Analysing Van Riel (1995, 2000) Orchestration of Communication Model: Corporate Communication and the Role of the Communications Professional During a Strategic Change Process (Merger)

Gabriel Geller
2009 Social Science Research Network  
Organisations have changed the way they relate to their stakeholders as a requirement of what has been labelled as the 'new communication era'. Sources of competitive advantage are not anymore the traditional ones, and stakeholder management through effective communication becomes a moderating factor in the pursuit of better financial performance (Berman et. al., 1999). The ineffectiveness of attempts to communicate different messages to different stakeholders is a new important feature of the
more » ... eality brought by the new communication technologies. Organisations have to adopt integrated approach to their communications if they are to survive in this environment. Van Riel (1995 introduces the orchestration of communication through a sustainable corporate story as a tool to achieve the organisations objectives. The present work presents a literature review related to orchestration of communication involving and integrating different sets of theories, and proposes a deeper analysis on the applicability of Van Riel´s model to coordinate and orchestrate communications during a revolutionary organisational change, namely a merger. The particularly original feature here is the link between organisational change and an innovative model to approach communications. We conclude that the sustainable corporate story tool can be successful applied to different merger situations, increasing the company´s chances to succeed during these troubled periods. Further empirical research is recommended in order to understand how the model can be indeed implemented in practice and how successful were its former implementations if any. Van Riel (1995, p.05) states that every organization uses three basic forms of communication: management communication, marketing communication and organizational communication. Management communication refers to the communication by senior managers with internal and external target groups, it is considered by the author most important form of communication. Marketing communication consists primarily of those forms of communication that support sales of particular goods or services (advertisement, sponsorship, personal selling, marketing-oriented PR), it is the one which has the highest budget. Organizational communication covers public relations, public affairs, investor relations, labour market communication, corporate advertising, environmental communication and internal communication. The challenge here consists in the integration of these forms of communication in order to support the achievement of the organisational objectives. "The corporate communication philosophy does (...) imply that the 'Chinese Walls' between (and sometimes even 'within') the three aforementioned forms of communication should be removed" (Van Riel, 1995, p. 21). The organisation, as an orchestra, has to develop the capability of using different instruments played by different people to harmonically play the same music.
doi:10.2139/ssrn.1494373 fatcat:xw6zg5hhpjapvfqrhvug635kf4