International corporate image research

Date of publication: October 1, 1981


This paper offers an overview of the types of objective set for corporate image programmes, and discusses the problems of target group definition in an international context. It argues that more attention should be given to the processes of opinion forming, so that advertising and public relations activity can be designed more appropriately in each country. The corporate image of a company is based on the extent and type of its activities in each country. In developing a communications strategy, we need to know not only what the existing image is, but also how it is related to that of particular products and services and to more general factors such as the perceptions of the industrial sector and the country of origin of the company. The paper describes a simple analysis which classifies the product/corporate relationship and may help with some basic corporate communications decisions. It concludes that the solutions will be different for each company, and probably for each country; and that great care and often more research at an early stage, are needed in planning international corporate image campaigns.

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