Information Technology in Corporate Communication
Information technology is a catalyst for changes in organizational structure, function, and communication. This implies that the impact of organizational structure is huge and has substantially revolutionized the practice of corporate communication around the world. Because of digital changes and technological advancement, corporate communication has moved across the globe. This has given tremendous powers to the executives and to the consumer as well. Information technology helps PR to develop networks across the globe. Through, information technology, PR companies can reach their global partners irrespective of their location through telephone, emails etc. Through Information Technology, PR firms do their process and documentation in a better way and it boosts organization communication within a PR firm.
As we have seen in our previous chapters in media relations, today, PR is using different types of media sources in print, electronic and digital platforms to reach their masses and increase the profits. Though newspapers will always be a primary source of spreading information and interacting with people from company’s point of view, no one denies the power of information technology and E-media relations. Many MNCs have entered India and many Indian companies went out of India. They all have global markets and to interact with global markets, they need to connect them faster and on time. The Internet is a source which helps them to connect people around.
Third Party e- Media: – Third –party e-media includes those media which is beyond the control of the organization and it does not include their websites, magazines, online newsletters etc. however, it includes other websites such as e-zines, journals, and third-party newsletters. They are the websites who are not directly related to companies but play a crucial role to develop the mindset of consumers. They may be feedback review, products services etc.
Websites include online versions of print publication, news sites, and trade sites.it is a form of broadcasting production that incorporates streaming video and audio on its website. It is like a video conference and helps the company to answer the queries, explain the product and give them access to the largest audience. The company can also download it and use the sources for mass connection and information.
An e-zine is an online magazine. It covers a diverse range of topics as a traditional magazine. A well-written press release is seen as a more valuable commodity online than it is in the real world. Salon (www.salonmagazine.com) is generally esteemed the biggest and the best of the e-zine breed.
Video-News Release (VNRs):-
Today, we are seeing that many production houses are launching their channels online and for that, they do lots of video news release. VNR is a short news package presenting a news item from the organization’s viewpoint. It is usually distributed by satellite. It can get key product elements. Through, VNR product doesn’t look like a commercial plug but can be the best medium of conversation.
Electronic Media Kits:-
Electronic Media Kits is generally a media package or kit, it is a page on company’s website that contains resources and information for reporters and publishers. Through, this section, company easily give access to the media the marketing materials and information which is accessible, easy to use and helpful to the press.
Computer-mediated communication (CMC) or e-internal communication have many sources which allow more information to be processed, stored, retrieved and transferred, faster and cheaper.
Simply means a centralized electronic system which can store messages from telephone callers. This will help a receiver to receive the messages in his/her absent and can be replied later. It has multiple advantages like it saves time, pass the messages even if the receiver absent, assurance is there that the message has reached to the receiver and easy to retrieve the information. Many big companies’ key officials use the system and response to the important information as early as possible.
Email is revolutionary. Electronic mail or messages are the easiest, cheaper and faster. Today, the facility of sending messages through android phones have made this source the most convenient to people. Through email, the company is easy to manage the communication with multiple stakeholders, shareholders. They are using this as a strong tool for managing their all areas of communication be its media relations, employee relations, crisis management or giving the best services to their consumers or clients. No business can imagine their existence without the source of email connect. E-mail services are widely used for its speed, cost, time, and sending large data to anyone and anywhere.
EMS (Electronic Meeting System)
EMS is a system where communication is relayed electronically. An electronic meeting system (EMS) is a type of computer software that facilitates creative problem solving and decision-making of groups within or across organizations. The term was coined by Alan R. Dennis et al. in 1988.
The unique features of EMS systems overcome the limitations of traditional face-to-face meetings such as lack of participation, criticism, and domination of the proceedings by a few members.
Advantages of EMS:-
- Participation of more people in groups
- Better group dynamics
- Increased openness and less personal prejudice through anonymity
- Any-place (online) capability which avoids travel time and cost
- Increased participant availability (any place, any time).
- Increased interactivity and participation by parallelization
- More sophisticated analysis by voting and analysis in real time
- Less effort in preparation by using meeting templates
- Repeatable meeting and workshop process through meeting templates
- Automatic, comprehensive, neutral documentation
E-Brand Identity and Corporate Reputation:-
E-branding is a term that denoted branding through the internet. Many online companies which do not have physical stores sell their products through E-branding. And In India, we have seen the plethora of E-commerce companies launches, came into the market and disappeared. Many went out because of lack of funds or not able to manage their good reputation through online.
A key aspect of online commerce and branding is the importance of collecting and analyzing data. I will share here two examples to understand that why few E-branding gets successful and why few get failed:-
The internet as a storefront–Amazon VS pets.com
The best example of successful online shopping store is Amazon. Amazon started as an online bookstore. It makes customers feel convenient with its tagline “apni dukaan”. They suggest customers relax at home and use of best brands for them. When they started bookstore work, they actually suggested customers stay at home and wait a few days then they could get the books they want to read in a lower price. After the big success in a book store, Amazon expended categories such as music, toys, and clothing. Amazon also gives the customer some recommendation by remembering customers’ preference, which enhances customers’ shopping experience. Amazon also benefits from long-term customer relationship that customers trust Amazon and set Amazon.com as premium shopping website.
