Strategic communication advice


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Strategic communication advice

  1. 1. Strategic communication advice 2013 – 2015 1. Short analysis of the corporate communication Summary of the analysis of the corporate reputation and analysis of the external communication media of the company Short summary of Part A - focus on social responsibility: Kelly (1 does not describe very well 7 describes very well) -> Your rating 1-7 1. Emotional Appeal: You simply like, admire, or trust the company. 4 2. Products and Services: You think the company sells products or services that are high quality, innovative, reliable, or a good value for the money. Financial Performance: You’ve been happy with the company’s profitability, believe it has strong future prospects, and isn’t too risky to invest in. Vision and Leadership: You feel the company has a clear vision for the future and strong leadership. Workplace Environment: You believe the company is well-managed, has topnotch employees, and would be great to work for. Social Responsibility: You think the company is a good citizen—it supports good causes, doesn’t damage the environment, and does right by local communities. 6 3. 4. 5. 6. External communication media Visibility Transparency Authenticity Distinctiveness 7 5 3 2 Consistency Website 7 5 6 5 7 Corporate blog 0 0 0 0 0 Annual Report Advertisements / commercial targeted at customers Communication targeted at shareholders Reporting about multinational using Lexis Nexis Reporting in social media about the company 6 6 7 4 7 4 4 6 5 4 5 6 7 4 7 0 0 7 0 0 6 5 6 4 6
  2. 2. From the table above it is clear that in the case of Analysis external communication media of the company, Walmart best falls in the categories: Website, Annual report and targeted communication at the shareholders. The presence of website in this group is quite obvious considering the fact that nowadays having a decent website is absolutely indispensable element of the business. High marks for Annual report and targeted communication at the shareholders also should not surprise anyone because of the strict rules and guidelines regarding the presence of the company on the stock exchange. Walmart does not have a corporate blog, so in this category could not be granted any points. Reporting about multinational using Lexis Nexis was absolutely the lowest rated due to lack of access to that category. Decent result was achieved for Reporting in social media about the company. Average score for Advertisements / commercial targeted at customers seems to be a confirmation of the weaknesses and problems faced by Walmart. Identify, prioritize, and profile reputation of company among stakeholders Stakeholders Customers Suppliers Shareholders Employees Public authorities Government Prioritize 1 – 7 (7 is most important, 1 least important) 7 4 5 6 2 1 Identify issues of importance amongst key stakeholders Stakeholders Customers Suppliers Shareholders Employees Public authorities Government Issues of importance Price of products, product quality, social responsibility Payment, terms and conditions Profit, dividends, sustainable development Salary and good job opportunities, benefits, diverse workforce Conduct business responsibly Follow law, work legally For Wal-Mart it is important to satisfy the needs of all stakeholders and to communicate well with them. To reach the different types of stakeholders the company has to use target oriented communication and has to keep in mind that company’s reputation is getting more and more important. Wal-Mart is not even on list of the 100 most reputable companies in 2013.1 If there’s no change from the side of Wal-Mart it can be difficult for the company to stay successful. Reputation is a strong trend and pressure from public and calls for sustainable companies. It is important for Wal-Mart to adapt to this trend and spread this message to general audience. 2. Target Audiences Wal-Mart is directing its communication to all stakeholders but customers are in our opinion most important for the company. That’s why we explain in the following this target group in detail and reasons why Wal-Mart should improve its communication to them. Customers are not part of the company but yet they are the most important stakeholders for Walmart. Costumers have a keen interest in what the company does and may influence their 1 2013 - Global RepTrak™ 100 The World’s Most Reputable Companies
  3. 3. decision-making. Walmart is committed to satisfy the needs of its customer stakeholders since they create their turnover. Achieving this objective is challenging. Wal-Mart was established to help save customer’s money. The customer’s that they targeted are considered “value price shoppers”. These shoppers include men, women and children as Wal-Mart is offering a wide variety of products. Customers can find toys for their children, jewelry, kitchen items and even electrical and hardware supplies. It can be said that the company’s targeted customers are mainly families and individuals with modest incomes. They are typically interested in the value of the product offered, and less interested in product branding. The customers are looking for a great deal and central location for everything. 3. Communication goals Wal-Mart’s communication efforts should aim to improve its social responsibility. The retailer already uses mass Medias like television, ads, social media, websites and a lot more. The company informs its customer about their wide variety of products and their brand image but there’s hardly any communication that shows social responsibility. Wal-Mart is trying to concentrate too much on revenues and is so missing the bigger picture. If Wal-Mart is going to make the business only with higher and higher revenues as a target, with no improvements to a better social responsibility, we are worried about Wal-Mart and its position as a top retailer. Ecologically correct behaviour and social responsibility is significantly important to our society. Sustainability is an issue most customers want to improve. Wal-Mart should disclose their attitude on this subject and show how they perform in order to gain the customer’s confidence. To fulfil this interest it’s important to operate a transparent information policy. Knowledge: 20% of the customers know that Wal-Mart is doing social responsibility statements in 2015 Attitude: 10% of the customers find it good that Wal-Mart has social responsibility statements and the company tries to show more social responsibility in public Behavior: 3% of the customers regularly read the social responsibility statements and can identify themselves better with the company’s attitude and behavior 4. Message / archetype Wal-Mart’s message is to take more social responsibility and communicate this to its target group the customers. In order to achieve this goal Wal-Mart publishes social responsibility statements so customers get aware of the changing attitude and behavior of the company. Wal-Mart is the everyman archetype whom customers supposed to be able to identify easily. This archetype gives people a sense of belonging, with everyday functionality, low to moderate prices and differentiation form elitist or high-priced brands. 2 Wal-Mart’s slogan: “Saving people money so they can live better.” support this behavior and helped Wal-Mart to be one of the biggest retailer in the world on the basis of its everyday pricing. As Wal-Mart is 2
  4. 4. an everyman the idea of publishing social responsibility statements is a great way to achieve the message. It’s a way that suits to the archetype and can be realized. 5. Communication mix In order to achieve our goals and objectives it is necessary to choose possibly the most effective communication mix. Due to the fact that the biggest weaknesses of Wal-Mart are the lack of adequate transparency, low level of distinctiveness and non-use of CRM by this company, communication mix should be built on the basis of interactive marketing and PR and publicity. The corresponding statement of items containing the categories mentioned above should provide a significant improvement in transparency and increase consumer awareness about social responsibility of Wal-Mart. Due to the fact that, in our opinion, company's knowledge about customers is as important as the knowledge of consumers about the company, we strongly advise Wal-Mart – start using CRM in practice. In-depth knowledge about customers can let to react quickly in case of crises of image and improve the effectiveness of communication activities.
