Corporate Communication: Mohammed Rashid Al-Khanji
Corporate success has many requirements: a clear corporate vision, an experienced management team, qualified employees, adequate funding, and a well-devised operating plan. Each of these factors is a fundamental part of a corporation. Yet, without a clear communication strategy, all these factors may not even become apparent, and success cannot be guaranteed.
Simply put, corporate communication can be defined as the practices through which a corporation communicates with its stakeholders.
Communication can have different forms and types. It can be internal, as each corporation needs a procedural protocol to govern the exchange of information within its working force and between its different departments. The absence of such a system can hinder cooperation, disconnect the corporation’s values and goals from its personnel, and even affect the quality of the work environment.
On the other hand, external communication is directed outwardly toward external stakeholders. This might include clients, media, and general audience.
The different tasks and responsibilities of external communication departments mean that the structure of their work could vary from one corporation to the next. Certain fields may require media relations to interact with the media on behalf of the corporation, ensuring a credible and positive depiction of the corporation’s vision and objectives. Other fields require a marketing component to their communications to retain current clients or attract new ones and increase the appeal of their products or services. As the name implies, public relations concentrate on building and maintaining the corporation’s relationship with its public audience. In general, the objective of all these sub-departments remains to build the corporate brand, improve its reputation and stance in the market, and provide a positive overall image to the stakeholders and general public.
The key to effective corporate communications is formulating a message that correctly conveys the corporate’s vision. Communication messages vary according to purpose, target audience, and in terms of medium (be it a press release or conference, social media posts, presentations, or even an SMS or a phone call).
Communication specialists are expected to undertake multiple tasks, including liaising with media and governmental agencies and creating content in press releases, speeches, presentations, and emails. They also have administrative and managerial responsibilities such as designing and implementing communication strategies and protocols, crisis communications, and team management activities like allocating duties, training, and supervision.
As all corporations, institutions, organizations, and companies are increasingly aware of the importance of effective communication, the future of this industry is very promising. Also, academic preparation for corporate communications qualifies you for public relations, marketing, journalism, and media roles. If you are interested in this line of work, it is important to do research and talk to industry professionals about what it entails to make sure it aligns with your skills and ambitions. This is important because having a passion for an industry with such a high overhead for learning and development will give you great opportunities to excel at your work.
However, as in all highly rewarding careers, a career in corporate communication comes with challenges. It is a field that fits people who possess creative skills, especially writing and storytelling skills, because they are the basis of creating an effective message. Communication, presentation, and time management skills are also essential because you often work and cooperate with colleagues under pressure to meet important deadlines.
Qatar University’s BA in Mass Communications is an excellent start if you are interested in pursuing a career in corporate communication.
Mohammed Rashid Al-Khanji
Local and Regional Media Manager
Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy
Working in the media was a childhood dream of mine, in particular, sports-related media and journalism. However, when I got to pick my major in university, I opted for a degree in business administration, as it was in high demand in the labor market at the time. Despite that, I never forgot my dream, and as it happened, I cofounded Al-Annabi sports online forum with a group of friends, and it became one of the most prominent sports sites in Qatar. It was partially because forums were very popular at the time, as they were like today’s social media platforms. But the forum’s success mainly came as a result of our efforts, as oftentimes we’d beat even the newspapers to exclusive news.
After graduating from the College of Business and Economics at Qatar University, I worked as a broker at Qatar Stock Exchange. But at the time, I kept searching for an opportunity to redirect my career path toward media, communication, or marketing. Two years later, I joined the communications department of Amlak Finance, where I started accumulating experience in this field. My experience at Amlak Finance allowed me to join Barwa Group, where I continued to develop my expertise in communication, marketing, media, and public relations. I then worked in the same field for Qatar Stars League for 11 years, after which I moved to Dreama Orphan Care Center as the Director of Social Services. Later, I was delegated to the Supreme Committee to support their communications department and teams.
The communications team at the SC is making great efforts to establish and show the true image of the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. Highlighting the numerous achievements of the SC, introducing football fans around the world to details and information about the tournaments, and promoting Qatar’s efforts since it won the bid to host the tournament, are all responsibilities undertaken by the team. Within the team, my work is centered on media relations, as the media, in both its traditional and alternative forms (social media), is an integral part of our efforts to reach the largest segment of the public we can and get information across to all audiences. We’ve built a great and fruitful relationship with many local and Arab media outlets, which has helped us deliver our message to millions of football fans worldwide. We also attended many conferences and events inside and outside the State of Qatar, where we had the opportunity to meet influential media figures and prominent organizations representing numerous media outlets, and we worked hard to provide them with the best representation of what is being achieved in Qatar in order to host this historic event. This is precisely why I like working in this field: we constantly meet with new and talented individuals, and it is very enriching and interesting to hear their ideas and benefit from their experience!
I learned through my experiences that every step you make will pay off sooner or later, but it is also important to always be open for further learning and development. It is a continuous process, as there is always something to figure out and something to learn. Do not be afraid of change. As long as you have done your research, have the passion, and believe change is the right way to go, do not hesitate. I advise students to seriously consider pursuing a career in communication, as interest in the field is rapidly growing, and it is as important as every department in any organization. Communication is instrumental to the success of any project, and without it, no one will know what is being accomplished. If you choose to work in this field, you must know that you bear a great responsibility that requires commitment and hard work.
I take great pride in being part of the team responsible for organizing the World Cup. When you see our team at work, you will find unparalleled passion, as they all love their jobs. Many of us work non-stop, seven days a week, to fulfill our promise to organize the best-ever World Cup!