The Gray Cat Blog

A comprehensive collection of blogs designed to assist small business owners and multiunit operators.

Strategic Corporate Communications

Dec 06, 2023

Fire. Aim. Ready.

Is this your corporate communications strategy? 

The art of corporate communications stems around the strategic management of information within an organization and its external stakeholders. It should not be left to chance. 

So, every internal message, public relations announcement, investor relations communication, and overall brand messaging – they all have a cohesive, proactive purpose. The goal is to ensure a consistent, transparent, and positive image while fostering effective communication both within and outside the company.  This is not a time to “wing it”.

Let’s look at what a typical strategic corporate communications plan typically includes:

Set the Initiatives:  Number one on the list is to establish some targets to clearly define communication goals aligned with overall business objectives.  Included in those goals should be identifying the target audience - and keep in mind that the audiences can vary from customers to vendors, to employees to stakeholders.  Even the media is an audience.  Tailoring messages of conveying the organization's values, mission, and priorities will create the greatest impact for each of these audiences.

Select the Platform Channels:  Select the appropriate communication channels, such as press releases, social media, internal newsletters, and events.  The biggest challenge of a proactive corporate communications campaign is the generation of content.  Most people and companies underestimate the need for content and focus too much on the platform channels.  They set up cool-looking websites or Facebook pages only to have them become stale with outdated content.  Content is king and without it continually being developed, your platform channels won’t really matter.

Establish a Timeline:  Develop a well-structured timeline outlining when and how communication activities will be executed.  I usually set up my communications at least a quarter in advance so I can have some semblance of cohesion in the message.  On occasion, I do get “breaking news” and of course that supersedes my communication schedule, but by and large, I have a plan well in advance.  This way, your communication isn’t a bunch of one-off messages but rather a comprehensive strategy.

Manage Through Crisis Communications:  The unexpected can occur usually in the form of some sort of crisis.  Strategies and protocols for handling potential crises should be developed in advance of the crisis occurring.  This is one area of corporate communications that should never be left to chance.  Developing protocols and step-by-step procedures in managing through a crisis is very prudent to ensure that all parties involved are treated appropriately.

Measurement and Evaluation:  Lastly, develop metrics to assess the effectiveness of communication efforts, enabling adjustments as needed.  The goal is to produce a cohesive communication strategy in the most effective way – minimizing the amount of time of creating the content; optimizing the platform channels; while communicating a cohesive, ongoing branding communication stream.  When your communications strategy gets delivered in this seamless fashion, you know you are clicking on all cylinders.

Want more ideas?  For more information on Corporate Communications, visit the Gray Cat Learning Series: 


John Matthews, President & CEO, Gray Cat Enterprises, Inc.

John Matthews is the Founder and President of Gray Cat Enterprises, Inc. a Raleigh, NC-based management consulting company. Gray Cat specializes in strategic project management and consulting for multi-unit operations; interim executive management; and strategic planning. Mr. Matthews has over 30 years of senior-level executive experience in the retail industry, involving three dynamic multi-unit companies. Mr. Matthews experience includes President of Jimmy John's Gourmet Sandwiches; Vice President of Marketing, Merchandising, Corporate Communications, Facilities and Real Estate for Clark Retail Enterprises/White Hen Pantry; and National Marketing Director at Little Caesar's Pizza! Pizza!