Monday, July 01, 2013

CORPORATE COMMUNICATION & PR 101 - By Rod C. Estrera - No. 001 - 01 July 2013 - Communication vs. Communications

By Rod C. Estrera

No. 001 – 01 July 2013 

Communication vs. Communications


It has been over seven years since I last posted on my eight year old Blog Site. I was not even sure if the site was still fully operational. But, lo and behold, upon checking this past weekend, I was pleasantly surprised to find all of my past entries still intact and my account totally accessible.

So, why am I back? As many of my colleagues in the local PR/Communication Industry and the Academe know, I have decided to take a sabbatical from teaching after seven straight years of doing so at Miriam College, where I taught Basic PR and Marketing to Junior and Senior Bachelor of Arts in Communication Majors on Saturdays.

I must admit that I sometimes miss the weekly ritual of wearing a different hat from my regular PR executive role on weekdays. However, current increased demands and workload at my day job require me to now have two full weekend days for rest, recreation, physical fitness and spiritual renewal.

Thus, in lieu of live teaching before actual students this school year, and to keep my academic muscles active, I have decided to publish simple, back-to-basics lessons, tips and even personal insights on Public Relations and Corporate Communication, which have consistently been my core areas of expertise and experience over the past 30-or-so years.

Moving forward, I will endeavor to post at least one brief article every week, focusing on one or two easy-to-remember topics that hopefully would be useful for both my fellow PR/Communication Professionals and our Clients/Bosses. 

For this first issue, we will compare “COMMUNICATION” and “COMMUNICATIONS” – two terms that are often interchanged, not only by the general public but also by fellow industry practitioners.

So is there really a difference? There sure is – a really big one.

Let’s start with “COMMUNICATIONS” (With the “S”). This refers to the MEANS or HARDWARE, that is, the tools, media, technology and resources of implementation – such as TV, Radio, Telephone, Mobile Phone, and now Tablets and Android Devices, etc. That’s why we say “Telecommunications” (instead of Telecommunication) and “Broadcast Communications” since these are tools (or tactics)

However, “COMMUNICATION” (Without the “S”) refers to the PROCESS of strategizing, informing, persuading and motivating to achieve objectives. Hence, we say “Communication Plan” (and not Communications Plan). As a mnemonic device to help us remember this distinction, let’s ask ourselves, “Where did the ‘S’ go in the word ‘Communication’?” Our reply then is that “the Letter ‘S’ went to the word ‘STRATEGY’.” Thus, a Corporate Communication Department or Function in a company is more concerned with Communication Strategies than simply being artisans and craftspeople.

I do hope you’ve found the above useful. Do stay tuned as I publish my next issue a few days from now.  We will begin a series on “The Four Key Questions” that need to be asked and addressed in the preparation of every Communication Plan. Thank you for your interest and have a great and productive week ahead!