Challenges for Corporate Communications in the Digital Age

Why should a company invest in communication and content? Basically, every head of communication in an enterprise has to come up with valid arguments to answer this question when asking his CEO for a higher budget.

Ansgar Zerfaß, communication expert and professor at the University of Leipzig, conducted many studies in Corporate Communication. One of his major studies is the “European Communication Monitor“, the largest transnational survey on strategic communication worldwide.

Main questions he tries to answer are „With whom and how much should a company communicate?“, „Who is responsible for the communication?“ or „Why should you produce content if you are specialized in goods?“

Taking time to analyse Stakeholders’ needs
“These questions seem to be very simple but indeed, you really need to think about them a lot“, says Zerfaß. According to him, producing content has a great impact on brands, image and reputation. Stakeholders demand communication to be up to date and to keep the connection to an enterprise. On the other side, if an enterprise is deep into content-production, it also needs to consider the context of its content in its particular branch and economic environment.

Referring to his findings in the latest „European Communication Monitor“, 87% of communication professionalists report a rising importance of communication for organisational sucess within the last twel months. In contrast to that, only 15% of the communication budgets have been increased.

Communication Department vs. Top Management
According to Zerfaß, a major reason for low budgets is a lack of understanding within the top management. 75% of the interviewed communication professionals admitted having difficulties to prove the impact of communication on organisational goals, which can lead to a separation between the top management and the communication department.

Nevertheless, you shouldn’t hang your head if you’re not in complete agreement with the top management. Remember that other employees, consumers and bloggers are still very important gatekeepers who can impact your companies success on a broader scale.

Written by Jennifer Naumann (@JennyNaumann)

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