Opinion and Analysis
Communication strategy crucial before a firm lists
Posted Tuesday, June 19 2012 at 18:23
Some companies are founded on the assumption that they will go public as soon as possible. Others come to the decision later, due to changes in their environment or business plan. Whether the organisation is in its inception or is an established private company, it is important to ensure that the decision to go public is made after full consideration of the challenges involved.
The more consideration that goes into the decision, the better prepared the company will be to deal with the rigours of the going public process itself and the responsibilities of life as a public company, hence the concept of communication strategy.
A communication strategy is more about setting the right tone for your business and communicating these expectations to your employees and being ready to effectively carry the same to the public who are the shareholders and stakeholders of the company.
Communication is key to successful leadership whether at the corporate level or in a small business. A strong communication strategy will ensure that your message is received and understood by your intended audience. According to Lee Froschheiser, the president and CEO of Map Consulting (MAP), the six basic functions of management are leading, planning, organizing, staffing, controlling and communicating.
Froschheiser states that having a clear communication strategy ties these functions together and is the most important quality in great leadership. A written communication strategy is a document that states your objectives, your goals, identifies your audience, offers tools and a timetable, and plans evaluations.
A communication strategy encompasses all forms of communication and in this case we put more emphasis to corporate communication with the public, as a company gears towards going public or listing.
Communications strategy also is directly related to issues of compliance. That, ability to cope with compliance requirements— the onerous disclosure and filing requirements to which public companies are subject, along with rigid deadlines, require a diligence and an attention to detail which may not be compatible with the creative genius of some of the founding members of an emerging company.
The new requirement of financial disclosures also demands the best practice in the industry as in effective corporate communication. Effective communication strategy is in fact an obligation to the shareholders.
Abande is a legal assistant at CIC Insurance Group Limited.