  5. 5. 6. Plan the communication mix activities 2014-2016 Quarter 1 Online Website Video YouTube Banner ads Facebook Email marketing Offline Brochure, ads TV Quarter 2 Quarter 3 Quarter 4 Create a new button on the website, showing social responsibility statements of the company. Preparing videos of WalMart, which shows social responsibility. For example Wal-Mart supports environmental projects. Make a plan which banners should be when. Make sure the themes line up with the period of the year and check the discounts. Focus on direct communication with customers Send an email newsletter with the best discounts to the subscribed customers Create and publish new TV ads containing latest achieve in the field of social responsibility Draw attention to this new button on WalMart’s website. Publish latest social responsibility actions of WalMart on this button. Publish latest social responsibility actions of WalMart on this button. Launch this video on YouTube and draw attention to it. Preparing new videos of WalMart how the company take care of social problems in our society. Launch this video on YouTube and draw attention to it. Make banners with the best discounts, and keep the themes of the month in mind Evaluate the payoff of the banners by looking at sales Make a strategic plan for the banners in the future Focus on direct communication with customers Send an email newsletter with the best discounts to the subscribed customers Create and publish new TV ads containing new ideas in the field of social responsibility Focus on direct communication with customers Send an email newsletter with the best discounts to the subscribed customers Publish summary of latest social responsibility actions of WalMart on brochures Focus on direct communication with customers Send an email newsletter with the best discounts to the subscribed customers Publish summary of latest social responsibility actions of WalMart on brochures
  6. 6. 7. Organisation of the communication Press officer A press officer is the main person who talks to the media. They act as an official representative of the organisation and handle all press related issues. What a press officer does is preparing, writing and distributing press releases. They are handling media queries and they have almost constant contact with the media. Also, they track media coverage relating to the company, keep an eye on industry developments and organising press conferences. Public relations manager Public relations are all about managing the reputation of the company. Since Wal-Marts reputation is not that great, with big scandals in the past, we feel like Walmart can use public relations managers. Hopefully Wal-Mart can influence the opinion and behaviour of the customers. PR officers use all forms of media and communication to build, maintain and manage their company’s reputation. PR officers monitor publicity and conduct research to find out the concerns and expectations of an organisation's stakeholders. They then report and explain the findings to its management. Marketing communication manager This person is responsible for brand management and community awareness of Wal-Mart through all forms of communication. Their tasks include; developing and implementing key marketing and public relations strategies by creating and disseminating various print and multimedia materials, managing direct mail appeals, distributing press releases, developing relationships with local media, placing feature articles, and supporting fund development initiatives through such activities as special events. Advertising manager An advertising manager oversees the advertising activity of a company. The specific role of the advertising manager varies depending on the business. General activities for this job include forming and directing the business' strategy for advertising, implementing advertising campaigns and supervising various advertising-related departments. During a specific advertising campaign, a manager must estimate the campaign's budget and approve the advertising material, as well as evaluate the campaign's overall performance following its conclusion. 8. Budget Budget in $ Website Social media: Facebook Youtube Banner ads 2014 100000 2015 100000 2016 100000 600 213000 60000 600 213000 60000 600 213000 60000
  7. 7. E-mail marketing Brochures TV ads Total 2880 129900 110000 616380 2880 129900 110000 616380 2880 129900 110000 616380 This budget contains plan the communication mix activities 2014-2016. Budget was created in order to recognize the amounts which are necessary to achieve our goals. 9. Evaluation To evaluate if Wal-Mart improved their communication to their customers in showing them more social responsibility we want to hold an internet survey online each year in December. So once a year the company will evaluate their social responsibility. To achieve that as many as possible customers are taking part in this survey we will provide a prize. It’s the time before Christmas so the prize could be a weekend in New York for Christmas shopping. In this way we hope to stimulate as many people as possible to review our work and efforts. Moreover we advise Wal-Mart to hold regularly meetings with all departments who are mainly responsible to achieve the goal, to make sure everyone is working for the same objective. During these meetings the development of Wal-Mart’s communication to their customers should be evaluated so it becomes clear what needs to be improved and what is being done well. A good way to measure the improvements and changes is a structured plan, which shows what needs to be done and whether the efforts are implemented in the right way.