Communications - External

Section of the competency map featuring Communications - externalFor example:

  • Getting external recognition for CR activity

  • Improving credibility and trust with stakeholders

  • Differentiating the company from competitiors

What are your Desired Business Outcomes?

 

  1. Improving credibility and trust

  2. Getting high profile recognition

  3. Getting low profile recognition

  4. Differentiation of the company from competitiors

  5. Differentiation of the company from the sector

  6. Improving transparency

Select an outcome, and then browse the Knowledge, Behaviours and Resources to help you overcome the associated challenges.

1. Improving credibility and trust.

Challenges

Knowledge and understanding

  • Identifying the correct audience

  • Tailoring communications to external stakeholders and clearly setting out the business rationale

  • Ensuring clarity of message and avoiding "greenwash"

  • Ensuring that your communications professionals understand the CR policy and programmes

  • Efficiently connecting internal stakeholders with external stakeholders

  • Understands CR communications policy options

  • Knows who the key stakeholders are and knows who influences the key stakeholders

  • Understands stakeholder engagement and how to do it

  • Understands values and motivations held by stakeholders

Key CR Knowledge icon - head with cogsKey CR Knowledge

Behaviours

Resources

Builds relationships

Communication

Influence

Integrity

Operational

CR Academy Resources: BITC course

Stakeholder engagement

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2. Getting high profile recognition

For example, getting external recognition for CR activity, increasing positive media coverage.

Challenges

Knowledge and understanding

  • Knowing and gathering the CR activity of a widely distributed business

  • Managing internal expectations of what can be achieved

  • Getting something that shows the company as positive and proactive that meets the needs of journalists

  • Balancing the interesting and engaging work of creating the appropriate external profile of the organisation and yourself with the sometimes harder challenge of internal delivery and communications

  • Creatively framing information available within the business to achieve communication outcomes that get people's attention

  • Getting support from the executive on transparent reporting

  • Awareness of the brokers you can use to expand your network and help get your message out

  • Sound knowledge of communication options

  • Knowledge of what journalists have to do to get stories past an editor at national, regional & local levels

  • Knowledge of peer best practice


Key CR Knowledge icon - head with cogsKey CR Knowledge

Behaviours

Resources

Builds relationships

Communication

Data Gathering and Analysis

Innovative

Organisational Awareness

Organisational Commitment

BITC resources

The Responsible Business Awards

Corporate Responsibility (CR) Index

CommunityMark

 

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3. Getting low profile recognition

For example, to achieve low-level recognition of CR achievements that does not expose the organisation to intense scrutiny

Challenges

Knowledge and understanding

  • Coping with a cynical media

  • Overcoming reluctantance of the business to communicate externally

  • Understanding the business strategy

Key CR Knowledge icon - head with cogsKey CR Knowledge

Behaviours

Resources

Collaboration

Influence

Organisational commitment

Strategic

BITC resource:

A Director's Guide to CR Reporting 

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4. Differentiating the company from competitors

For example, to position the organisation as a leader/strong performer in CR, or simply as a leading organisation, or to position the organisation as a thought leader in CR.

Challenges

Knowledge and understanding

  • Overcoming board resistance to applying for awards and positioning the company as 'Green' or as a strong/ leading responsible business

  • Convincing decision makers to sell the message

  • Building the profile of the organisation

  • Good networks and a knowledge of a wide range of contacts within the organisation

  • Knowledge of competitors and their activities

  • Broad understanding of sustainabilty i.e. "sustainability literate"

Key CR Knowledge icon - head with cogsKey CR Knowledge

Behaviours

Resources

Builds relationships

Influence

Integrity

 

BITC resources

The Responsible Business Awards

Corporate Responsibility (CR) Index

CommunityMark

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5. Differentiating the company from the sector

For example, to differentiate the company from the negative perceptions of the sector

Challenges

Knowledge and understanding

  • Changing the perceptions of the media

  • Finding examples of inspirational individuals and good practice in a large organisation

  • Theory and techniques of good communications and PR (where there is no in house specialist support)

  • Know how the media and investor relations work

Key CR Knowledge icon - head with cogsKey CR Knowledge

Behaviours

Resources

Builds relationships

 

Influence

Integrity

BITC resources

The Responsible Business Awards

Corporate Responsibility (CR) Index

CommunityMark

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6. Improving transparency

To make the organisation as transparent as possible.

Challenges

Knowledge and understanding

  • Getting people to see the benefits of transparency

  • Convincing senior managers to share realistic messages, rather than just positive messages i.e. activities that haven't been 100% successful

  • Using stakeholder engagement to increase transparency

  • Understanding the business case for transparency

Key CR Knowledge icon - head with cogsKey CR Knowledge

Behaviours

Resources

Communication

Influence

Integrity

Operational

BITC resources

Stakeholder Engagement course

A Director's Guide to CR Reporting

External resources

The Doughty Centre "Guide to Guides" (Pages 30-36)

Ogilvy guide to Communicating Corporate Responsibility

 

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