Corporate Communication is the term used to describe a variety of management functions related to an organization’s internal and external communications.
Depending on the organization, corporate communication can include such traditional disciplines as public relations, investor relations, employee relations, community relations, media relations, labor relations, government relations, technical communications, training and employee development, marketing communications, management communications. Many organizations also include philanthropic activity, crisis and emergency communications, and advertising as part of corporate communication functions.
Technologies, such as the Internet, underscore the global character of communication. In practice, corporate communication is a strategic tool for the corporation to gain a competitive advantage. Corporations use it to lead, motivate, persuade, and inform employees — and the public as well. Understanding corporate communication provides the vision a company requires in an information driven economy for strategic planning.
Corporate communication is more art than science. Its intellectual foundations began with the Greeks and Romans with rhetoric. Its body of knowledge is interdisciplinary, drawing on the methods and findings of: anthropology; communications; language and linguistics; management and marketing; semiotics; sociology; psychology.
Several universities in the United States and in Europe are adding corporate communication degrees at the graduate and undergraduate levels. A center devoted to the theory and practice of corporate communication will provide a national and international focus for this increasingly important field.