Learning from sustainability management: significance and relevance Although corporate…

Learning from sustainability management: significance and
relevance

Although corporate communications has adjusted to the
challenges of the postmodern economy, it remains firmly embedded in the
accepted paradigm of systematic communications management. At the forefront are
still very often abstract target groups which are established using social
science methodologies and addressed using massmedia communication tools.
However, the new opportunities afforded by social media merely serve to
supplement this communications approach by enabling dialogue-based components
and specific segmentation of target groups. This means that, although corporate
communications are performed under postmodern conditions, a postmodern model
has yet to be found. With this in mind, lessons could be learned from the
experience gained through the integration of the Corporate Communications and
Corporate Responsibility (CR) functions at Deutsche Post DHL Group. This
structure shows that with a corporate identity based on a willingness and
ability to demonstrate corporate empathy, the two functions can not only learn
a lot from each other but can have a mutually enhancing impact beyond their
functional areas (see Figure 29.5). Where communicators concentrate on
building reputation by influencing public perception, sustainability managers
strive to balance the interests of stakeholder groups through dialogue and
interaction. While corporate communications is focused on generating media
attention (significance) and using mass media to address the many, CR focuses
on tackling material issues (relevance) largely through dialogue and exchange
with the few. In other words, corporate communications is the better
transmitter and CR the better receiver.

Figure 29.5