Corporate Semiosis IASS World Congress
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Corporate Semiosis IASS World Congress



Some Ideas on why it's better to work with the concept of corporate semiosis instead of corporate communication

Some Ideas on why it's better to work with the concept of corporate semiosis instead of corporate communication



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Corporate Semiosis IASS World Congress Corporate Semiosis IASS World Congress Presentation Transcript

  • Corporate Semiosis instead of Corporate Communication. How to apply semiotics pragmatically in the field of entrepreneurship and management. Paper for the 10th IASS/AIS world congress A Coruña, September 2009
  • What is this about? • Who is KMB? • Status quo on corporate communication • The idea of corporate semiosis • Consequences for corporate semiotics • Consequences for enterprises
  • Who is KMB?
  • KMB|Dr. Klaus M. Bernsau – professional • Dr. Klaus M. Bernsau: nearly 20 years experience as consultant and conceptionist for advertising and marketing agencies • Founder and owner of the consultancy “KMB|Konzept • Management • Beratung für Unternehmenskommunikation” (i.e. Concept Management Consulting for Corporate Communication C4) • Clients: Coca-Cola, ContiTech, Deutsche Bahn, Deutsche Post, Opel, Rewe, but also many small and middle seized companies • Branches: automotive, energy, finance, retail/FMCG, industry, IT/telecom, logistics, pharma, fashion •
  • KMB|Dr. Klaus M. Bernsau – scientific • Dr. Klaus M. Bernsau: Studies of Communication Science, German Literature, Marketing, Physics, Sociology and Information Management • Magister (M.A.) Degree in Communication Science about “Signs for Sale – Coca-Cola-Marketing looked upon in a semiotic way” • Dr. phil. Degree about “Changing the economic structure is changing the social meaning – Regional-marketing of the Ruhrgebiet” • For over 15 years teacher and researcher at University Duisburg Essen main subjects: Corporate Communication, Communication Theory, and Semiotics • Different presentations and publications about the theory of corporate communication in nowadays globalizing media society
  • Status quo onresults of acting and thinking people Meanings are corporate communication Is useless to reduce this to too simple models And the new media bring back the importance of an individualistic view on communication
  • The universe of corporate communication social Corporate Environment Public Media Advertising Vehicles Social Media Plants Corporate Products Communities Corporate Media Services Press Releases Software Brochures technical Engines Uniform ‘natural’ Corporate Tool Blogs Hardware Speeches Twitter Blue collar White collar tools Manuals tools Clothing Personal Media Letters Personal Tools personal
  • The normal ‘theory’ of corporate communication Participants in the Purchase of Market oriented market or company act product or communication the communication service mistakes, errors, resistances, barriers
  • Advertising is communication and the typical semiotic analysis of advertising Fixed content is transfered and decoded Semiotic can and has to decoded obvious and hidden meaning in an advertisement
  • The web is personal (again) “The power of a single individual to shape perceptions on a massive scale is a dramatic and fundamental shift. Brands aren’t defined by campaigns anymore, but by the consumer ecosystems we nurture to support 5 Behaviours to survive them.” 1) Turn consumers into “prosumers” 2) Built bilateral brand experiences Mike Mendenhall, 3) Place context on par with content Marketing Chief of HP 4) Master the new calculus of communication 5) Collaboration is king
  • The idea of corporate semiosis
  • Relation between communication and semiosis signal/ sender receiver message Objekt Se Si Rc Representamen Interpretant (acc. C.S.Peirce) OS OR Se Si Si Rc (acc. K.M.Bernsau) IS CS CR IR
  • Relation between communication and semiosis signal/ sender receiver message Reference C1 C2 (Self-)Expression Appeal (acc. K.Bühler) referential poetic metalingual K1 K2 expressive conative (acc. R.Jakobson) phatic
  • Identity: from one to many Emergence of common understanding as communication process Consensus (R) (R) public media R M (R) (R) Erweiterung von K.Merten (1999) about Know- event K A A ledge A A and values personal K K (K) (K) Web 2.0 (K) (K) (K)
  • The face-to-face-process is essential even for corporate communication • subjective • interactive • interpretative • constructive • cognitive • fallible • materialistic • cumulative/historic © Rusch (1990)
  • The complexity of corporate semiosis • Multiple (single) sign aspects: Peircean, Buehlerean, Morrisean, Jacobsonean • The temporal, historical and spatial experience with signs of a certain company • The actual or the virtual communication process • The emergence and sedimentation of commonly shared interpretations • We end up in a 4 dimensional space of corporate semiosis communication paradigma communication syntagma sign syntagma sign paradigma
