Subject: Business Management

Topic: Managing commercial communication

Management of commercial communication process in business

Communication can be defined as the transfer of information ideas, opinion and attitude from a sender to receiver with the intention of passing a message. Communication can take many different forms like face to face conversation, informal meetings, reports, television and memos. In business organizations, there are three different types of communication that include internal operations, personal and external operational communication.

The different form of commercial communication includes marketing communication, public relation communication and advertisement communication. These communications can follow formal channels or the informal networks in businesses. Communication is very vital to any class of business; even the small businesses cannot run or survive without proper communication mechanism. While some scholars treat communication as a specialized management field, the importance of commercial seen as managerial and strategic to the operation of the company as a whole. Proper management of commercial communication is not only important in bringing people together in the work place but it also strengthen the connections of business organization and all its stakeholders like customers, employees , suppliers, shareholders, surrounding communities and the nation as a whole. Some practitioners postulate that commercial communication is dynamic and bi directional which has multiple influences on transformation and translation process. When organizations put in place proper mechanism for the management of commercial communication, the system and the process in place should be able to send out a message in such a way that the message that is received on the other side is similar or close in meaning to the one intended. Commercial communication can be defined as all efforts done to the come up with brand marketing and advertising process targeting the consumers. These include advertisement targeting the broadcast media, cinema, outdoor events, print media, internet labeling and internet. Such efforts include consumer promotions, merchandising, some material to be used in point of sale, sponsorship; interactive advertising and communication off and on trade. Commercial communication on the other hand does not include non advertisement materials, and activities, statement to the media, government or society about the societal concern like risks or benefits related to the consumption of a product by the company. Educational messages about the effective way to use a product also do not form part of commercial communication (Figueroa et al, 2002).

Commercial communication face a lot of barriers because the message communicated is usually more complex and the environment or not only difficult, but also the psychological and the social difference that separates the source and the recipient can bring misrepresentation of the message. When not managed properly, commercial communication will likely encounter barriers negatively affect the communication in the organization as a whole and therefore limiting the success of the business.

Commercial communication plays a central role in the success of a free market economy, this is because, such things as marketing and branding promote completion and encourages companies to be innovative. In this way, consumers are given the advantage of selecting between the different competing brands. The communication process also informs customers of a new brand that has been introduced in the market (Hemmati K, 2002).

In recent times consumers watch groups have done research and recognized that some commercial communication like advertisement of some products, for example, alcohol may encourage young people to drink or people to drink excessively. Some companies have also tended to exaggerate the facts, and providing misleading information about the content of a product being advertised leading to customer disappointment. It is therefore prudent for all responsible firms who engage in commercial communication to come up with self regulation mechanism and management of commercial communication. There is need for responsible commercial communication in such methods like advertising, promotions and sponsorship of products. Some organizations have come up with guidelines to help employees to address the challenge and effectively advertise products without causing offense or better still give rise to misuse.

For business organizations to maintain and increase consumer confidence, it is important that they ensure that their commercial communications are done in a regulated way. This calls upon the management to come up with strategies of ensuring that the products are marketed in a professional way. Good management of the commercial communication processes is a demonstration that the organization is committed to conducting itself in the most responsible way. The management is therefore required to actively promote the highest ethical standards in development of commercial communication materials and consequently safeguarding consumer’s interests. It is important to note that this immense responsibility is shared by all the stakeholders in commercial communication like advertising industry, retailers and the hospitality sectors. The process of establishing effective management mechanism in the organization has the advantage over the detailed legislation provided by governments. This in effect does not only help the organization’s good image branding but also helps the consumers to make the right choices by provision of correct information. Government’s oversight role in the industry is also complemented by such efforts. While some countries give the companies a free hand in coming up with self regulation and management of the commercial communication process, some countries have laws that regulates such activities like advertising extensively (Mozammel & Odugbemi, 2005)

Management of the commercial communication process is a concept that can be applied differently in different organizational cultures. It is also important to note that different countries have different commercial and legal traditions. For a company to have good management of commercial communication that impacts on the company in a positive way, it should make sure that the advertisement and other commercial communication channels selected are not only legal but decent and truthful. It should conform to the generally accepted principle of maintaining healthy competition and having a good business practice. The promotional material should be prepared with a sense and understanding of the social responsibility of the business. All advertisement is done based on the principle of fairness without any form of unethical messages that offends the competitors or the general public.

