A good business needs to be able to communicate with all different departments of their organisation to be successful. This is because communication is vital when making business decisions, especially if you have more than one outlet as you would need to be able to clearly understand where the business is doing well and what needs to improved. Bernard Mathews is one business which does communicate effectively, and benefited from doing this to become the UK’s largest turkey producer.
To communicate effectively with external stakeholders they aimed to ‘to improve perceptions of the company and brand and to increase public awareness of turkey as a tasty, versatile and healthy meat’.
Bernard Mathews must be clear and presence in the way the send and receive messages to all stakeholders of the business. To do this, they need to make sure that they understand who their target audience is for each piece of information that needs to be communicated, so that they can tailor it to be as effective as it could be.
To do this, they first decided to concentrate on their core strengths and expertise, which is ‘British Turkey farming and providing great tasting Turkey’. They also sold all other parts of the business which did not concentrate on this core part of the business. This was done to give out a clear message about their business. This is a great way to communicate with retailers and customers, as they will know exactly where to go if they want Turkeys.
They also wanted to change the perception of turkey as being mainly processed food, and to change buying patterns of customers to make Turkey their main source of protein.
To do this, they needed to promote Turkey as being a tasty and healthy option. They advertise in the press along with advertising on TV to get their message about their business across. In previous Bernard Mathews would advertise around Christmas time mainly as this is when most people buy Turkeys. However last year in 2011, they put their focus more on the healthy benefits from turkeys, and focused about the fact that their Turkey’s are ‘100% British’.
Deciding to do this is very beneficial for the business as it is very clear what they are about, and knowing this means that people are more likely to go to Bernard Mathews to business with them. This is a great way of communicating with existing customer and also potential customers. People who do not understand that turkey is a great healthy alternative to other meats such as chicken would benefit from this clear message sent by Bernard Mathews, and is likely to result in Bernard Mathews receiving more revenue and more profits.
In recent years Bernard Mathews has received some bad press which resulted in quite a substantial drop in their sales. This could have been down to bad communication between the media and this business, as certain information might have been misinterpreted by them, which is why they are now making their core aims and strategies a lot more focused, so that people understand exactly what they are about. They now hold regular meetings with journalists to make sure that their aim is clear and tell them about how much they are aware about animal rights and their belief in having only the best healthy turkeys on sale.
They also created an advertising campaign called ‘Change your meat. Not your menu’ in which they tried to communicate with customers through the use of celebrity chef Marco-Pierre White and Olympian Rebecca Romero. The aim of this advertising campaign was to communicate with people who are familiar with these celebrities and try to change their views into positive beliefs about Turkey. Bernard Mathews also need to communicate with their internal stakeholders which they are also very successful with.
These internal stakeholders include managers, employees and shareholders. After the business received the bad press, it is very likely that it affected employees massively. This is because reputation is one of the main factors which decide the success of a business, and if the businesses’ reputation goes down, like it did due to the bad press, then the company could be at risk of making losses and eventually going bankrupt. This would decrease motivation a lot within the business as it would have done in Bernard Mathews.
To combat this, Bernard Mathews explains to all if their employees that there is no cause for concern through explaining the strategies that they would be putting in place to turnaround their reputation. One of the main ways in which they do this is through their weekly newsletter for their employees which explains all achievements and developments that are being made within the business, which a very effective way of communicating with their employees as it allows for employees to read to read the information at their own pace and understand it better.
However there could be problems if the language used is not easy to understand which would result in employees being confused about how well they company is doing. But they do have the opportunity to ask managers about how well the business is doing or what the leaflet is trying to say, so it is still an effective way of communication with their staff. They also hold regular meetings with their shareholders and owners so that everybody knows exactly how well they are doing in terms of revenue and profits.
This is also an effective way of communicating as it is likely that actual reports are shown to owners as well as them being given verbal dialogue at the same time. Thy can also ask any questions they may have there and then which makes it very effective as there is no reason for any of them to not understand anything. All these strategies and techniques are great way for this business to communicate with both internal and external stakeholders. The way in which they communicate with these stakeholders is very clear and precise making sure that all people understand everything about the business accurately.
There are no risk about any misinterpretations due to the clarity and effectiveness of the ways in which they communicate with these stakeholders. Another Company which has excelled in the way they communicate with their stakeholders is Vodafone. Vodafone is a huge multinational company who specialise in telecommunications. Vodafone currently has over 15million customers across 27 countries which means that there are a lot of stakeholders in the company who need effective ways of communicating with the business.
The two main ways of communication are verbal and non-verbal. For communication to be successful it must be sent to people who receive that communication and understand it. Communication will not be successful if the recipient is unable to understand due to the information not being clear. Vodafone takes certain steps to make sure that their communication is clear so that they are successful in getting their message across. To help achieve this, they have come up with a set of 10 business principles. One of these principles directly relates to communication, which says: We will communicate openly and transparently with all of our stakeholders within the bounds of commercial confidentiality’. The fact that one of their ten business principles is all about communication tells us how much Vodafone consider communication an important aspect of business. As Vodafone has over 15million customers, they need to make sure that they can communicate effectively with them and try to solve any issues that their customers may have, as not doing so could result in them losing their customers.
