Dr. Peggy Simcic Brønn, professor, BI Norwegian Business School.
The role of the Centre for Corporate Communication is to work with the communication community to shape the future of corporate communication in Norway. Our most important job is to help communication executives achieve their goals and demonstrate the value of their role and their function in their organizations. We do this by listening to practitioners and by studying the impact and importance of communication for value creation. We develop leadership training, and organize knowledge exchange between the best of class in research and practice through summits, workshops, breakfast meetings and other venues.
Started in 2007, with support from Frode Vik Jensen, then head of Kommunikasjonforeningen, the Centre for Corporate Communication is currently the only organized corporate communication/PR research group in Norway. It has built a significant body of knowledge around Norwegian practice, attracted leading European researchers as colleagues and published in highly ranked international journals.
This means that Norway is now close to a desired research model within the field where researchers work in close cooperation with practitioners to observe and to build models of practice. This aids practitioners in their work at all levels within organizations.
“The business of PR is really the business of trust.” This was the message that the communication director of the confederation representing Europe’s largest manufacturing sector had for the nearly 200 people gathered at BI on 27 October to help celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Centre.
Led by Geir Arne Drangeid of First House, speakers addressed the changing face of PR/corporate communication in Norway from their own perspective over the last ten years. Speakers included:
- Ole Christian Apeland, CEO, Apeland: The field of communication: 2007-2017: What has changed?
- Catherine Torp, VP Communication, DNV GL: Measuring up? The quest of the “wholly grail” of performance measurement
- Kristin Welle-Strand, Communication Director and Kjetil Svorkmo Bergmann, Senior Advisor, Innovation Norway, Conventional communications meets unconventional CEO
- Ole Petter Syrrist-Leite, Head of Communication and Public Affairs, BI: The Power of We
- Håkon Mageli, Group Director Corporate Communication and Corporate Affairs, Orkla: Sustainability towards 2020
- Keynote: Florence Ranson, Director of Communications, FoodDrinkEurope, co-founder European Association of Communication Directors, chair European Excellence Awards: Back to the Future: What’s in My Crystal Ball?
- Torund Bryhn, Director of Communications & Government Relations, Gassnova: Moving Beyond Acronyms
COMMUNICATION IS BECOMING AN IMPERATIVE
Participants agreed that the role of communication in organizations is becoming more important, almost an imperative, as change accelerates, stakeholders increase, values become more important, and reputation comes increasingly under fire.
Challenges exist in the form of how to optimize the use of social media effectively, particularly by leaders, how to measure and convey the value of communication efforts to leaders, and how to frame messages to avoid the pitfalls of clichés.
These are demanding challenges for organizations struggling with issues around sustainability. As noted at the summit, trust in companies is generally low in all Nordic countries, creating a difficult backdrop for companies wanting to communicate messages about their sustainability efforts. This is important as failure to engage in efforts to make society and the planet a better place may prove to be one of the biggest reputational threats facing organizations. And not all firms are skilled at communicating what they are doing in a believable and authentic manner.
Success for communication practitioners and communication departments is dependent on being ahead of the wave. We help by keeping our ears to the ground for leading-edge research, providing resources needed for better decision making, and diving deeper in to the potential and challenges for communication executives who want to explore broader organizational purpose as they contribute to and carry out strategies.
OUR KNOWLEDGE PARTNERS
The work of the Centre is dependent on the support from individuals who have made us part of their communication budgets over the last 10 years. We are grateful to our current partners Yngve Kveine, BI Norwegian Business School; Torund Bryhn, Gassnova; Cathrine Torp, DNV GL; and Håkon Mageli, Orkla, and to all of our past partners who are listed in the table below.