On the other hand, Pets.com spend millions of dollars on a charming advertising however because of its lack of a strong business plan and its overly optimistic view of consumer demand for its product, it was defeated by competitors. A successful branding must add value on product and bring benefits to customers, but pet food not like books, customers wouldn’t wait few days to feed their pets. If a branding is loss value for a customer it will die no matter how fancy the advertising is. (https://thebusihub.wordpress.com/2013/02/06/e-commerce-and-e-branding-successful-and-failing-examples/)
Advantages of E – Branding:-
We all were skeptical when the concept of e-commerce comes and we were not convinced to buy the product after seeing the photos. But, when we started using the product, trust came and then from grocery to high volume product, today people buy online. This is amazing because it is a cost saving, less troublesome and reaches to the home without any cumbersome difficulties.
The more you are consistent and regular, the more trust you gain from your viewers. Consistency and accuracy of information are very helpful to readers and get connect with firms faster.
It is important today for all business to maintain their integrity and be regular in their approach. Today Amazon, myntra and few others e-commerce businesses are successful because they were able to build their image and develop integrity before the masses. A good branding strategy is always based on trust and appealing to the masses with a positive feeling. Therefore, a company should maintain a high level of integrity which will greatly boost any credible image which a company may want to establish.
Increases Marketing Effectiveness
Once a company develops a trust and credibility in the internet market, they should start working towards building their market effectiveness effectively. Based on their market strategy, an audience will start responding to it. It is important for a company to start working towards maintaining their image and reputation once they get the trust and credibility in businesses.
Online branding is more about experiences and experiment. No company can talk about any fixed formula. It keeps on changing and competitive. Therefore company should always ready for different types of products, customer reactions, their likes and preferences, their expectations, and their way of beliefs. Online branding is not as such for a specific audience so it needs to keep general and for all.
Use of websites in creating Company Reputation
As we mentioned that many businesses are online. All traditional companies have started their businesses online. Online is a strong tool for customer and companies. On one hand, if it builds the reputation of a company then on the other hands, it impacts on their reputation too. It is faster in their speed and reaches, therefore, a company really need to be conscious and sensitive while building their business online and managing their reputation too.
Pronto marketing.com has suggested 10 points through which a company can build their reputation online. They are as follows:-
- Focus and be aware– Listen to your customers and identify your target market. Use the Web to keep abreast of industry developments, competition, and news which could help steer how you act online.
- Monitor your reputation– Search for your business online regularly and monitor how you fare in search results and what any feedback is. Understand what you can control and either adopt the services of a reputation management company or go it alone with apps such as Google Alerts, Social Mention or our Review Monitoring
- Be authentic and honest– Nobody wants to read corporate ‘blah blah’, so make sure that the tone you use on social media platforms is human and fits your target market. You want to come across as trustworthy and this means being transparent and open; reacting in the right way to negative posts and comments rather than trying to cover your back with marketing-spiel which could end up encouraging trolls.
- Create quality content– Write content your customers want to read, not just self-promotional copy, which is a turn-off. Think about reciprocation and engage your customers rather than constantly adopting a direct sales approach.
- React and engage– To establish and maintain a good reputation, you need to be interactive too. This means being accessible and responding quickly to build good relationships. Delays in responding to Tweets, posts, comments, and questions can have a negative impact on your reputation.
- Be social– Social media platforms, used in the right way, can be an effective way to shape your company and brand reputation. Don’t aim for instant results but take time to build up a genuine profile and create content that resonates with your target market. Be strategic whilst focusing on the value of real connections.
- Start a blog– A blog is a great vehicle for getting information out about your company or even drawing in customers with useful tips and observations. You can establish yourself as an industry expert too which gives your business greater credibility. It’s also important to update your blog regularly to add to your professional image.
- Get in directory listings– Before the Internet, businesses would not have dreamed of not being listed in paper directories, and today it’s essential that you utilize online directories. Being easier to find in searches will drive traffic to your site where you can adopt reputation management tools to keep your visitors interested and active on your pages.
- Seek publicity– Reputation management is proactive and not just reactive. While you might use social media to entice customers without going in for the direct sell, there’s nothing wrong in self-promotion either. A good way to seek publicity online is to write articles for other blogs, look at the benefits of Web advertising, and establish yourself as an expert to spread your good company name.
- Encourage reviews– Feedback is valuable. It shows you who is interacting with you and gives you essential insight into your reputation. Reviews should be welcomed with open arms, as nearly 90% of review readers believe what they read online according to a recent study. Don’t be tempted to pay for good reviews either, as this breaks the terms of service of many directories and can result in long-term harm to your visibility on their site! You can also turn a negative response into a positive by reacting in a professional way and not by being defensive.
- https://www.prontomarketing.com/2015/02/10-ways-to-build-and-protect-your-businesss-online-reputation/ retrieved on 25th February 2018
- https://www.meltwater.com/blog/how-a-business-can-create-and-maintain-a-good-reputation/ retrieved on 25th February 2018
- http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/3-distinct-advantages-of-online-branding/ retrieved on 25th February 2018
- http://www.rise4meeting.com/electronic-meeting-advantages-disavantages/ retrieved on 25th February 2018
- https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Electronic_meeting_system/ retrieved on 25th February 2018