Siddhartha Mukherjee: CorpComm can be a Revenue Centre!

20 Apr,2017

By Siddhartha Mukherjee


Do we have case studies where the CorpComm functions of organisations are not being treated as cost but revenue centres? Most probably, none!

For decades now, not just in India but the world over, CorpComm functions have continued to be treated as a cost centre. No wonder, they come as one of the favorites when it comes to cost-cutting or cost control management.  Interestingly, marcomm manages to stay away from the pruning activity!(Have we wondered why?)

Historically, and even now, not much has progressed on this front. Attempts to justify CorpComm’spresence and value in the organisationhas been through the age old archaic modes of advertising value, thickness of news clippings folder, gratifying the bosses (CXOs) by getting them featured in newspapers and TV channels continue to be age-old arsenals used for justifying the existence of the CorpCommfunction.

Here are some thoughts that can improve the state of affairs and bring CorpComm closer to being a revenue function:


1. Clearly defining the role of CorpComm/PR within an Organisation:

Especially at the time of interviewing, the CorpComm candidate should be clearly briefed that his or her role within the organisation is not that of satisfying egos but to help in the smooth running of the business.

Very simply put, a CorpComm role should be incharge of creating and maintaing recall (thought leadership), engagement and conversion for each stakeholder of the organisation he or she is working in.


2. Performance should be appraised by not just one but across CXOs:

Instead of CorpComm reporting to the CMO, the function should be reporting to the CEO. Further, performance should be appraised by CMO, HR Head, CFO, Head of CSR & Sustainability, etc., and finally by the CEO after taking everyone’s feedback (weightage) into account.


3. Should be made part of Business Planning and Execution:

For CorpComm to function and perform, getting to understand the day-to-day or periodic understandings of the changing ground dynamics across marketing, human resource, finance, manufacturing, sustainability, etc, is key. Only then will the CorpComm chair be able to sense the strong points that can be leveraged vs the weak points that may be prospective crisistirggers.

Being copied in regular MIS reports and internal dashboards can make a world of difference in making CorpComm work towards specific business objectives.


4. Should be given access to all Primary and Secondary Data Sets and Research:

Data is a very basic but one of the most crucial weapons to justify self or business growth.For CorpComm, data can be bigger than GOD! CorpComm, in a way, is the central console for all stakeholder management. Hence, the chair should be made part of the research desk. Usage of data and cross pollination of various data sets can ensure than CorpComm talks the internal customer’s language!


5. Budget allocation & Performance incentive can be linked with Brand and Sales numbers:

A new way of incentivising the CorpComm function can be to link the Budget Allocation to brand recall and disposition scores. Further, link performance incentives to sales query fugures. Agreed, this may sound outlandish at the moment but this is the only way to get CorpComm and Public Relations function aligned back into Corporate MIS.

A start is needed and that too right away! If case studies can break the ice or change the archaic thinking process, that will make things easier. Or else, some samaritan will have to stand tall and lead the way!


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