Communication is the cornerstone function of every organisation. It is the most important link between an organisation and the public.
What it’s about: It is the messages issued by a corporate organisation, body or institute to its audiences, such as employees, media, channel partners and the public. It deals with communication an organisation makes internally and externally, blending coherency with the company’s goals and ethics. Corporate communication is an umbrella that encompasses fields like advertising, public relations, internal communications, investor relations, crisis management, brand management, events and in some cases, can extend to marketing as well.
Why it is required: Organisations aim to communicate the same message to all stakeholders, to transmit coherence, credibility and ethics. Corporate communications help organisations explain their mission, combine its many visions and values into a cohesive message. Communication plays a major role in the conception, implementation, monitoring and reporting on all corporate or business activities.
Role of a corporate communicator: Event organisation; product and brand communication; integrated communication; crisis PR; public affairs; lobbying; handling data; handling the image in the public domain; working with its partners, collaborators or principals; maintaining favourable contacts with financial organisations; publicising corporate attitudes and activities as beneficial to the public at large; corporate branding; and developing, executing and evaluating communications strategies.
How to get into this field: Aspiring candidates should gain on-field work experience through participation in part-time internships, undertaking projects or full-time internships. Additional skills in multimedia, media management, effective public writing, research and analysis skills and strategy development are also required. One should attend industry events, trade fairs, informal meet-ups of PR and marketing professionals, join the right forums on social media, be present and be heard at public events and seminars.
Courses: Corporate communication is not taught as a separate course. Most courses in corporate communication are offered along with the courses in public relation. There are also specialised programmes in marketing communications and media management that cover the areas handled in corporate communications. The courses in mass communication, public relation and advertising are offered at the graduate, post graduate, certificate and diploma level.
Eligibility: Most of these courses are post-graduate courses which require a bachelor’s degree in any discipline, preferably with commerce or business or social sciences. Preferred disciplines are sociology, psychology, economics, marketing and business management.
Institutes: Xavier’s Institute of Communication Mumbai; Indian Institute of Mass Communication, Delhi; Mudra Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad; National Academy of Event Management and Development; Manipal Institute of Communication; WLCI College; Renaissance College of Commerce and Management, Indore; Vishwakarma Global Business School, Pune; School of Mass Communication, Noida; Bharathiar University; St Xavier’s College, Goa; Goa University; Delhi University; Mumbai University; Pune University; Himachal Pradesh University; Punjab University; GD Goenka School of Communication, Gurgaon; Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, New Delhi; North-Eastern Hill University, Shillong; Kurukshetra University; Guru Jambheshwar University, Hissar; Chitkara School of Mass Communication, Chandigarh; Guru Nanak Dev University, Jalandhar; South Calcutta Girls College, Barrack pore; Sophia College, Mumbai; Indian Institute of Mass Communication JNU campus, New Delhi; Amity University; Symbiosis Institute of Journalism and Communication, Pune; Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, Bangalore; Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, BHU; Sardar Patel College of Communication and Management, Delhi.
What one really needs: Graduates in English literature and mass communication with some hands-on experience are preferred at the entry level, so are MBAs. A degree or diploma in mass communication helps for a career in corporate communication. A degree would not give you the strategic thinking and ability to make and maintain contacts that matter a lot in corporate communication.
Competition: Competition for corporate communications positions is high. A master’s degree in public relations and corporate communications may give recent graduates the nudge they need to stand out from other job seekers. Students should plan to take courses in communication law and ethics, media relationship maintenance, effective public writing, research and analysis skills and strategy development.
Job titles: Communications associates, communications managers, directors, client communications coordinator and marketing communications manager.
Career prospects: Prospects in the field are plentiful and the need to maintain a brand has grown considerably. Even the target audiences have expanded radically.
Employment avenues: Commercial organisations, government organisations, advertising agencies, event management companies, tourism departments, consultancy firms, financial services and non-commercial institutions, international organisations and NGO’s.
Salary: The pay scales in the sector vary based on the organisation and experience on part of the candidate. A candidate with a relevant degree and good communication skills can also get remuneration in the range of `3.5 lakhs per annum which goes up to `5-6 lakhs. At the entry level, corporate communicators usually draw salary of `15,000 to `20,000.
Skills required: One should possess excellent communication skills, be responsible, quick learner, have a pleasing personality and be a team leader. He/she should be polite and confident. A keen eye for detail, quick decision-making capabilities, organising abilities, sociability, inquisitiveness and time management are also qualities that are required.
A corporate communication professional is not restricted to a specific industry. Reputation is intangible but it is a powerful asset that attracts great talent, builds consumer loyalty, allows businesses to influence stakeholder opinion and helps determine the premium customers are willing to pay. These are great differentiators and businesses are starting to recognise their importance. Therefore, there never has been a better time than now to think of a career in corporate communications.
Director Alpha Mindz