Goals and Objectives
Organizations should have sound communications plans for every project, as well as their overall business activity, as they can ensure the success of delivering messages to the existing and potential customers. These plans coordinate messages that are sent, which leads to echoing of the major points in the media (Bray, 2002). The major goals of this communication plan will be informing and developing a positive image. This communication plan is developed for the project called Helping Mexico that is aimed at helping the country overcome the aftermath of the earthquakes. The project involves participation in the rebuilding of the infrastructure of Mexico. Deep-Sea Oil Company (DSOC) will participate in governmental projects concerning the construction of roads.
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An effective communications plan is characterized by a set of well-developed key messages that are echoed in different sources (Egan, 2014). The following key messages will be delivered during the implementation of the projects.
- Mexico is facing severe environmental issues due to its geographic location.
- All people and organizations should contribute and try to rebuild the beautiful cities that suffered the most destruction.
- DSOC being a sustainable company and a responsible corporate citizen will help Mexicans to rebuild their capital city.
- DSOC is eager to contribute to the development of the community so it first focuses on the rebuilding of the infrastructure that will facilitate the development of business.
Any project, as well as any type of business activity, involves different stakeholders. The major audiences for the present communications include Mexicans, local communities, the international community, Mexican policymakers, the company’s partners, as well as the company’s employees. Reputation can be one of the competitive advantages of any organization, so it is crucial to maintain or develop a positive image (Skard & Thorbjørnsen, 2013).
People will acknowledge the company’s effort in investing funds in the development of their communities, which will help the company in eliminating an image (common for all oil producers) of a corporation that uses natural resources and abuses communities. Apart from the public, the company will also communicate with the local authorities to coordinate the actions and receive all the necessary documents and licenses. The organization can also address its partners who can participate in the implementation of the project. The involvement of partners and calling for the action can favorably affect the company’s image (Crane & Matten, 2016). The audiences are quite different, so the tools employed will also vary.
Media and Tools
The digital sources of communication will be central to this project. Eberle, Berens, and Li (2013) claim that the use of these interactive tools contributes to the development of a positive image. Importantly, the official website is regarded as a source of the most recent and credible information while social networks boost word-of-mouth. As for addressing the public, such tools as the company’s official website and social networks will be employed. Newsletters with important information concerning the project, its progress, and outcomes will be posted on the company’s official website. The website will also have links to the most popular social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube.
As far as communication with partners is concerned, similar strategies will be used, but corporate email will also be utilized. The corporate email will be the channel for more detailed communication with partners. For instance, the coordination of different activities will be implemented through this channel. The communication with the authorities will include the use of the official website, social networks, corporate email, as well as paper documentation when necessary.
As has been mentioned above, newsletters will include information concerning the progress. Some major details will be delivered. Newsletters may be posted after each stage of the project’s implementation. Some unplanned events or instances of emergency will also be highlighted. When it comes to social networks, these media will be used to facilitate the discussion of the project and the company’s other activities.
The major goal of this type of communication is the development of a favorable image of the organization. Photos, videos, podcasts, text messages, posts, and so on will address such areas as the construction process, collaboration with local people and authorities, benefits for the public, the involvement of different stakeholders, and the like. People will be encouraged to provide their feedback, which will facilitate word-of-mouth (Crane & Matten, 2016).
The use of the company’s corporate email will be associated with more precision and certain security concerns. The communication will be implemented between specific departments or even employees who will be responsible for particular aspects. For instance, the Legal Department will participate actively in communication with the authorities while the Sales Department and Logistics Department will be mainly involved in the communication with partners.
As has been mentioned above, all communications should be thoroughly planned and have sound schedules (Egan, 2014). This communication plan will be divided into several phases (see table1). It is noteworthy that the final stage can last longer than the planned period. If the discussion of the outcomes of the project goes on or some emergency cases, accidents, or any issues occur, the communication through social networks will continue.
Table 1. Schedule.
|1||Launch|| ||2 weeks|
|2||Negotiations and Plan Development|| ||3 weeks|
|3||Construction|| ||2 months|
|4||The End of the Project|| ||2 weeks (or more if necessary)|
Legal or Ethical Issues
Since the collaboration with the authorities, as well as possible collaboration with other companies, is involved, legal issues should be taken into account. The corresponding agreements should be signed between the company and its partners or the authorities. Safety and financial issues should receive the most attention. The company should also make sure that the legal rights of people or environmental norms and regulations will not be violated (Kolk, 2016).
For instance, the construction of new roads cannot be carried out without permission from the community. Being a responsible corporate citizen, the company should ensure that individuals and their property will not be damaged. There have been many cases when authorities violate individuals’ rights when working on such projects as the development of the infrastructure. It is also necessary to make every message ethically sensitive to help people cope with their constraints.
The successful implementation of the communication plan is associated with the use of an effective control strategy (Egan, 2014). The marketing department will be responsible for the implementation and control of the communication plan. As for the control strategy, such aspects as schedule and the content will be central. It is essential to make sure that every stage is implemented promptly. Importantly, the content and even the emotional load of the communication should be analyzed.
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It is necessary to make sure that the data provided are relevant and accurate. People are not interested in the number of materials used, but it can be beneficial to highlight the number of employees involved especially if these are local people. This information will contribute to the development of a favorable image as it will be clear that the company helps local people find employment and provide for their families during such a difficult period.
Apart from the delivery of information concerning the progress of the construction, it is necessary to share data concerning financial issues. Some of these messages can be delivered through social networks and the corporate website (Eberle et al., 2013). Such information can include the overall or approximate sum of funds donated to construct roads and associated facilities. However, particular transactions between the company and local authorities, or the company and its partners should be shared through the corporate email. The confidentiality of the data should be ensured.
If any ethical issues occur, it is crucial to share the way these problems have been resolved. Again, the media to deliver such messages will differ. For instance, some cases known to the public should be described and discussed through social networks and the company’s official website. However, if the issue involves representatives of partners or local authorities, it is vital to discuss the way to share information concerning the issue with the parties involved.
Finally, every project finishes with its evaluation. The company should assess the outcomes of the communication strategy. The evaluation can be goal-based. In simple terms, it is necessary to identify whether the objectives set at the beginning of the project have been achieved. It is necessary to carry out some research. At the beginning and the end of the project, a survey aimed at exploring people’s attitudes towards the company should be carried out. The research can be implemented with the help of various digital tools, so there is no need in involving third parties.
The outcomes of any communications project should be consistent with the organizational mission (Egan, 2014). The company’s mission is to contribute to the development of local communities and minimizing the negative footprint the company can make. Therefore, when evaluating the project’s outcomes, it is essential to pay attention to people’s attitudes towards the company and the project, the environment, and their community. It is also important to explore the channels people used to learn about the project, share opinions, information, etc. This evaluation will help identify the effectiveness of the project. The results of this evaluation should be taken into account when developing similar projects so some changes to the communications policy can also be needed.
Bray, R. (2002). Spin works! Spin academy. Web.
Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2016). Business ethics. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
Eberle, D., Berens, G., & Li, T. (2013). The impact of interactive corporate social responsibility communication on corporate reputation. Journal of Business Ethics, 118(4), 731-746.
Egan, J. (2014). Marketing communications. Thousand Oaks, CA: SAGE.
Kolk, A. (2016). The social responsibility of international business: From ethics and the environment to CSR and sustainable development. Journal of World Business, 51(1), 23-34.
Skard, S., & Thorbjørnsen, H. (2013). Is publicity always better than advertising? The role of brand reputation in communicating corporate social responsibility. Journal of Business Ethics, 124(1), 149-160.