  • Corporate semiosis: back to basics Product = O Sign Object (O) facts A simple The corporate economic sign sign process R I Logo = Brand = means visions L L Sign carrierer (R) Interpretatant (I)
  • The corporate sign process Strength of Meaning „final interpretant“ = steady meaning of sign Depth of Meaning Clearity of Meaning Sawtooth Diagram of Semiotic Work I O Z Semiotic Work (© KMB 2004) I R Z Diffusion + Oblivion O R Time
  • Corporate meaning: from immediate to final O Company Corporate Interpretation O S I Communication Means O S I R R* S IR S* O I* I° IR O* S Distracting sign processes Neutral sign processes S° R e.g. broschures O° R°
  • Consequences: Elements of corporate semiotics Concepts • Structure description of sign • Pragmatic and epistemological model (carriers) and sign systems of the sign process Our Vision: an integrated, open, interdisciplinary, generally static accepted theory and methodology dynamic of (corporate) semiotics • Interdisciplinary knowledge about • Empiric knowledge about recent the sign objects and former interpretations and meanings interpretations Methods
  • Semiotics challenges • Corporate semiosis is very promising field for semiotics – Knowledge wise – Income wise • Semiotics have to focus on the ongoing sign process, not on exegesis of single dead materials like ads • Semiotics have to set up a model integrating the interacting factors of: – Sign material used in companies – Communication processes between employers and employees, companies and costumers and among entrepreneurs and costumers – Socialization of employer, employees, and costumers as individuals and members of social groups
  • A corporate vision on semiotics “Semiotic management corporate values ltd.” • Semiotic management tools • Semiotics speaking the language of the management • Not only market research • But also active impact, as: – Semiotic scorecard – Symbolic values dashboard – communication initiatives with semiotic controlling – Sign setting – Media and mean controlling
  • Consequences: a semiotic controlling system for enterprices syntactic Visability pragmatic syntactic Visability pragmatic silent communicativ uniformity personality Single utterance Single utterance Specific mean Spefic mean Importance Importance Importance of interpretation of interpretation of interpretation Corporate Corporate Culture Culture consent controverse identity diversity semantic Visability sigmatic? semantic sigmatic? Visability (pragmatic) (pragmatic)
  • Consequences: a semiotic controlling system for enterprices syntactic Visability pragmatic featureless attractiv Importance Importance of interpretation of interpretation discreet sexy semantic sigmatic? Visability (pragmatic)
  • Summary Corporate Communication Corporate Semiosis • ‚communication‘ is a very open and • Starting at the basis: the single sign diffuse concept process – Advertising & marketing • Focusing on the interpreters power – Internal & human ressources • Offering a possibility of integrating all – IT & telecommunication aspects of embedded sign processes – Public & investor relations • Offering new explanatory power to – Online & social media the companies • Based on a insufficient model • Leaving the dead end of the monocausal technical and medial • Ignoring the essentials of the human communication models communication process • Offering the great challenge to • Ignoring the inherent sign process semiotics of further developing their • Ignoring the complexity of modern theories and results according the communication possibilities companies needs
  • Questions Doubts Comments Additions Improvements Discussion!
  • Thank you very much, and hope to see you soon:!
  • KMB|We are looking forward to you Service offering Contact details • Concept: Development of all future activities in KMB | Dr. Klaus M. Bernsau consideration of all relevant and promising instruments Konzept | Management | Beratung für and media (effect full, networked, intermedia, contemporary) Unternehmenskommunikation Hessenring 8 • Management: Taking over of the communication D-65205 Wiesbaden / Germany projects as virtual "full-service-agency" via the KMB network of competent service providers; management Phone +49-6122-704324 of the tasks with corporate intern resources and with Fax +49-6122-704378 existing extern partners of the client (e.g. temporary Mobil +49-178-2376728 (+49-178-Bernsau) management of advertising or projects); accompanying project leader (quick, flexible, good value, E-mail experienced) Web • Consulting: Analysis of weakness in existing concepts, activities, structures and teams; optimization consulting, goal development incl. buildup of quality- and controlling-processes; accompanying consulting of all relevant steps in corporate communication activities (open in results, critical, competent, goal- orientated)