Questions (for you)

Why Communicate at all?

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!


5 thoughts on “Why Communicate at all?

  1. In principle I’d say that as short definitions, they’re pretty spot on…and even cover the two-way communication of social media. In the real world though, sometimes the communications function is also charged with preventing the transfer of information. The reason that communications HAS to exist is that if an organisation doesn’t communicate, then others will communicate about it anyway, leaving that organisation no longer in control of the knowledge that others have about it…and without knowledge their response to it can be negative for no genuine reason

    • Hi Nick

      Thanks! Yes, hadn’t included the ‘protection’ side of the job – thanks for reminding me.

      Love the bit about ‘others will communicate about it anyway’ – might move that area higher in my final report!

      It’s fun having to justify an entire industry. Can’t wait to start justifying my team and all of the work that we do!!!
      Much appreciated!

    • I have just completed my degree in Communications and reasons for why communicate at all have just been answered as well as Nick’s comment. Thank you!

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