The purpose of this report is to evaluate the corporate strategy of a corporation using the expanded corporate communication strategy framework to analyse their corporate communications strategy bringing into light how it connects with their global corporate business strategy. The effectiveness of corporate strategy performance will be examined in relation to Dangote group of companies.
The intensive acceptance of Public Relation as a corporate communication management and the recent globalisation that made public relation more as a strategic communication function contributed positively to organisations communication processes (Groenewald, 1998). Corporate communication is broader in terms of functions and embraces every aspect of organisation communication in addition to its management functions (Tench & Yeomans, 2014).
Cornelissen (2011) observed that the concept of corporate communication became visible around 1970s. He further gave an insight that the term emerged when internal and external stakeholders started demanding for more information from the organisation. This demand became a turning point in public relation practice that visualises themselves earlier as an in- house journalist or press a gentry but globalisation has made it to become more of a corporate communication practitioner (Grunig & Hunt, 1984).
Collins &Montgomery (1998) defines corporate strategy as an independent possibility established by an organisation for easy creation of value and a planned coordination of its multi-market activities. Drucker (1954) alleged that many organisations have their corporate strategy which is seen as a forecast of where the organisation intends to be positioned in the future with a planned decision on what they need to do to achieve the vision than thinking on how it will be done.
The use of corporate communication to describe the Public Relations practitioner has recently gained an acceptance among scholars and practitioners (Groenewald, 1998:58). Moreover, the term could be used interchangeably to showcase that the function of Public Relation or corporate communication involves both internal and external communications of an organisation (Steyn, 1999).
Cornelissen (2011) observed that corporate communication apart from coordinating all the interactions that goes on both within and outside the organisation, it also involve establishing and maintaining constructive reputations with stakeholder groups upon which the organisation is dependent. Dangote’s strategic vision for the next three (3) is to be a world- class enterprise and to be among the world’s biggest 100 companies as the group wishes to invest more on cement and agriculture and refinery.
To make this possible, Dangote group transited from trading based business into a big manufacturing operation in a country where imports constitute majority of consumed goods devised a solid concept that torches lives of people through providing their daily needs. This study has shown that majority of the Nigeria populace uses Dangote added value products. Halal (2000) traced the overall success or profit of an organisation to its stakeholders. According to him, the stakeholders of every corporate organisation are the means by which the organisation achieved its end.
Citing Christensen et al in Tench and Yeomans (2014) they defined the management and organisational perspective of corporate communication to mean the engagement of organisational members and stakeholders to a meaningful valuable communication that will encourage both parties to be consistent in building social capital and establish legitimacy. Argenti (2009) asserted that corporate communication of every organisation must be closely depended on its strategy and have a strong link to the vision and values of the organisation.
Bennett (1996) also asserts that corporate strategy simply means the direction an organisation has chosen to adopt to achieve their set objectives. Strategy in all ramifications requires choice in that it helps organisations to choose a particular kind of value they want to present to the public (Gibson, 1997). Freeman ( 1984 ) asserted that communication of an organisation can only be sustained when the stakeholders , publics and individuals are affected by the management decisions and even when their own engagements affects the organisation.
Overview of the Company’ Corporate Strategy ( Dangote Group of Companies) Public relations as the name implies has been described as an eye of the organisation. They ensure that corporate strategically programmes are carried out to accommodate the interest of the organisation and their various public through analysing the trends, forecasting their future challenges as well as contributing and counselling the organisational management (Kitchen, 1997:7).
In addition, Public Relations is a practical avenue in which the communications functions of the management shapes the organisation to adapt to, alter and maintain their business environment for the simple purpose of achieving organisational goals ( Long & Hazelton , 1987:6). Steyn cited by Gregory (2011) observed that for communication strategy to be linked with corporate strategy the public relation practitioner will engage in communication decisions on four (4) levels namely societal, management, programme and individual.
Dangote group as a successful corporation connected its communication strategy (both internal and external communications) to the management structure of the organisation and its investor relations. Cornelissen (2011:82) asserts that organisations formulates their communication strategies aiming at bringing their stakeholders reputations to align with the organisation vision for continues support for the organisation strategy.
Argenti (2009) observed that communication theory cannot be discussed in full without tracing the term to Aristotle age when communication was called rhetoric that is an act of using persuasion to achieve an objective. Within this corporate communication strategy framework, he opined that no matter how an organisation wanted to enhance its reputation through any form of communication, it must align to Aristotle 3 stages of communication model Mintzberg et al (1998) observed that globalisation has twisted the management functions thereby gave insight on the relevant application of strategy by an organisation.
According to them, strategy could be very meaningful and innovative to an organisation when it aligns within these five ways, * Conscious projected choice of action by the organisation-Plan *Outline tactics proposed to outwit the brand competitors-Ploy *A mapped chart indicative of a flow of action-Pattern *Making impart to the environment through corporate social responsibility-Position *An incorporated way of perceiving the outside world-Perspective.
Dangote group customer service reflects integrity, intimacy and learning. Their entrepreneurship is visible as they continue to seek and develop new business, bring in new strategies to retain their market leadership. The group pattern of operation is their excellent demonstration of respect and team work which enables them to deliver the best products and services to their valuable customers and stakeholders. The group corporate social responsibility is seen in their leadership in business, markets and communities.
They continued to develop their environment, focus on continuous improvement, partnership and professionalism. Thompson (in Oliver, 2007) defines strategy as a means to an end; he asserted that how the organisation achieved their end results depend on their overall strategy. According to him, “there is a broad strategy for the whole organisation and a competitive strategy for each activity.
Functional strategies contribute directly to competitive strategies”. Argenti (2009) insisted that the organisation itself is the major part of effective communication, he went further to explain that for an organisation communication strategy to be effective, it must include a determined objective, ensure that enough resources is available and above all be conscious of the corporate reputation of the organisation.
Dangote Group like any other organisation has so many reasons on why they choose a particular communication strategy. One of their major strategies is application of unrelated diversification market. The group changed from trading based business and move into full manufacturing organisation with an objective to provide the basic needs of the Nigeria populace through value added products and to ensure that the general populace in Nigeria is provided with the corporation local, value added products to meet their basic needs.