Building Your Corporate Image Through Public Relations
By Sunday Ikwuagwu
Every organisation exists with a corporate identity unique to itself and distinguishing it from others, regardless of how similar they may be. It transcends visual elements which may include logo, colours, fonts, pay offs and other graphics associated with the company.
Creating a holistic corporate identity presupposes taking into account all aspects which define the organization’s purpose and everything it stands for. This includes the Vision, Mission, Core Values, Corporate Culture and Governance and Business Goals of the company.
Proactively building a corporate identity will ensure an organization’s consistency and coherence when engaging its internal and external stakeholders, elicit renewed confidence and trust and distinguish it from competitors.
While corporate identity is how an organisation wants to be perceived by the public, corporate image is the actual public perception of the company, and managing that perception is very crucial. The ultimate aim of a company is the exact alignment of corporate identity with corporate image, so that the public views the company exactly as the company wants to be seen.
The overall business success of a company will depend on its corporate image which attracts attention and sustains consumer loyalty. Every organisation, no matter how large or small, ultimately depends on its image and reputation for survival and success.
In today’s evolving and competitive market, a positive corporate image is a company’s greatest asset and should be considered a strategic priority that must be achieved. A favourable corporate image will help an organisation gain a competitive advantage and a fair share of the market.
Deploying an effective Public Relations strategy in achieving a favourable organizational image requires skilful and adept planning which incorporates situation analysis, defining target and publics, defining objectives, media selection, budgeting, implementation, control and monitoring and evaluation.
In developing a strategy to successfully build and enhance your corporate image, you must analyse trends. Investigate the current situation of the organisation from the public standpoint. This is also called Perception Audit. By doing this, you detect the current perception ratio of the negatives versus the positives and neutralize the negatives before it turns into a conflagration that could do serious damage to your business.
American business magnate and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, Warren Buffet, said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and 5 minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.”
Identifying your key target audiences is very crucial in building a favourable image. Your target audiences will consist of a mix of external and internal groups, including customers, clients, partners, employees, government, investors, media and industry professionals.
It’s important to be very specific when defining your audiences. You need clarity about the groups you are targeting to craft an effective strategy that will speak directly to their unique concerns.
Enhancing your company’s image basically involves communicating your successes to the widest possible audience. You excerpt testimonials, awards, and other accolades in your communication materials, in the media, on your website, social media handles, and physical (and virtual) spaces around your business environment.
When your various publics come in contact with this information, it will make a positive brand impression that is likely to cause them to have a positive perception about your company and tell people they know through their networks. By this, you can leverage your earned corporate image to increase your business profitability and make positive impressions on existing and potential customers, prospects, future employees, vendors, and all your constituents.
Developing clear and concise messages that stimulate the public’s interest in your company is vital. Your messages must be stakeholder focused. A feedback mechanism is also very necessary to elicit responses from various stakeholders and make adjustments arising from negative public outcry that could threaten the business.
Cultivating a healthy relationship with the media and implementing an effective media relations strategy will help mitigate negative consequences when your company falls into a crisis situation. A robust media relationship offers higher credibility and helps in building corporate presence and reinforce brand image using the media.
It is important to get involved in Corporate Social Investment. Engaging in CSI is a good way to build a favourable corporate image and renew public confidence in your company. It projects the company’s reputation and creates the picture of a responsible business, which can in turn, lead to competitive advantage.
The advantages accruable from CSI include positive business reputation, positive media attention, easier access to finance, government recognition, increased sales and customer loyalty, ease of doing business, greater ability to attract talent and retain staff, and organisational growth.
Corporate Sponsorship is another smart way to increase your company’s brand visibility, awareness and ultimately your company’s corporate image. Sponsorship gives your company the opportunity to boost the perceived image of your business, gain media exposure and build your brand authority.
The more your company’s brand name is associated with positive experiences or emotions through sponsorships, the stronger your corporate image will be.
Improving your company’s corporate culture in also very necessary. The internal stakeholders form an integral part of the business, and are the immediate face of the organization. It is important to align them with the business goals, values, vision and mission of your company through an effective internal communications structure. The public disposition of an employee creates a certain image of the organization in the minds of the public.
Incorporating image as part of corporate strategy and investing in reputation management requires a diligent, strategic approach. The tactic needs to be consistent, targeted and factual in support of an organization’s long-term business plans. It has been proven that investing in a quality image provides an ongoing return that organizations can measure in many ways.
Once you take steps to build and protect your corporate image, you can benefit greatly by implementing measures to leverage the positives. Most important of all, a good corporate image will provide a solid foundation on which you can build a successful business.
Always remember that how the public perceives your brand is vital to the success of your business. For that reason, investing in conscious efforts to improve your public image is one of the most effective ways to grow your business and become successful in your industry.
