Using Business Principles to support ethical communication A Vodafone case study
Page 4: External communication with other stakeholders
As well as customers, Vodafone has a number of other key stakeholder groups that are important to its business success. Vodafone applies the same open and transparent communication Principle here.
Communication with such a wide variety of stakeholders is complex. Vodafone has to adapt and direct communications so they are appropriate for each stakeholder group.
It has a programme to engage with all these groups on a range of issues. Good communication is a two-way process. It enables Vodafone to listen to issues, thoughts and concerns from all its stakeholders. These are reviewed and reflected back inside the company. Vodafone can then make adjustments to its strategy as required. In addition it can update these groups on what it is doing as a business.
Consultation takes place all the time with key stakeholders. Vodafone's priority is to develop and maintain dialogue with them. Talking to stakeholders is an open process. Individuals or groups who might have a view or be affected by Vodafone's actions are given a chance to have their points discussed.
Good communication is a two-way process.
The importance of feedback
The process also helps Vodafone obtain feedback. Feedback comes from different sources. It frequently comes from focus groups where customers can give their views and opinions. Feedback is also received through round-the-table sessions with Non Governmental Organisations. These meetings enable managers from Vodafone to seek the views of key stakeholders.
Open and transparent behaviour encourages mutual trust and respect for different views and positions. It ensures that the channels of communication remain open.
The process helps those making decisions to understand where the business is doing well and where it needs to focus more attention. The company is then able to consider all views and make appropriate changes or redirect its priorities.
It is not always possible for the company to act on the views of stakeholders. Sometimes their requirements may not fit with Vodafone's wider business strategy. When this happens, Vodafone will still behave in line with its business Principle and explain clearly why it is not always possible to act on a particular view. This might be because the stakeholder view is too narrow or is not in line with Vodafone's strategy. This open and transparent behaviour encourages mutual trust and respect for different views and positions. It ensures that the channels of communication remain open.
Press releases are another way of informing a wider audience. These provide details of Vodafone's business activities through newspapers or magazines. Public relations (PR) helps Vodafone to create positive views about how it takes its responsibilities seriously.
Vodafone | Using Business Principles to support ethical communication