As part of establishing proper commercial communication strategy, organization should have a well resourced and impartial office that is ready to deal with all the complaints from consumers and interested parties that arise as a result of complaints about the commercial communication done. This will help the business organization to maintain a credible face and maintain the public confidence. This include the establishment of a formal process of efficiently dealing with complaints that are brought up about a product not being promoted, marketed or advertised accordingly (Irigion et al. 2002).

There are many advantages for all the organization to have responsive commercial communication departments that guide all the people in the organization about the process of conducting advertisement and general branding of the company image. Effective and efficient system of managing commercial communication helps to maintain consumer confidence especially when the message is done well. Commercial communication strategies should be tailored properly so that they are not only legal, but also a true reflection of company services and products. A good system shows that a company is responsible and active in promoting its products to the general population that can use the product.

The institutionalization of internal company policies is very important for regulating the development of commercial communication. This will help to handle the suggestion of the members of the public in the promotion of the company products. The companies can come up with internal codes on marketing and dealing with all the different forms of commercial communication that the firm engages in. This is especially important for the image as a response to the concerns raised by the consumers. Some of the organization ensures management of commercial communication process by developing a manual to guide all the different people in the commercial communication department. It is also imperative for coming up with a training module to help new employees in the organization to comply with the common required standards (Mefalopulos & Kamlongera, 2004).

Hiring expert’s communication strategies is another effective way of managing commercial communication of an organization. In undertaking this, a firm should consider the two main audiences that the information in the commercial communication should target. In developing a communication strategy, the first audience is the industry players and the second recipient is the consumer. The industry players include all the people employed to produce and disseminate all the communication materials marketing the company. Some of the industry players include marketing department of the company, advertising and marketing companies. These groups also include media houses and publishing companies that transmit the messages in the commercial communication and the retailers of the products produces by the company. The company should be able to deal with all forms of brand advertising and marketing communication that is relevant to the targeted customers. This includes advertisement in broadcast and print media, packaging of the products attractively ad internet promotion activities to sell the products.

When it comes to developing marketing strategies, marketing managers and employees should need to understand the importance of having a mechanism in place to conduct a self regulation. It is also good to appreciate the loss that will come to the company if the commercial communication codes are not adhered both in spirit and letter. The same code of conduct should be transmitted to the entire promotional and marketing teams together with the suppliers and retailers of the products (Faulkner, 2002).

Conducting in-house training regularly is a very good communication strategy of ensuring that all the people who are likely to be tasked with development of commercial communication materials understand the codes adopted by the organization. In-house training schemes that shows employees from time to time the way they are to make the advertising or materials for promotional campaigns. The material for the training can also come from the companies own codes or the formal regulatory framework by the industry players or the government.

It is also very necessary for effective management of commercial communication to include the wider communication industry players. These players like advertising and public relations agencies play significant role in the development of commutation materials and ensuring that the right message is received by the public as a whole. The PR and advertising agencies , including the publishers and retailers all need to be very knowledgeable with the products features and properties first so that they can rely the same to the customers and general public accurately and with limited exaggeration of what the product can do and cannot do. The company needs to go further and educate them on the self regulatory codes and conducts that are to guide the process of advertising and promoting the products of the company. So that they do the promotion work very responsibly, firms can include the industry player in the in-house training done to staff to explain the entire communication strategy and the codes to be followed by all the concerned (Bird & Grant, 2005).

Depending on the industry, communication strategist of the organization can possibly target the people at the point of sale of the products. If it is possible, serve training can be used to enable these people responsible for selling product about the features of the product and how best to sell without misinforming the customers. Understanding the codes of dong the promotion for the products will go a long way in ensuring that the consumers are not misled in an effort to seal a deal.

