The need to improve the coordination of communications across an organization is driving large companies to establish communications centers that optimize the function at global, regional and business unit levels; even smaller companies are moving toward increased centralization. 

We define the communications center as a central, regional or business unit hub of shared marketing services, infrastructure and processes that enables organizations to develop and execute best practice-based, companywide reputation programs. It’s a hybrid structure between centralization and decentralization that leans toward a pragmatic “center of excellence” approach.

Whether as a centralized communications competency for a smaller company or as part of an integrated business unit/regional marketing organization, the communications center should provide five core services, including infrastructure, strategy, governance, communication services and social operations.

While key aspects of traditional communications are optimized in many companies, the rise of new media has sent many back to square one in terms of experience and best practices. In addition, few organizations have the requisite structure or processes to ensure consistent communications performance across disparate geographies or lines of business. But the three key reasons why organizations struggle to deliver a consistent communications strategy, particularly from a brand and message consistency perspective? Distributed management challenges, a lack of leverage and a tenuous link to demand creation.