By Girish Urwar

On March 12, 2010, Society for Technical Communication (STC) organized an introductory session on Corporate Communication. This seminar was conducted at the Langford Road-based office of CISCO. It was headed by Mr. Peter Yorke, founder of Yorke Communications Pvt. Ltd.

The session was aimed to get professionals from the Technical Communications industry together and provide a platform for them to build a knowledge base on Corporate Communications.

Mr. Yorke spoke on Public Relations. He said that corporate communication and marketing communication are two divisions of Public Relation-related communication. He said that Corporate Communication includes terms, such as investor relations, internal communication, annual reports, company image building and several others.

Furthermore, Mr. Yorke stated that internal communication had a major role to play in the recent past that was plagued by the global economic meltdown. Showing the pink slip to an employee and stating the reason for the lay-off were two challenges the HR departments all over the world faced. He said, “Communication has become democratic”. Saying this he stressed on the phenomenon of the Internet. According to him, nowadays in the communication field the “creator is also the consumer”.

He also gave many examples on how communication has been used both by public for venting out anger and by the corporate conglomerates as a mode of damage control. He mentioned about a leading chain of coffee shops, which had to publicly apologize due to the senselessness of one of its franchisee owner. A customer unhappy because of the franchisee owner’s behavior took out his anger by blogging about the incident and overnight his efforts gathered momentum, making the marketing head apologize to the public next day. Such is the strength of Internet.

He also cited few other examples, including that of a top computer and peripherals manufacturer. This company too had to call back a particular model of laptop because an Asian customer blogged about the faulty nature of the laptop’s battery. The company also had to organize a special seminar on “avoiding costly mistakes in Asia” for its corporate and marketing employees.

Mr. Yorke also stressed on paying attention to Social Media Strategy. No doubt, social networking sites are a very powerful medium of communication. He concluded by suggesting that we should leverage the internet properly; a concept although popular and but not widely used in India.