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How To Communicate Corporate Values To External Audiences

December 6, 2022

Many professionals and consumers today prefer to engage with companies that demonstrate values aligned with their own personal values, whether through ecological commitments, inclusive workspace policies or other initiatives. The more authentically a business lives its core values, the better people feel about supporting it.

Values alignment impacts customer awareness and loyalty as well as employee recruiting and retention, so it’s important for leaders to make sure their company’s core values are clearly communicated not only internally to their team but also externally to the public. Below, Forbes Communications Council members share 14 effective ways to communicate your corporate values to an external audience.

1. Write Value Propositions For Marketing

I spend a lot of time writing value propositions as part of our marketing strategy. Not only does it ground the company by examining how it expresses its values internally, but it also creates the basis for external communications that are truly rooted in its corporate values. – Alexia BregmanThe Bureau Of Small Projects

2. Know Where Stakeholders Get Their Content

Companies need to meet their audience where they are. While making sure your message is consistent across owned channels and platforms is critical, a firm understanding of your stakeholders, where they get their content and how they engage is critical to having an impact. There are no one-size-fits-all communications. – Alexis WilliamsStagwell

3. Have Teams Collaborate Internally

Collaboration is key. The “people” team creates the values framework, and the communications/marketing team shares the company’s message. When these departments collaborate, they can devise effective messaging and dissemination strategies. Together, the teams can effectively deliver on external events, digital campaigns and social media initiatives. – Rehmann RayaniModel N

4. Take Action, And Tell The Story Through Video

One of the most transparent ways to communicate corporate values is through action. When it comes to communicating with an external audience, video reigns supreme. Combine the two, and you are on your way to telling a story that shares your corporate values and how they impact society. – Ryan BecnelEnergea

5. Live And Breathe The Values You Wish To Communicate

What you’re communicating externally should be a living, breathing example of your corporate values; there shouldn’t be a disconnect! Those values should underlie each of your marketing campaigns but usually aren’t an obvious part of them. If you want to share them externally, word for word, we’ve found success in using them in recruiting efforts or as a cornerstone of our employer brand. – Jamie BellWorkshop | Internal Marketing & Communications Platform

6. Capture Stories Of Company Values In Action

First, it’s important that all internal stakeholders in your organization believe in your corporate values and live them. That provides that platform with the tools to share stories of your values in action. Create a mechanism to capture internal and external stories and share them through your content—give them life. You’ll find this much more effective than having a stock “Corporate Values” webpage. –  Sara Wesche45th Parallel Marketing

7. Exemplify The Culture In Every Interaction

Communicating values means going beyond purposeful language that connects your company’s story to the market. Communication professionals must activate sales teams, customer care and all customer-facing associates to exemplify corporate culture and values in every interaction. Your employees are your most powerful internal communicators—ensure they live the values of your external audience. – Megan LongenderferVictaulic

8. Focus On Amplifying Your Values Internally
Action speaks louder than words. Focus maximum effort on internal comms, training, certification and social amplification toward your people. Encourage leaders and peers to catch people doing the right thing—living out the values—and recognize and reward good behavior. – Andrew KokesHGS

9. Demonstrate Your Values Through Storytelling
Corporate values need to be communicated through real people and real stories. It’s one thing for an organization to state its values. It’s an entirely different and more effective approach to demonstrate those values through lived experiences and storytelling. The latter is authentic and real, which is what people respond to. Audiences are far too savvy to respond to platitudes and empty words. – Jamie CemanChapman University

10. Practice What You Preach
A company’s actions are its most prominent tool for communicating to the marketplace. If the company espouses servant leadership and preaches “people first,” but employees are not acknowledged or recognized, the message is ineffective. If sustainability is in a prospect’s presentation, but the principles and practices are not present on the website or in reports, then the message is lip service. – Deetricha YoungerDeetricha Younger, LLC

11. Ensure Your Purpose Resonates Internally
It’s easy to state a purpose and frame it on a poster in the lobby. It is much harder to activate it with stakeholders. One of the best ways to engage external audiences with your purpose is to ensure it resonates internally. If your team is living and breathing the company’s values, external audiences are more likely to follow along. Later, you can survey stakeholders to see if you’re living up to them. – Mike NeumeierArketi Group

12. Build Your Values Into Your Digital Presence
Building corporate values into a company’s digital presence and thought leadership is one way to convey that the values are central to how the organization recruits, hires and conducts day-to-day operations. Including values on a careers webpage helps candidates gain a better understanding of core culture. Working values into press releases or executive quotes is yet another way to increase visibility. – Merrily McGuganWorkTango

13. Create A Thought Leadership Strategy
A thought leadership strategy increases brand recognition and conversions. Who are the “go-to” people in your industry? Those are the thought leaders in your field. Within a profession or industry, they are considered experts. It shows you are an expert on a particular topic or in a particular industry if you demonstrate thought leadership. Trust and credibility are gained for your brand. – Jessica WongValux Digital

14. Share Mission-Driven Stories
Mission-driven and value-driven communications offer huge benefits that are often overlooked. Your employees want to see your mission-driven stories because your mission is likely a big part of the reason they joined and continue to stay with your organization. These stories are also huge brand-building content for your customers and your future employees. Lean in and look for ways to share them as a pillar of your thought leadership strategy. – Lori Stafford-ThomasDegreed

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