by Alexandra Groß und Hanning Kempe
Communication is an essential management tool of the 21st century - both in regard to the internal relationships within every organization and in relation to external stakeholders. Openness and transparency are crucial requirements for sustainable economic success and shareholder value in today’s corporate management and communication. The debates about purpose, Fridays for Future or more recent discussions about the learnings taken from the Corona crisis confirm this development. An authentic reputation derived from credible answers to the question of the reasoning behind economic activities is the focus of attention.
In recent decades, this development in the field of corporate management has been driven or accompanied by far-reaching regulations. The concept of "Compliance in Business" ensures that companies act responsibly and with transparent processes within the framework of existing laws. While corporate management is increasingly operating within a standardized and verifiable framework of action, comparatively little has changed in terms of communication.
Unfortunately, transparent, comprehensible and comparable criteria for the quality of consulting in companies have been largely absent so far. Too often monetary or purely personal factors still play a role in the selection and evaluation of consulting services. In the relationship between communication departments and agencies, this leads to conflicts in performance evaluation, short-lived business relationships and falling prices. Communicators in companies and agencies are equally challenged to put an end to this unsatisfactory situation.
The performance characteristics that a communication agency needs to provide in order to ensure that companies and managers receive value-added advice on communication and reputation issues in an increasingly complex and digitalized world can hardly be verified objectively.
Uniform norms and quality standards to which the industry is committed on a national or international level are non-existent. In the communications industry, the same applies today as in the days of Medicus: I am what I say I am - at least until my client proves me wrong.
Investments in mandatory processes and scalable structures hardly ever take place. Going down this fragile and unusual path communication agencies risk losing their ability to connect to the quality requirements and standards of a globally networked industry.
The current state of the industry is indeed hardly satisfactory. Particularly considering that the Consultancy Management Standard (CMS), a global set of rules for high-quality conduct in communications, has been in existence for many years. However, since there has not been a joint commitment to make the implementation of this framework binding so far, the effect of this standardization, which is based on certification by independent and certified auditors, is extremely limited.
AgencyExperts has set itself the goal to change this. We are committed to enforcing globally binding quality standards in the communications industry - in the areas of services/agencies, corporate communications and educational institutions.