HomeDissertation:Creative BtoSforS Communications in an Age of Sustainability

Creative BtoSforS Communications in an Age of Sustainability

Conclusion: Remaining Issues

Konosuke Matsushita, the founder of Panasonic, established the concept of “the company as a public entity of society” as his management philosophy and disseminated his company’s social character both inside and outside the company.The social value of a company is said to be its sociability or, when it grows larger, its character as a public entity. Corporate value cannot necessarily be seen in business-oriented financial statements alone. Sociability is abstract, and appreciation differs depending on the recipient, so it is necessary for a company to communicate matters for which it wishes to acquire approval in a prioritized and easy-to-understand manner. Gaining approval for these communication activities is a major issue facing BtoSforS communications.

Corporate communication activities are part of a company’s business operations and must be managed. In order to achieve the goals and objectives of those activities, it is necessary to solve problems and manage them so that plans are drafted and efficiently implemented, in other words, by rotating the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle.

Cutlip, Center, and Broom state that public relations is a process comprised of four problem-solving processes that are continually overlapping one another and circulating. These processes are “defining the problem,” “planning and programming,” “taking action and communicating,” and “evaluating the program” (Figure 3). “Public relations” can be replaced here by “corporate communications,” and the description applies to BtoSforS communications as well.

Practically speaking, the hardest part in implementing this process is “evaluating the program.” In a Keizai Koho Center survey, of the issues that worry public relations departments, “Measuring the effectiveness of public relations activities is difficult” scored the largest response at 68.7%, followed by “We have few personnel for public relations” in second place at 45.4% and “Our budget for public relations is small” at 31.8%. The results were just about the same in previous surveys, so this can be seen as a long-term trend. Advertising included, it is unavoidable to an extent. But nevertheless such communications are a part of business, so companies must not neglect their efforts to constantly check their programs. The setting of goals that do not rely on individual judgments like spur-of-the-moment ideas and likes and dislikes and the development of methods of measuring the results have been important challenges for communication departments in whatever era. One reason why advertising expenses tend to be more subject to cuts than capital investment or research and development spending is probably that this methodology has not been established.

Finally, in view of the fact that BtoB companies have a high degree of overseas dependence, the response to globalization can be cited an urgent issue as well. At the present point in time, however, I am not informed enough to speak on this topic. I hope to address it in the future along with program evaluation.

Notes:

  • Tasaburo Kobayashi, Sangyo kokoku no kangaekata, susumekata 34-sho [Industrial Advertising: Approaches and Procedures, 34 Chapters] (Tokyo: Nikkan Kogyo Shimbun Ltd., 1965), p. 1.
  • Yasuhiko Kobayashi, “Sangyo kokoku ni kansuru hito-shian: Soshiki kobai o chushin to shite” [A draft plan for industrial advertising, with an emphasis on organizational buying], Journal of Advertising Science, Vol. 1 (Tokyo: Japan Academy of Advertising, 1975), pp. 48–54.
  • Masayoshi Yamasaki, “BtoB komyunikeishon no arata na choryu” [New currents in BtoB communications], The JAAA Reports, April (Tokyo: Japan Advertising Agencies Association, 2010), pp. 2–5.
  • Symposium marking the 40th anniversary of the Japan Industrial Advertising Association (2009), etc.
  • Masami Inoue, “CSR komyunikeishon no shinraikeisei e no eikyo: Sutekuhoruda to no kankei ni tsuite” [Influences on creating trust in CSR communications: On relations with stakeholders], Koho kenkyu No. 13 (Tokyo: Japan Society for Corporate Communications Studies, 2009), pp. 94–111.
  • Japan Industrial Advertising Association, “BtoB kigyo no shakai koken katsudo” [The social contribution activities of BtoB corporations], BtoB Communications, February (Tokyo: Japan Industrial Advertising Association, 2011), pp. 2–12.
  • Philip Kotler and Nancy Lee, Corporate Social Responsibility: Doing the Most Good for Your Company and Your Case (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2005). Shakaiteki sekinin no maketingu, trans. Naoto Onzo, (Tokyo: Diamond, 2007), pp. 4, 275–80.
  • Masayoshi Yamasaki, “Koshakaisei e kokunushi no pasupekutibu” [Advertiser perspectives on prosociality], Kokoku hyogen ronri to jitsumu [Advertising Expression, Theory and Practice], ed. Yutaka Mizuno (Tokyo: Senden Kaigi, 2009), pp. 63–79.
  • Konosuke Matsushita, Jissen keiei tetsugaku [A Philosophy of Practical Management] (Tokyo: PHP, 1978), p. 42.
  • Seiya Ikari, Yukihiro Ueno, Takashi Kenmochi, and Masamichi Shimizu, CC senryaku no riron to jissen: Kankyo, CSR, kyosei [CC Strategy Theory and Practice: Environment, CSR, Mutualism] (Tokyo: Doyukan, 2008), p. 39.
  • Scott M. Cutlip, Allen H. Center, and Glen M. Broom, Effective Public Relations, 9th ed. (New Jersey: Pearson, 2005), pp. 282–283.
  • Keizai Koho Center, ed., Dai-10-kai kigyo no koho katsudo ni kansuru ishiki jittai chosa hokokusho [10th survey report on current state of awareness regarding corporate communications activities] (Tokyo: Keizai Koho Center, 2009), p. 75.
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