Coca-Cola Business Communication in Practice

Executive Summary

This report provides an analysis of the Coca-Cola Company’s communications internal and external practices and strategies, and how their communication practices and strategies help company’s success. Methods of analysis include literature review of the materials devoted to the Coca-Cola management strategies and analysis of the company’s business communication activities. In particular, the ones that focused on the improvement of the working conditions and enable communication with customers.

The report finds the current business communication strategies provided by the company successful. Its internal and external strategies confirm with the needs of the modern business environment and focus on the customers’ satisfaction which is the main point of every producer. Three main policies present the basis of the internal business communication, ensure free exchange of information among employers and employees, as well as guarantee successful organizational culture.

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The company’s external communication practices spread over such areas as brand management, media management, public relations, and media management that ensure the implementation of the company’s strategy to provide grow of the existing brands and satisfy consumer demands. These business communication strategies contribute to company’s success and improvement of effectiveness and efficiency of the brand, as well as of the “go-to-market” models utilized by the company’s managers.

Our recommendations concerning improvement of the company’s communication include:

– Provide more possibilities to the young employees, as well as workers to motivate them provide their ideas which can be a valuable contribution to development of the efficient communication environment.

– Be more oriented on the development of the international relationships and retain talented workers from all around the world.

Introduction

Coca-Cola is an international soft-carbonated manufacturing company known for its innovativeness and creativity; it has been in the business for the last 125 years. The success of the company is driven by a workforce of approximately 139,600 employees spread in over 200 countries. A large workforce requires a well-coordinated communication system that builds and nurtures team spirit; other than the internal customers, the company has an external environment to pass messages.

For the last 50 years, the company has had increased dividend and continues to record high sales and profit margins. One pillar of competitiveness that company supports is its effective internal and external communication systems/structures (Coca-Cola Official Website). This paper discusses internal and external communication strategies as adopted at Coca-Cola.

Main Message

The Coca-Cola business communication is aimed at developing successful internal and external structure of the communication system which is based on creating favorable working environment for all employees, free exchange of new ideas at all levels of management and among workers, as well as focusing their external communication on maintaining successful business relationships with stakeholders and consumers.

Internal structure

Coca-Cola management team recognized the need to have an effective communication system in different branches, outlets, and marketing areas. The first structure that facilitates communication is its organizational culture that ensures that employees maintain respect for each other and can talk freely sharing their ideas.

The company’s orchestrate team works for a single destiny and the belief that every department plays an important role to play in the attainment of corporate objectives and goals. Coca-Cola organizational culture and behavior follows that of freelance structure were ideas and opinions flow freely upwards and downwards; irrespective of the rank of employees, leaders are obliged to listen and consider every employees suggestions when making decisions.

The structures are supported by three main policies as:

Effective message strategy

Under this approach, the management ensures that message communicated from any corner of the organization is spread across the organization and retains its intended meaning. To do this the administrator chooses the messages that are sent through the intranet and controls those people who can access and comment on the message. On the other hand, different ranks are given different powers and mandates so that a certain rank can be accountable for certain messages. When a message has been given, there is high secrecy for those that are meant for internal communication while those that the public can access are not protected.

Communication channels

Leaders at Coca-Cola have enacted effective communication channels that allow free flow of message from/to the management; the channels include internally made mechanisms like telephones extensions, intranets, emailing systems, notice boards, and meetings. Depending with the message and the intended recipient, it is controlled to ensure that it only gets to the intended parties.

When communicating across the borders, the company ensures that branch managers get the information at the most appropriate time and can decode the message to get the intended audience.

Organizational culture and behavior

Communication within an organization is affected by the culture and behavior as adopted in the firm, Coca-Cola has largely invested in an organizational culture that supports free interaction among employees and the management. When someone has made an observation/invention, there are channels of letting the management get aware and ensuring that the person is given credit for the same.

Effective message strategy

Structures of communication are only successful if the management has control over the message that passes through them, in the case of Coca-Cola; the management has a central department that dispenses information across the organization whether for internal or external consumption.

The internal communication adopted by the company has been able to create ideal working conditions that ensure success and employees’ motivation has been attained. Employees are kept inspired and much concentration is put on making their working conditions favorable to nurture talents and grow them (Short and Terrie 45-78).

External communication

External communication involves those actions that an organization undertakes to sell and create a strong brand name with its stakeholders. The stakeholders include banks, customers, shareholders, government and the society in general. Some of the strategies adopted by Coca-Cola are:

Brand management

The company has ensured that it has built a strong brand name; the name is known and respected for quality and satisfaction. To maintain the strength of the brand and attain brand loyalty, the company ensures its products are differentiable in the market; this call for high quality good and brand salience. It is the role of the marketing department to ensure that the brand is on top of consumers mind.

The marketing department conducts some research on the needs of customers and ensures that it gets the right approach to capture their needs.

By the mention of soft beverages, Coca-Cola Company has ensured that customers will think of the company first unconsciously. The mention of a soda is sometimes associated with Coke- the most sold brand by Coca-Cola Company.

It has created the need for emotional attachment with the brand. Thus, from the figure 2, we can see how the popularity of the brand had grown since it was invented. The successful business communication led to the growth of sales.

Public relations

Coca-Cola has one of the world’s largest advertising budgets where it ensures that it sells products to people of different classes by creating adverts and marketing’s that fit the particular class. When marketing, the company guarantees and promises its customers satisfaction, quality, and unique products. In order to support communication among company management, customers and employees, company makes use social network system that ensures a fee exchange of information.

To create a good name among different societies, the public relations department has the main role of talking and informing customers on the goodies that the company has in store for them. Public relation department collaborates with corporate social responsibility department to come up with activities that can add value to customers. Some of the programs that the company has enacted include sponsoring sports, reality shows like American Idol, school fees sponsorship among others.

Media management

In the changing business environments, the company is forced to maintain some close links with stakeholders via the media. It posts some articles that explain its nature of business as well supports some programs through the media. In international journals and magazines, the company posts some articles that aims at creating better linkage and understanding with its customers (Ryan and Theodore 23-34).

Indeed, these days, media is a primary tool used to send a message to the customer. It works effectively and contributes to the external business communication. The figure 3 demonstrates how it works.

Recommendations

The Coca-Cola’s communication strategies are quite successful and contribute to the successful development of brand and “go-to-market” models. In addition to the company’s current activity, we would provide several recommendations that might contribute to the development of more successful business communication environment. Thus, our recommendations are the ones that follow:

1. Provide more possibilities to young workers and motivate them express their ideas. In addition, these workers should have a possibility to implement their ideas and thus, be more motivated to share them with other workers and employees.

2. Develop a more flexible infrastructure of the company so that ideas could be spread freely.

3. To be more oriented on the maintaining relations with stakeholders and foreign partners so that enable international communication and be more oriented on the needs of customers from all over the world.

3. Work out new strategies to ensure that each worker understand the company’s vision and strategies and is able to provide his/her contribution to creating effective message strategies and favorable working conditions.

Conclusion

Effective communication is a vital business competitive tool that needs to be strategically managed; Coca-Cola has an effective internal and external communication system that facilitates the growth of orchestrate teams in its different outlets as well as developing good relations with its customers.

The company understands that consumers acts consciously and unconsciously when making a decision on the products to buy; their psychological predispositions, attitudes, beliefs and mental pictures influence their decision; with the understanding, it accustoms its external communication to address customers’ psychological needs. When passing a certain message, the management ensures that it has the right tone and language to facilitate the right understanding.

Illustration Section

Figure 1. Demonstrates how company makes of social net-work system to ensure internal and external communication among employees, company management and customers.

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