Article published in ManagerExpress.ro
A new study by the training and consultancy company Valoria analyzes the responses of top executives from companies in various industries in Romania about how their firms are addressing the topic of strategic communication. The study measures various quantitative and qualitative aspects that indicate how Romanian companies are dealing with the communication function.
The report analyzes the answers obtained from 440 top executives and marketing and communication specialists from the local business environment between to an online questionnaire made up of 15 questions using the CAWI (computer assisted web interview) method. The responses have been collected from 25 June to 14 August 2018.
Strategic communication within an organization involves the existence of a cause and effect relationship between communication activities and the achievement of the organization’s objectives. This means that communication programs contribute to the achievement of the organization’s strategic activities in a quantifiable manner. Moreover, the integrated nature of strategic communication increases the capacity of the organization’s internal actors to participate in the achievement of its objectives. In an organization, strategic communication is a function of both external and internal communication processes. In Romania, 57% of companies say they have a communication department.
Only 35% of respondents say their company has a formal communication strategy, 28% say their company has such a strategy, but it is not a formal one, and 37% they do not have any communication strategy. Of these, 24% say they are planning to define a communication strategy, but 7% do not have nor plan to define a strategy. For 58% of companies, the communication strategy is an integral part of the business strategy, which is relevant because only a communication strategy aligned with the strategic values and objectives of the business will generate trust and engagement within the company, as well as credibility and notoriety outside the organization.
According to the respondents, communication managers are involved in strategic planning in 61% of companies, 23% say are only partially involved, but 16% say they are not involved in this process in any way. For small companies with incomes of less than EUR 1 million, it is easiest for communication managers to be involved in strategic planning of the company’s communication approach, and 70% of respondents confirm this. For companies with incomes over EUR 100 million, only 45% of communication managers answer positively to this question. In these companies also drops the percentages of the communication experts who say they are only partially involved in the strategic planning process.
For 42% of the Romanian companies, the main audience in the external communication is made of the clients. The other answers regarding the target audiences are as follows: general audience (23%), local community (21%), journalists (10%), and authorities (4%). For only two out of 100 companies, the primary audience in external communication is the civil society. 65% of the general managers who say that communication managers are involved in the strategic planning, but only 38% of marketing / PR / communication specialists have checked the same response.
In Romania, 70% of companies believe that the most important role of the strategic communication function is reputation management. In the second place, 5 percentage points away, is the customer relationship with 65% of companies, and the third place with 58% of the respondents is the promotion of the company. Only 47% of companies consider that the role of strategic communication is to enable business growth, 38% say that the main role is to obtain competitive advantages, and 35% say is to manage risks.
The number one of the top 3 strategic communication activities in terms of share in total is media relationship (65%), although only 10% of respondents said that the main audience for strategic communication consists of the journalists. On the second place is social media (58%), and in the third place are the PR initiatives (48%), followed employer branding and CSR initiatives (47% each).