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What Is Corporate Communications?

What Is Corporate Communication?

We tend to attribute the success of well-known companies to the popularity of their products or the business acumen of their CEOs. Their corporate communications strategy, however, is just as crucial to their success. After all, the best product in the world would not sell well if nobody knew about it.

How a company communicates both externally to consumers and internally to its workforce significantly influences its prosperity. If you enjoy enlightening others, thinking on your feet and problem-solving, a career in corporate communications is worth exploring.

What Does a Corporate Communications Professional Do?

Corporate communications professionals influence how the public, investors and company personnel perceive and relate to an organization. A skilled corporate communications professional understands not only a company’s consumers but also its workforce. The following are some of the main functions of a communications department:

  • Developing an overarching communication strategy.
  • Prepping executives for media interviews.
  • Preparing media releases.
  • Disseminating relevant information to investors and staff.
  • Overseeing a company’s intranet, internal memos and blogs.

Crisis communication is another demanding facet of the job. When a company’s reputation is at stake or a public safety issue arises, it’s up to the communications department to manage the situation via carefully crafted messaging.

In recent years, a communications expert’s job has evolved to include managing an organization’s public persona. Consumers are speaking up on social media, so corporations can’t remain the silent, faceless entities of days past. As branding has come into focus over the last few decades, organizations have had to develop identities and voices. Rare is the business that doesn’t have a blog or isn’t on Facebook and Twitter.

Fast Company magazine notes the expanding influence and importance of corporate communications: “The truth is that the way an organization communicates can be the difference between success and failure. By now, we’re already familiar with the damage an out-of-place tweet by a CEO can do in the age of social media.”

Whatever your specific tasks may be, as a corporate communications expert, you’ll have a major impact on a business’s reputation — and therefore its profitability.

The Future of Corporate Communications

The Korn Ferry Institute recently reported that corporate communications executives are gaining more influence. The study states that, “In today’s frenetic and intensely competitive global market, in which business transformations and communication strategies must be closely linked, CCOs [chief communications officers] in the United States are taking on more prominent leadership roles within their organizations.”

Not only is the field of corporate communications gaining in prestige and power, it also offers remunerative career choices. The average salary is $104,200 for a corporate communications specialist, with salaries reaching $127,672 for corporate communications directors and more for VP and senior VP-level positions.

Becoming a corporate communications specialist offers many opportunities for interesting, empowering and financially rewarding work.

An Education in Corporate Communications

While the scope of a communication strategist’s job is impressive, it also warrants performing at one’s peak. Few degrees can help you prepare for the competitive job market better than a Master of Business Administration degree. The right MBA can help you hone the soft and hard skills you need to be a corporate communications leader.

Southeastern Oklahoma State University, for example, has an online MBA degree with an emphasis in Strategic Communication. You can gain a firm foundation in financial management, accounting, data analysis and research methods through the program’s core courses.

Through two concentration courses, you can learn in depth about essential corporate communication issues. In Strategic Communication, you’ll learn how to plan, execute and evaluate a strategic communication campaign aligned with an organization’s mission and strategic initiatives. The Crisis Communication course covers approaches and best practices in risk and crisis communication.

An added benefit of the SOSU MBA program is that it’s available online. Working professionals and others too busy for scheduled on-campus programs can use the flexibility to regulate their own studies.

The field of corporate communications offers exciting opportunities and lucrative job prospects. With the right education, you can hone your communication, social media, and crisis management skills to prepare yourself for leadership roles in the field.

Learn more about the SOSU online MBA with an emphasis in Strategic Communication program.


Korn Ferry Institute: The Chief Communications Officer — 2015 Survey and findings among the Fortune 500

Fast Company: The New Rules of Corporate Communications

PRSA: Salaries for Corporate Communications

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