Communication between business organizations is often taken for granted. The correspondences that pass between corporations, charity groups, non-government agencies, political bodies and small businesses are frequently composed and distributed with little consideration to the manner in which the corresponding company has been represented. However, today, with the increased interdependence of commercial entities coming to define the business world -- especially via web and social media outlets -- verbal, written and image-based communication between such entities is critical. The discussion below begins with an analysis of three types of communication that may be termed as Business-to-Business or B2B. B2B communications will take myriad forms aimed at achieving some level of interaction, cooperation, mutual support or partnership between two or more business entities. However, as we proceed to analyze the messages considered here below, we will find that there are distinct ways to use B2B correspondences as a way of positively defining, elucidating and elaborating upon a company's identity. As the article by Levick indicates, "B2B communications strategies need to be about more than sales and lead generation. They need to emphasize the creation of brands (please see BASF -- "We don't make a lot of the products you buy, we make a lot of the products you buy better.") that can support end users and survive a frontal assault in which your key customers are used as weapons against you. Simply put, B2Bs need to act more like sophisticated B2Cs in their communications strategies." (Levick. p. 1)
Message Analysis 1:
With regard to the sophistication called for here above, one mode of B2B which is critical to the way that other businesses perceive a given organization is the corporate logo. The primary purpose of a logo is to provide a sense of a company's identity while creating a readily identifiable and self-explanatory brand image. The sender in this case will be the company identified by the logo and the receiver is a mass audience of buyers, partners, members of the public and all other competition within the field. The message that a logo sends is decidedly contained within the image. An effective logo will convey an impression relating to the chief characteristics that a company wishes to exhibit, whether strength, intelligence, experience or reputation.
Environment and technology will also play a substantial part in how a logo is received by other businesses. As the article by Donaldson points out, it is critical that a company logo be adaptable to presentation in a diverse set of environments and according to technological demands such as those created by web-based presentation. As Donaldson observes, "when it comes to your corporate logo, you want something that works no matter what size. . . A recent issue of Wired magazine gives examples. Your logo has to work as tiny square icon in a browser address bar and as a 50-foot long banner hanging from the ceiling of the Cow Palace… and also on business cards and in email marketing." (Donaldson, p. 1)
The 'noise' that can impede a logo's effectiveness will typically arise from its given context, whether a web portal, a newspaper ad or a television program. In any instance, it is critical that the logo be presented in such as a way as to distinguish itself when surrounded by additional or unrelated information and imagery. With respect to feedback, the success of a logo as a mode of B2B communication will be determined by how well-recognized said logo becomes amongst fellow businesses, especially those within one's selected industry.
Message Analysis 2:
Another critical mode for B2B communication is one's own company website. Here, a large company may offer particular informational pages designed to convey important or actionable information to other companies. In the case of the present message, commissioned by the Disney Cruise Lines (2012), the goal of the B2B correspondence is to make other businesses and operations aware of how best to seek charitable donations from Disney. According to the Cruise Line website's message, "it is our pleasure to offer you an online tool to assist your charitable organization in submitting a contribution request for your fundraising efforts. This system will provide a more timely response to requests through electronic communication." (Disney Cruise Line News, p. 1)
This message identifies the receiver as a charitable organization, with the sender being the Disney Cruise Lines. The purpose of the message is to provide said charitable organizations with a clear understanding of how to apply for donations from Disney as well as with a portal to submit application. The message contained within provides all the rules, regulations and guidelines for submitting said application. The environment for the message is the company website itself, which reduces the presence of any interfering noise in the conveyance of the message. The technology used here is a basic web interface where feedback takes the form of submitted applications.
Message Analysis 3:
According to Khilawala (2011), one of the most effective ways to garner donations for a charitable cause is to reach out to businesses with a well-framed letter. This mode of B2B communication is of critical importance as a way of both posing the inquiry for a donation respectfully and of demonstrating the importance of the cause as well as the reputation of its sponsor. This is demonstrated in the template provided by Khilawala. This offers a basic blueprint for how, as a smaller business or charity organization, to approach a potential donor. The blueprint provide a valuable demonstration on how to use such a correspondence to demonstrate the positive previous history of the requesting organization. For instance, the Khilawala example states, "Last year, generous donations helped purchase new books for our growing library and helped us start a scholarship fund to help deserving children pay for college. We also celebrated the high school graduation of 11 of our children; 7 of whom started post secondary studies this fall. Without such generosity and support, none of this would have been possible." (Khilawala, p. 1)
This purpose of this type of B2B communication to pose a request while delineating past accomplishments warranting donation. The sender in this case will be any charitable organization seeking donations and the receiver would be any potential donor to said organization. The message contained here within, as shown above, is to present the charitable organization in a positive light while making clear the intention to collect donations. The environment here will be individually shaped by the circumstances unique to both the sender and the receiver. Noise may largely be defined here as the host of other charitable organizations that may be seeking to distinguish themselves in asking a major recipient for charitable contributions. Feedback can be characterized as the responsiveness of the potential donor to the charitable request.
To Whom It May Concern;
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