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What Is Communications Management?

By Kathy Heydasch
Updated May 16, 2024
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Communications management refers to the flow of information within a company or between multiple companies. It is focused on planning and executing the various methods of communication that a company uses to reach its target audiences, e.g., consumers, vendors, media outlets, etc. Whether internal or external, communications management plays a vital and dynamic role in any business model.

Whenever a company wants to communicate a message, it first needs to consider many factors. Companies must determine who the target audience is and what makes them unique. How to best reach that audience in the most convincing and timely manner is carefully considered. Making these determinations will help a specialist target a specific message to a specific audience.

A public relations specialist can analyze a company's target audiences and divide them into categories like employees, suppliers, etc. It is then up to communications personnel to fine tune and direct the flow of information to and from these audiences. Public relations specialists and communications managers have very similar functions when it comes to communication.

One example of communications management is a company newsletter that is distributed solely to employees of the company. Once a company has determined the appropriate message it wants to relate, it then must select a medium through which to communicate it. In this example, the medium is a newsletter. The information contained within the newsletter should achieve the company's goals.

Another, more complex example of communications management is a website. A company's website can target multiple audiences with various messages by segmenting the website. This requires quite a bit of advanced planning and perhaps an information technology (IT) overhaul. On the website, vendors may be directed to a certain section of the website which contains information pertinent to them, while employees and customers can be directed to another section.

Two-way communication should not be overlooked when assessing communications. Feedback from employees, customers, etc., is invaluable if a company really wants to improve and manage communication. A company should focus on the easiest way for an audience to deliver a message back, and then plan ways of executing that mission.

The vast array of communication methods in today's digital age forces communications management experts to adapt quickly in response to changing technologies. It seems that every day a new social media website or IT company attempts to grab its share of the market through technological innovation. When that happens, the communications team must respond fast, tailoring its message to the right audience.

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Discussion Comments

By ysmina — On Jun 29, 2014

I want to work in communications management. I think it's very exciting. The communications lead and other employees not only determine the best way to communicate with consumers, but they also have to represent the business accurately.

It's a huge responsibility, but I'm sure that it's also very satisfactory and exciting. Communications management is like the liaison that helps the business connect with its consumers. The goal is to make sure that the consumers understand what this business stands for. The impression has to be good.

By serenesurface — On Jun 29, 2014

@SteamLouis-- I think they do. If they don't, that's where problems start occurring. There needs to be someone or a team that manages how employees communicate and what information they receive. If this is not managed or supervised somehow, everyone will not have access to the same information. Coordination between the different departments will become impossible.

The consequences of not managing or mismanaging internal communications can be severe in my opinion. This is as important as external communications with the public, if not more.

By SteamLouis — On Jun 28, 2014

How important is internal communications management? It seems like this is not managed as closely as external communications. Yes, there might be a company newsletter, but other communications are mostly determined by the employees as they work aren't they?

I mean, do people need to be told to email one another?

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