All the market strategies employed by organization have the main aim of persuading the customers to buy the products offered by the company. In this endeavor, some companies have not taken time to educate the consumers about the general codes to be followed in advertisement. It is therefore necessary in managing commercial communication to target the consumers with information about the existence of a regulatory framework of doing commercial communication and the channels of conducting a complaints in case they come across an advertisement that or any other commercial communication that is offensive or rightly misleading. This can be done by coming up with publications on how complaints can be done by any member of the public who feel aggrieved by the way the company or an agency affiliated to it. This information can then is advertised in the media. This is part of the process an organization involves in to achieve self regulation and confidence of customer and the general community. This information can then be published by the companies on the websites and other spaces provided in the media freely for such educative purposes (Bales & Gilliam, 2004).

Some of the barriers encountered in commercial communication include organizational politics. This comes out to the public as confrontation between the different managers in a firm with different departments putting up advertisement to advertise a service or product without passing through a central communication office or person. Another barrier to commercial communication is coming up with messages that are appealing to both male and female customers. This is because the different genders have different things and perception to products that appease to them. Depending on how a communication is tailored, a good product can be either rejected for being feminine or masculine. Meeting the perception of a wide range of customers is a big challenge. The different social groups in a society would like to be specifically targeted and motioned in product for it to access them. Some of the barriers arise due to the physical and cultural differences that can be found in the population targeted by a commercial communication such as branding of a product. It is important that the company communicator understand that commercial communication barriers are interrelated and therefore one barrier in the production of a commercial communication can easily create another barrier and increase the difficulty in communication process (Anyaegbunom, 2004).

Development of responsive communication strategy is imperative in overcoming some or all of the barriers that a company may encounter in commercial communication. When done ethically and professionally, effective commercial communication can position the company in the mind of the customer for a long period of time. The messages should be as persuasive as possible and done professionally to enhance the professional image of the organization. This will lead to better sales and employee satisfaction and profitable financial results. Any company that put in place proper management initiatives for dealing with commercial communication will not only be competitive in the industry but will also be efficient since what is promised in the advertisement and other branding mechanism used by the organization is clearly what the organization is ready to provide. An effective communication manager will therefore not only understand that commercial communication is business but will always try to understand barriers and come up with strategies to minimize their effects on the products and the image of the company as a whole.

Branding has been used by business entities to position an existing product or a new product in the market strategically. When this is done effectively, the firm stands to gain from long term loyalty of the customers. On the other hand, a poor branding exercise will cause a firm a lot of loses since the product will not be appealing to the target market. The company’s public relations experts and the advertising agencies need to invest a lot of time so that the final outcome outcome in terms of commercial communication is relevant and is appealing to the public. Achieving companies have done so by capturing the confidence of the population targeted by a production, the exercise often start with calculated launch of a new product and then followed by aggressive marketing to explain the product feature and win the customers from a competitor. This calls upon the management of commercial communication not only to understand the communication medium that will reach all the targeted customers but more importantly, conduct research on the characteristic and purchasing habits of these people. For example, for a product to be used by the middle class who commonly read newspapers and magazines, the print media is the most appropriate. On the other hand, the radio is been found to be more successful in making commercial communication that is to reach a more wide range of people of all classes and social status

In the modern competitive environment business can increasingly under pressure to reach new markets and increase sales while at the same time protecting its traditional customers. It is therefore tempting for commercial communication departments to come up with ways of remaining a float especially when under threat. The brand owner has the ultimate responsibility of making sure the contracted public relations agencies do a good job of branding but not contradicting the codes of commercial communication. This is because, it is the business that will lose out financially and further subjected to injurious publicity when complaints arise against how a commercial communication of a product was done. The public relations agencies may also suffer bad publicity and lose clients from the firms who do not want to suffer from law suits and adverse publicity. The practitioners in the commercial communication should be therefore discouraged from pushing the boundaries of the codes so much.


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