A Communications function in any organisation has one clear purpose and one clear outcome.
Purpose: To facilitate knowledge transfer between parties
Outcome: To promote action as a result of that knowledge transfer.
The Communications function (whether defined as PR, marketing, internal communications, experiential marketing et al) therefore exists to inform the target audience of the existence of a product/service; increase the audience’s knowledge of the benefits of a product/service/information resource and develop interaction between the source of the knowledge and the target audience.
Since a Communications function is a two-way process, the outcome of the function is to drive interaction and engagement with the knowledge being transmitted. This might mean the target audience increases its purchasing proclivity, adjusts its behaviour in response to receiving the knowledge or forming a relationship with the issuing authority as a result of understanding the knowledge. In short, knowledge transfer causes a reaction of some kind – even if that reaction is simply generating understanding and acceptance.
It is therefore evident that a communications function, in any industry, must understand its target audience, transmit the knowledge to them in a way that they can absorb and be prepared to answer any questions or deal with any interactions that come as part of that knowledge.
I’ve been told to provide a basic level justification for the existence of the entire communications industry, before even attempting to justify the sub-divisions of PR/Marketing/Experiential activity – or even before justifying why it’s worth my time writing strategies…
Do you agree with the basic core of ‘Communications’ above? Would love to learn from your comments!