The medium and the messenger

PATHFINDER

The medium and the messenger

JOB WELL DONE A communications professional is influential in shaping the way a company’s business is perceived.The essence of communication within a corporate set-up is to build and sustain the company’s reputation. This is largely driven by the core messages the company  identifies from within its business activities, core values and purpose. A successful corporate communication programme is a strategic business tool and aims to measure the impact of the platforms and channels used to effectively deliver the reporting of corporate activities. A career as a corporate communicator is about maintaining and leveraging the company's reputation and positioning.

Areas of practice

*External Communication: This involves  media relations, press conferences, briefings, etc.

*Internal Communication: This involves the compiling of company magazines, internal events,              programmes, and the chairman’s address.

*Investor Relations: Communication with investors by updating them about the company's progress.

*Corporate Social Responsibility:  A corporate communicator helps the CSR department to develop and sustain the company’s work in grassroots initiatives.

The field requires professionals with either an MBA in Marketing or a master’s degree in Mass Communication. Some of the well-known institutes that offer a master’s course in Mass Communication are:

*Xavier’s Institute of Communication, Mumbai

*Mudra Institute of Communication, Ahmedabad

*Symbiosis College of Mass Communication, Pune

*Indian Institute of Mass Communication, New Delhi.

*Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, Bangalore

There are also  courses on Corporate Reputation Management offered  like

*Diploma in Public Relations and Corporate Communications-XIC, Mumbai

*Corporate Social Responsibility Course, GIMT-New  Delhi

Climb the ladder

Freshers may begin a career in corporate communications as a management trainee. Depending on performance, they are then promoted to the position of an assistant manager, manager or senior manager. Starting salaries are between Rs 3.5 lakh and 5 lakh a year.

An effective communications professional needs to understand the business imperatives of the company. He/she should be able to sift through a large collection of information and articulately create a relevant message and position it right with the help of the appropriate communi-cation tools for stakeholders.

Roma  Balwani, a Senior VP of Mahindra & Mahindra,  says: “Professionals who are articulate, assertive, persuasive, and have good networking skills will have an edge over other candidates. They should also be adept at business writing and public speaking.”
 
All in a day’s work

The Corporate Communications Department of an organisation is influential in shaping and maintaining the way in which the company’s business is perceived. It is the job of this department to plan and strategise communication processes to be in line with communication goals and programmes. The focus should be to find the right platforms and channels to effectively communicate. A successful communications person has to take optimum advantage of the online medium.

Professionals must don the robe of a ‘solutions provider’ as work in this field would involve handling business updates, hosting media coverages, meetings, events, and project launches, amongst others. Manish Mallick, Vice President, Corporate Communications, SKNL, says: “To provide solutions, it is crucial to put the problems in perspective and be innovative in strategy, thinking and execution of the message.”  

For those who wish to branch out of corporate commun-ications, the Mergers and Acquisitions Department also requires communicators to deliver a comprehensive, focused  communication strategy.

This is the department that can determine whether a business deal comes through or falls apart. There is immense scope for communicators to play a more significant role in this aspect of corporate function.

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