Communicating with stakeholders
A Bernard Matthews case study

Page 1: Introduction

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Bernard Matthews is the largest turkey producer in the UK. The business has grown substantially since its relatively humble origins in 1950, when Bernard Matthews bought 20 turkey eggs and a secondhand incubator. 12 turkeys successfully hatched from this initial batch and before long, the young entrepreneur was able to give up his insurance job and concentrate full-time on rearing...
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Page 2: What is communication?

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[audio= is communication?]

The communication process involves a sender (who), transmitting information (what), in a form (how) so that the receiver will understand. To communicate effectively, Bernard Matthews needs to be clear about the messages it wants to convey. It also has to: consider the intended receivers of the communication – its target audience seek out the most effective communication channels in...
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Page 3: Barriers to communication

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Anything that affects the smooth flow of information is known as “noise”. This might be, for example, the language used, an inappropriate use of technology or the different levels of skill and knowledge of the sender and receiver. For example, every day in the press and on TV, consumers are bombarded with often confusing or contradictory information about the health benefits or...
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Page 4: Communicating with internal stakeholders

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The company needed to improve its communications with its internal and external stakeholders. Internal stakeholders are those individuals and groups within the organisation. They include the employees, the managers and directors of the business and its owners or shareholders. Communications with internal stakeholders help to create a positive attitude within the company. This is particularly...
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Page 5: Communicating with external stakeholders

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One of the most significant groups of external stakeholders is Bernard Matthews' customers. However, other important external stakeholders include the government and regulatory bodies, the company's suppliers, the media and the communities that live close to the company's farms and operations. Bernard Matthews' communications programme aims to improve perceptions of the company and brand and to...
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Page 6: Conclusion

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In mass consumer markets such as food, businesses need to use a range of channels to communicate effectively with all stakeholders. They also need to respond to changes in consumer tastes and opinions and challenge any misconceptions or inaccurate stories in the media. It is still a little early to evaluate the full effects of the change in Bernard Matthews' communications strategy. However...
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