Quaker Oats Company Business Communications Practices and Strategies (Internal & External)

Executive Summary

The Quaker Oats Company has a long history. It is famous among customers for the number of its brand and in the business environment, for the unique internal communication strategies. This report is focused on the company’s internal and external strategies that contribute to the development of the company’s brand and improve free flow of the information and its exchange among employees and customers.

The report explores the “dialogue communication strategies” used by the company to ensure external and internal communication. The company uses the e-mail system to inform its employees and receive their ideas and feedback.

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The company’s internal communication is tightly connected with the external communication that is aimed at supporting the brand’s reputation and leading positions in the market.

We suggest that the company pay more attention to its external communications with public which will contribute to the development of the company’s numerous brands.

Introduction

Communication is considered to be one of the most important parts of every business. There are two types of business communication: internal and external. Internal communication is focused on the employees and managers of the company.

External communication ensures the presentation of the company’s information to customers, stakeholders and suppliers. Proper communication strategies are important for the development of business and ensure the achieving of the company’s objective. The Quaker Oats Company is one of the most successful food conglomerates in America.

It sells its products on five continents. This company was one of the first to introduce new technologies into their communication practices. It provided the opportunity to create favorable working environment, ensure the employees’ commitment and build an outstanding corporate image of the company to distinguish it from other companies in the global market.

Main message

New network technologies present a successful means to build flexible and efficient business communication. The Quaker Oats Company makes use of network technologies to ensure well-defined internal and external communication among employees and customers.

Main material

Internal communication

As Nido Qubein, Author and Chairman of McNeill Lehman, said: “The organization that can’t communicate can’t change, and the corporation that can’t change is dead.” Indeed, communication is important to maintain stability within the company and ensure well-organized work of employees. Internal communication at The Quaker Oats Company is an exemplifying one.

The main approach is that employees are internal consumers of information and the delivery medium and the content must be equally compelling (Dollins n. p.). Thus, the company pays a great attention to the delivery of the information to the workers. The main means is e-mail (Oatmail). E-mail and intranet are the main tools to provide internal communication.

They are successfully used to provide the material communication strategy. The material communication strategy is aimed at delivery of communications that are crucial for the moment. It is used to implement the company’s goals and enhance performance of the operation managers and employees to achieve these goals. The e-mail system that was introduced in 1995 facilitated the distribution of information and ideas among the employees.

The message (new information) from the chairman quickly reaches the employees who provide their response and feedback. The message is adjusted and decision is made. It has a positive impact on the organization of work in the company. (Figure 1). As Dollins mentions, “We used Mid-Day to tell a big-picture story over the longer term.

We linked news of the day and Quaker perspective to strategic issues” (n. p.). Cori Reed, who worked for the company and dealt with the internal communication, claims that employees should be informed and have a possibility to share ideas (Hughes n. p.). For this purpose, she introduced training videos, town hall meetings for employees so that they could voice their ideas to the company.

The use of e-mail helps to realize the “dialogic model” of communication strategy. It, “This model implicitly recognizes the growing importance of interpersonal relationships upon our own success and happiness in the workplace as well as our personal lives, although the boundaries between these two have become blurred” (p. 2).

External communication

These days, a great focus is in on the quality of the external communication practices and strategies. Advertizing, brand promotion and public relations and communication with the stakeholders all around the world.

The main purpose of the external communication is to ensure that services or products meet the needs of customers. At the same time, it is aimed at motivating customers use services and products provided by the company. The Quaker Oats Company successfully uses external communication strategy. It developed a “strong” brand that has a great reputation.

The brand is the first factor that makes customers buying products. As it has already been mentioned, the “main message” is formed by means of internal communication. It is analyzed and transported to the media. The efficiency of the message depends on the efficiency of the external communication strategies (Figure 2). The development and grows of the company is the evidence of a successful external communication (see the table 3).

Recommendations

As we can see, internal and external communications are both used by the company. However, the major focus is done on the internal communication. In order to improve the communications practices, we would recommend introducing of the insight questionnaire provided by means of Outmail. In addition, the company should provide innovations into its external communication to develop ties with public. For example, they might give tours around the plant, and improve communication with “with hard-to-reach groups”.

Conclusion

The Quaker Oats Company is one of the most successful companies that have a great number of brands. It ensures its internal and external communications introducing communication technologies and Internet to provide “a dialogue” between stakeholders, employees, customers and shareholders. The internal communication is based on e-mail communication, and external communication is focused on the development of a strong brand name.

List of Illustrations

Figure 1.

Internal communication.

Figure 2.

External communication.

Table 3.

Development of the brand

YearNew Brand Acquisition
1856Ferdinand Schumacher organizes the German Mills American Oatmeal Factory in Ohio
1873Robert Stuart establishes an oatmeal mill in Iowa
1886the Consolidated Oatmeal Company established
1901Change of the name to Quaker Oats Company
1911Mother’s Oats is acquired
1925The Aunt Jemima brand is acquired
1942purchase of Ken-L-Ration brand
1963The Cap’n Crunch cereal brand is introduced
1969Fisher-Price Toy Company is acquired
1983Quaker acquires Stokely-Van Camp
1993Company acquires the Near East rice and pasta product brand

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