Vodafone currently has over 200 stores in the UK alone in which there are trained customers service employees available for customers to go in store and deal with any issues or ask any questions about the company, services or products that they are selling. They also have a large number of employees in call centers available for customers to call in ad communicate with staff, which has all the benefits that the inn store customer services provide. As this is a verbal way of customers communicating with Vodafone, it is likely to be very effective.
This is because customers will be able to find out exactly what they want from Vodafone employees, and anything that they don’t understand can be explained. It is a lot more likely that they will get what they need if they are commutating face to face as it is very likely that all queries they may have will be effectively dealt with. If could only get information such as this through writing, such as asking questions through e-mail then it would be a lot more likely that they will not understand the information as sometimes complex language can be hard to read and process.
Vodafone are also constantly advertising through various types of media such as TV, newspapers, radio and on the internet which are all non-verbal types of communication. All the ways in which they advertise their promotions are checked to make sure that they are clear and understandable to make sure that their efforts are effective in communicating with their stakeholder, which shows that they do follow their business principles. The fact that they advertise through various forms of media shows that they try to reach a wide audience when trying to communicate with their external stakeholders.
If Vodafone only advertised through the internet, the those people who are not confident with computer use or those people who do not use the internet frequently wouldn’t be reached with their advertisements, which would be a fail I communication. It is likely that their huge customer base of over 15million people in the UK will frequently use at least one of the types of media that Vodafone advertise In, which makes their communication successful. They also have other stakeholders who must be effectively and successfully communicated with to ensure the success of Vodafone.
The best form of communication is a two way process, in that people can voice their opinions, which will be replied to by the other parties, and so on. Vodafone maintains a constant form of communication with all their main stakeholders so that they can other communicate quickly and effectively. This could be through emails, through phone or in meetings. This is god for Vodafone as it means that they have the opportunity to communicate with their stakeholders whenever they need to, and whenever stakeholders have problem, they also have the chance to communicate with Vodafone which is likely to make the business more successful.
Vodafone also effectively communicate with their internal stakeholders, the main one being their employees. The main way in which they communicate with their employees is through their hierarchy. Junior staff report to line managers, who report to managers, who report to directors, who may report to the owners. However this depends on the type and content of the information. The more important the information, the higher up the hierarchy it is likely to go. It also works the other way round, in which owners would send down information through their directors, and so on.
This type of communication can be effective as it allows all employees to communicate with their higher authorities, and allows owners to communicate with all their employees easily. However sometime this information could get distorted down the line, and the best way to communicate with employees at the bottom of the hierarchy would probably be through direct communication, which would eliminate the possibly of infomration beocme unclear and also allows for those employees to ask further questions to uderstadn the infomration more clear, and as mentioned above, for communication to be succsessful, the recipient must understad it.
All these types of communication allow the Vodafone group to successfully communicate with their stakeholders and comply with one of their main business principles. One business which has been badly portrayed in the media in recent years in Primark, the likely cause of which is bad communication. Primark is a clothes retail group which has over 230 stores across the UK, Spain, Portugal, Belgium and Germany. The BBC’s Panorama recently exposed Primark’s involvement in child labour.
They exposed the fact that Primark clothes were being made for very cheap labour in less economically developed countries, They proves this though video recordings of children and women being paid a very small amount for a long hard day’s work. This obviously had a very negative effect on their reputation and profit figures. The bad communication came after this exposure. Primark claimed that they did not know about any child or slave labour occurring in the manufacturing of their goods which is very unlikely. They basically lied to the public and to their customers, trying to put the blame on external manufactures.
This was a very big issue for many people, especially for Primark customers. Not only were they being sold products made by children, but Primark was very unclear I their statements in response to the claims made by Panorama, and were also denying those claims. This was a very bad way of communication from Primark. If they had nothing to hide, they would have done a full investigation and proves to their customers and to the world that they are not involved in such operations. Instead, they basically ‘brushed it under the carpet’.
This resulted in many people boycotting Primark as their morals went against the way in which Primark operate in, which obviously had a negative effect on their revenue and profit figures. Primark did claim that they will investigate the situation and penalize any manufacturer taking part I such activities, but there was no evidence shown to customers that this actually happened, as they were being very dismissive about the situation. This way of communicating with customers, the public and the media is not very effective at all, and can be more damaging than saying anything at all.
If people are unclear as to what Primark’s response was to the allegations, then they are not communicating with their customers effectively. Instead, they are making things worse for themselves, as not producing effective information about the whole matter is likely to raise suspicions, which it did. Instead of communicating the way they did, they should have carried out a full investigation as to what was going on in their manufacturing sector, and clearly reported their findings, along with their solutions to the public and to their customers, to try and gain customers back.
Another way in which this business fails in communication is through their website. Most clothes outlets now have an online store, or at least show through images what they are selling in stores. Primark fails to do both of these, so it is unclear what types of clothes Primark actually sells, especially to those who have ever been into one of their stores. The more effective approach would be to sell clothes online, or at least shows images of their rages so people can clearly understand what Primark sells.