Institutional communication and commercial communication do not have the same role in a B2B setting. While the main purpose of the first is to establish and promote the image of the company, the second mainly allows you to sell its products and services.
The strategies implemented for these two forms of communication are therefore not the same. In Institutional Communication the company itself and its image are in the focus and not the products or services it offers.
What Is Institutional Communication?
Institutional Communication looks to transmit the personality of the institution, the
image, and the values that fund it. It tries to shape and connect the three separate images of the company:
- The one perceived by the public
- The objectively real one.
- The internal one the company wishes to fully realize.
The utilisation of public relations, internal communications and various other practices help us achieve all of the above.
Institutional Communication in B2B
In the B2B sector the targeted public is much smaller and well-informed than in the B2C market. Trade news is presumably more closely monitored. Word of mouth travels faster. Face value means far less, and impressions last much longer. Reputation matters much more for other businesses than for consumers. It is much more difficult to be mislead them.
For these reasons we cannot overstate the importance of all aspects of Institutional Communication. Internal communication is crucial as inadequate training and unclear guidelines for employees can lead to an unpleasant costumer experience, which in turn severely damages company reputation. The same goes for the corporate brand and identity, because although face value matters less in the B2B world, a certain amount of professionalism is expected.
Public relations still plays a large role in the B2B sector. Connections with the trade media are invaluable, and the larger public’s goodwill is also important. No company wants to do business with a corporation scrutinized by the public, as it would show them in a bad light as well.