Quigleys New Book Brings Insight to Corporate Communication

Managing Corporate Communication, edited by public relations Professor Steve Quigley and his friend Rossella Gambetti, has just been published. Other professors from Boston University’s College of Communication (COM), including Professor Don Wright and Professor Ed Downes, contributed several chapters to the book. The main focus of the book adapts approaches from Europe and United States in order to explore cross-cultural corporate communication along with discussing the key elements of all successful corporate communication.

Because cultures determine communication systems, European and U.S. corporations have established different styles of communication. Quigley mentioned that in the sphere of public relations, the U.S. was an early player and has evolved throughout the past few years. As a result, the U.S. approach to communication emphasizes pragmatic and managerial tactics. Comparatively, the European approach is more traditional and focuses on conceptual and speculative tactics.  Along with an explanation of these two approaches, this book provides insight for corporate communication from multinational and cross-cultural perspectives.

More professionals argue that communication is salient for business performance of corporations. For Quigley, he is supportive of the idea that every company is a media company. “No matter what your company produces,” he said, “part of your success is your ability to produce and disseminate information that’s valuable to the people who care about whatever you do.”  Quigley used IBM as a typical example. IBM has educated its customers, thus they can better understand and use IBM’s products. In this way, the corporation shares mutual benefits with its stakeholders.

In addition, internal or employee communication plays a significant role in corporate communication. Employees would be priceless assets to corporations if they clearly understand the corporate culture and share that understanding with their peers.  According to Quigley, if all of the employees could become communicators and stand for their companies, they would be more powerful than the professional communication practitioners.

In Managing Corporate Communication, Quigley also wrote a chapter about a corporation’s trust and transparency, and their effects on corporate stakeholder engagement. He believes that transparency is influential in corporate communication, and it is a necessity, not a choice. However, Quigley also explains that achieving trust among stakeholders is a gradual process, depending on the appropriate degree of transparency. In other words, corporations should employ tactics to ensure a successful transition to a “transparent corporation.”

Quigley offers suggestions for new graduates. Although many public relations professionals suggest that students start their careers at a PR agency, Quigley encourages those who have a strong interest in certain companies to start with in-house PR. He believes that working inside the companies is helpful to gain in-depth understanding of the situation that the companies face and learn to be adaptable to react to difficult circumstances.

Managing Corporate Communication explores the cutting-edge issues of corporate communication in both U.S. and European corporations. It provides guidelines for COM students to learn about building mutually beneficial, two-way communication between corporations and stakeholders.

Click here for more information on Quigley’s new book.

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