Sunday Ikwuagwu is the Principal Consultant at Walmond Communications Limited. He can be reached on 08181407842, 08070857968, firstname.lastname@example.org or www.walmondcommunications.com.
Airtel Showcases Ease of Home Broadband Connectivity in New TV Commercial
By Modupe Gbadeyanka
Airtel Nigeria has introduced a new television commercial to showcase the exceptional benefits of its Home Broadband connectivity.
The Airtel Home Broadband offers a Basic package, with unlimited internet and up to 40Mbps download speed; the Standard package, with 100Mbps download speed; the Entertainment package with=200Mbps download speed; the Professional package with200Mbps download speed; and the Infinity package, which offers up to 1GBps download speed.
To let subscribers know how all these packages can allow them to enjoy unlimited internet access, Airtel Nigeria contracted the services of a popular Nollywood actor, Eyinna Nwigwe.
The movie star played the character of a young man navigating through his daily remote work routine and how he manages to maintain a balance between his work and personal life, staying effortlessly connected with his business associates and loved ones across the globe.
“The high-speed internet and reliable connection of the Airtel Home Broadband makes it the preferred choice for those who require a reliable connection and access to data.
“This offers users the ease and speed to access websites, stream videos, and download files. Moreover, the network’s reliable connection ensures that users experience fewer disruptions in their online activities.
“As such, this makes it the go-to option for those who need a dependable connection to get their work done or stay connected with friends and family,” the Chief Commercial Officer of Airtel Nigeria, Mr Femi Oshinlaja, said of the benefits of the Airtel BroadBand.
Airtel Employees Donate Routers to Lagos Secondary School
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
Some routers loaded with 100GB of data and a two-month roll-over access fee have been donated to a government-owned secondary school in Lagos, Kuramo College, by employees of Airtel Nigeria.
The items were given to the school by Airtel employees under the company’s corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, Employee Volunteer Scheme Initiative.
The routers, specifically donated by the Airtel Information and Technology team, are expected to aid digital learning in the school and boost the knowledge of the students.
“Airtel aims to empower young minds by equipping them with the connectivity to imagine and unlock a world of knowledge and opportunities.
“For Airtel, it is no longer about being a smartphone network but giving people a reason to imagine so that people can explore the possibilities powered by technology and connectivity.
“The world is evolving; young Nigerians now have access to unlimited possibilities and can now create their job titles and descriptions, which is why we now have YouTubers, social media Influencers and the likes,” the Director of Information and Technology at Airtel Nigeria, Mr Seun Solanke, said.
He encouraged the students to maximize the provision of connectivity to back up their future imaginations with the right information and resources to ensure a bright future.
The activities under the Airtel Nigeria Employee Volunteer Scheme, said Airtel management, aligns with the company’s commitment to bridging the digital divide in the country and enabling students to leverage the power of the internet, as the distribution of routers with data plans will ensure that students have uninterrupted access to educational resources, research materials, and online learning platforms, regardless of their socio-economic background.
Zoho Grows User Base to 90 million, Posts 65% Upmarket Growth
By Aduragbemi Omiyale
More and more people are embracing the products of Zoho Corporation, a leading global technology company, as the company now boasts more than 90 million users across more than 600,000 global businesses of all sizes.
Also, the organisation has recorded a three-year CAGR of 65 per cent in mid-market and enterprise segments, representing one-third of the entire business.
This is because of the steady upmarket growth Zoho is recording across the Middle East and Africa region, with its seventh office in Nairobi, Kenya, officially launched.
It was observed that Zoho is witnessing an uptick due to its investments in go-to-market services, new products, platform extensibility, privacy and security to improve the customer experience and enable success.
The Country Manager for Zoho Nigeria, Mr Kehinde Ogundare, said, “With our strong DNA as a technology platform company, we have been able to steadily improve our maturity and readiness for large organisations by investing in adjacent areas.”
“Our humble roots in SMB have helped us systematically build powerful software with strong everyday usability.
“Across our products, extensibility, usability, packaging, and go-to-market approach, Zoho aims to be the simplest enterprise software vendor in the market,” he added.
Speaking further, he said, “Today’s announcement serves as a testament to that goal, helping our customers adopt more of our software, add new capabilities, extend our platform to suit their granular workflows and get ready for the future.
“Whether customers buy our software for one department or the entire organisation, one workflow or a collection of customer journeys, the experience with Zoho will be far simpler than with any other large vendor.”
Zoho said it aims to expand EBS across skills, industry depth, and regional presence to help enterprise businesses manage their technology stack better in today’s economic climate. EBS provides expertise to large organisations across solutions engineering, account management, and customer success.
The platform accepts payment in over 15 currencies worldwide, facilitating global procurement efforts for enterprise organisations with regional operations through unified multi-currency invoicing.
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