In a digital world powered by high technology, a corporate and even an employer reputation can be destroyed literally in an instant. The value of management of relations with various interest groups, both external and internal, is therefore important and strategic for the top management. Opponents, enemies or haters are becoming bolder and more refined, regulatory frameworks are narrowing, public opinion is more sensitive, and consumers and employees are more demanding. Strategic supervisors and protectors of corporate reputation are people working mostly in the positions of Chief Communications & Public Affairs Officers, in other words, Corporate Affairs Manager.
Corporations with their management and ownership structures are challenged to a higher extent nowadays with more demanding, frequent, transparent and complex communication with a wider and more diversified number of internal and external target groups – stakeholders. These situations require Communications & Public Affairs/Corporate Affairs professionals capable of developing communication strategies and explaining the company’s business to consumers, business partners, owners, and investors, as well as to society, state, government, regulators, interest associations, professional organizations, always in accordance with business strategy and market sustainability.
Experts who can anticipate the challenges of the social, regulatory, political and business environment, who can protect and intensify the reputation of the organization are required for this mission. Simultaneously they should be able to develop influence through discovering new openings for dialogue with internal and external stakeholders in areas where public opinion clashes with business targets. Stakeholder diversity is represented by suppliers, customers, employees, various communities, media, state, and public administration, interest associations, bureaus, professional organizations, trade unions, international organizations, European organizations, and subjects, etc.
Communications & Public Affairs leaders of these days are most often at C-level or Board (top management). They create impressive synergy with Trusted Advisor, who is a functional expert and a business partner with a global orientation. Experts in Communications & Public Affairs have a consulting and integration role and are a firm part of the top management. Their competencies must be a great combination of IQ and EQ, strategic thinking, entrepreneurial mindset, and tremendous adaptability. With noting the development of digitization, technology, and new media, it’s not enough for them to be communicative technically and process-savvy. They must be empathetic and patient diplomats able to look at things with business acumen, from the perspective of many stakeholders (360-degree perspective), in 4D view, to influence and persuade, to have the energy and enthusiasm for constant change, or to work with employee and customer engagement to protect and strengthen the company reputation on the market.
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