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Caterpillar: Use of PR tools to communicate with internal and external publics

Evaluate a company that communicates regularly with its internal/external publics. Examine the effectiveness of its communications process and the impact of effective communications process to its external/internal publics. 

Cite at least three examples of the actual PR tools used by the chosen organization.

I would like to do the assignment on Caterpillar Inc. (www.cat.com) and would like help understanding some of the external PR tools used by the company. Also, how would I know whether the tools were effective?

It would also be helpful to understand various internal PR tools that companies use (in general) and I can then figure out if Caterpillar uses any of the tools, etc.

Solution Preview

Effective Communications Internal/External

Caterpillar - Internal Communications

A New Direction

In 2004 the company reached a key financial achievement, they exceeded $30 billion sales. Leadership wanted to focus on the company's new challenges. They knew that communication a vision to 80,000 employees scattered around the world would be difficult. They hired VSA Partners to develop an integrated internal communications plan. Together they developed unique inspiring vides, graphics, strategy work books to clearly communicate the company's new vision and strategic intent to a diverse workforce.

Adapted from http://www.vsapartners.com/case.asp?clientid=33&picnum=0&client=Caterpillar&project=311704702

Caterpillar Europe HQ

Caterpillar created an environment in which employees from many different backgrounds and cultures came together. At Caterpillar's European headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland, employees from a variety of nationalities... The challenge was to develop a team spirit with employees with different backgrounds. Employee Communication Manager Gottardo Bontagnali realized that in virtually all European villages there was a central marketplace where people buy products, socialize and pass information in Italian this is called a piazza. This is the village's most efficient communication method.

He recreated the cafeteria into a piazza. "Employees were encouraged to use the piazza for informal meetings and discussions."Let's discuss it over a cup of coffee in the piazza" has become part of Caterpillar's culture in Geneva. And because so many people use the piazza for regular exchanges, it's become an important means of sharing information on an impromptu basis as well. But the most impressive result is how workplace design helped build workforce camaraderie and a common sense of purpose."

Source -- Unleashing the Power of Creative ...

Solution Summary

In a 1000+ word solution, the external and internal communications of Caterpillar are demonstrated complete with world-wide examples. The effectiveness of the One Voice initiative is explained. Also included in the solution are lists of types of PR tools used for external and internal communications.

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