A mission is a general expression of the prime purpose of the organization, which, ideally, is in line with the values and expectations of major stakeholders and concerned with the scope and boundaries of the organization. It is often referred to with the simple question ‘What business are we in?’.
A vision is the desired future state of the organization. It is an aspirational view of the general direction that the organization wants to go in, as formulated by senior management, and that requires the energies and commitment of members of the organization.
Objectives and goals are the more precise (short-term) statements of direction, in line with the formulated vision, and that are to be achieved by strategic initiatives or strategies.
Strategies involve actions and communications that are linked to objectives, and are often specified in terms of specific organizational functions (e.g., finance, operations, human resources, etc.).
Operations strategies are for streamlining operations and human resource strategies for staff support and development initiatives are common to every organization as well as, increasingly, full-scale corporate communication strategies.
Key to having a corporate communication strategy is the notion of a corporate identity: the basic profile that an organization wants to project to all its important stakeholder groups and how it aims to be known by these various groups in terms of the corporate images and reputations that they have of the organization.
To ensure that different stakeholders indeed conceive of an organization in a favorable and broadly consistent manner, and also in line with the projected corporate identity, organizations need to go to great lengths to integrate all their communication from brochures, advertising campaigns to websites in tone, themes, visuals and logos.
The stakeholder concept takes centre-stage within corporate communication at the expense of considering the organizational environment simply in terms of markets and public.
Organizations increasingly are recognizing the need for an ‘inclusive’ and ‘balanced’ stakeholder management approach that involves actively communicating with all stakeholder groups upon which the organization depends and not just shareholders or customers.
Corporate Communication is geared towards establishing favorable corporate images and reputations with all of an organization’s stakeholder groups, so that these groups act in a way that is conducive to the success of the organization.
In other words, because of favorable images and reputations customers and prospects will purchase products and services, members of the community will appreciate the organization in its environment, investors will grant financial resources, and so on.