loyalty and commitment.

Originality/value

The paper shows that while practitioners have indicated that integrated marketing communication is important for organisations, there are a few other areas of concern with regard to consequences related to trust, loyalty and commitment, especially in a retail context. This paper empirically examined relationships between these constructs by validating a conceptual model by using SEM.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 51 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

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