Page 4: External communications
External communication strategies underpin how a business connects with stakeholders outside of the organisation. These messages influence external stakeholder’s opinions about a brand and its products or services. Enterprise’s external communication strategies are focused on its customers, potential customers, potential recruits and local communities.
Enterprise’s customer base can be divided into business-to-business (B2B) and business-to-consumer (B2C) customers. B2B customers require rental vehicles for employees whereas B2C customers have individual vehicle hire needs. Enterprise uses a different communication strategy for B2C (communication with retail customers) compared to B2B customers (communication with other businesses).
Retail is one of Enterprise’s fastest growing sectors. Enterprise focuses its messages for retail customers on its key differentiators. These include its commitment to the customer experience, its extensive branch network and its unique pick-up service. Examples of communication channels for this audience include:
- TV and press adverts to raise awareness of the brand and its services
- marketing e-mails to existing customers giving them details of services and special offers
- point of sale display advertising to promote cross-selling opportunities
- public relations to help raise awareness of the brand and how it is different.
For its B2B customers, the key messages focus on efficiency, being a businesses’ ‘partner’ and Enterprise’s new products and services. An example is Enterprise Flex-E-Rent – a long term rental solution between 28 days and 3 years. Communication channels to reach these customers include:
- adverts in trade publications
- public relations relating to new products, trends and growth
- event sponsorship such as the Motor Claims Conference for insurance companies or the Bodyshop Awards for dealerships and repair centres
- company newsletter
- account management team to deliver informal communications and support the customers’ needs.
Enterprise’s dedicated recruitment website ‘Come Alive’ promotes Enterprise to potential new recruits. The site also shows recent awards that Enterprise has achieved, for example, Enterprise was awarded Graduate Employer of the Year 2013 at the National Graduate Recruitment Awards. To win this award Enterprise demonstrated excellence in attraction, onboarding, development and retention along with providing evidence of satisfaction from a cross section of recent graduate hires. Other communication channels include Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn sites, all showing current employment opportunities.
Its graduate recruitment programme involves mainly oral communication. Campus brand managers actively promote Enterprise to staff and students at their university. This is supported by career fairs and written communication strategies such as leaflet and poster distribution which also help create brand awareness.
Enterprise’s public relations activities involve mass media coverage. Examples include positive articles in The Guardian and The Times about Enterprise’s strong graduate recruitment programmes and the benefits of Enterprise’s ‘onboarding’ programme for new recruits. Its commitment to planting 50 million trees over 50 years as part of its environmental sustainability policy has been widely communicated to stakeholders through its Sustainability Report, YouTube and in the press.