The corporate communication process governs the flow of information within an organization and from within the company to the external environment in which the business operates. Organizations function as information processors, absorbing information from internal and external sources to produce products or perform services. After all, it is information that allows companies to make progress toward fulfilling their missions and that enables potential customers to learn about available products and services.
Communication Process Model
Organizational communication follows the same model as human communication, beginning with meaning that needs to be conveyed from one communicator to another. Effective communication does not occur until the meaning that the sender wants to transmit is accurately communicated to and understood by the message receiver. At the beginning of the corporate communication process, the sender of the message, either an individual within the organization or the entity itself, must encode the message before it can be transmitted to a receiver.
Encoding involves choosing the symbols that will be used to convey meaning. The symbols can be words, sounds, images or another form of nonverbal communication. Once a message has been encoded, it is transmitted via a channel with the ultimate goal being for the message to reach the intended recipient. A channel can be a conversation, email message, letter, speech, newsletter, podcast or any other media that can be used to convey messages.
Once information travels through a channel and is received, the message recipient must then decode the message. This process involves translating the words and symbols used to convey the message back into meaning. If the meaning that the message sender intended to transmit is the same as the meaning the receiver understands, the communication event has been a success. In the context of a corporate environment, the communication process typically requires action on the part of the message recipient, either in terms of a change in behavior, a new way of performing a task or transmitting the information to another person or group of people, inside or outside of the organization.
Several things can go wrong with the communication process that can keep a message from reaching the intended target. Noise, which is any potential communication interference, can occur during any phase of the corporate communication process. For example, if an electronic newsletter is caught in a spam filter, it will not reach the intended recipient. If an employee policy is communicated only in writing but some workers are not literate, there is no chance that they will receive the message. If new procedures are discussed in a meeting but there is no follow-up memo, employees who are absent from the meeting will not be aware of the changes.
Corporate communication serves a number of important purposes for an organization. For example, the corporate communication process is the means by which managers convey instructions and policies to employees, the way that employees ask questions to clarify their understanding of the work they are to perform and how the company's image is created in the community.