Thursday, January 11, 2007

Corporate Communication in Modern Times

Dear Colleagues,

I do not like to send "forward" messages. I like to write what I feel and the way I think. I do not scare the keyboard. My subjects are generally on "energy, petroleum, gas, sales, customer relations, thermal power plants, design softwares, and my past experiences in business life".

Maybe you already know that I am 1973 mechanical engineering graduate from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara Turkey. I worked as plant construction engineer for first 10 years in a public owned heavy machine works just after my graduation. So I learnt the thermal power plant- steam boiler business from the very beginning. Then I worked for next 20 years in local and international companies in design, proposal, sales and marketing activities at various levels.

Since 1999, I serve the local market in thermal power plant design software services. It is my sincere feeling that it is a must to have local design activities for local thermal power plants. There is no difficulty nor any need to scare from design activity in the local market. All parties are using the same international design softwares. There is almost very limited in-house design software development in companies, almost negligible or unimportant. Reputable companies in USA, UK, Europe, in Japan are now too expensive in the international market competition. Newcomers are companies from China, India, Korea, Pakistan, and from other Far East countries using the same international basic design softwares.

We have capable qualified young engineering power no less than other developing countries, matching the best high world standards. We need to leave the existing conventional Turkish scope of raw Labor supply covering "civil works and site installation" activity which has very low value added scope and very low profit margins.

If we do not use these young bright new engineering generation, due to their dissatisfaction they will soon leave the country and work in foreign lands although for all their life they will be facing discrimination.

Now let us come to the subject of today. You may first react that this is nothing to do with our energy business. That is something to apply, that is something to apprehend and evaluate in your day -to- day business.

We have many big corporate in our local market. You know them all very well.

They all have web pages. There they all have communication information. When you access their communication information page, the most of the time you find no name, no e-mail address but a simple small box to fill in what you ask. First you supply all your private information. Then you have to put all you ask into that small box.

They think that they know everything within their own staff level.

They do not need your evaluation, presentation, communication.

Then that request will be under the mercy of some administrative assistant, and most probably scraped by "delete" button of their keyboard. You never reach to whom you have to.

Last week, I entered to web site of one of big local corporate. Since I know their top person from newspapers, TV, other media sources, I put his name on top of my message as follows,


Dear Sir

Since Turkey will face a serious energy supply crises in next few years, big/ small many companies started to make business efforts for their own power plants whether or not they know energy business. They applied to Energy markets Regulatory Board of Turkey for licensing of their new energy projects. Upon receipt of their licenses, they went to international markets to find investors, contractors, partners. There is almost none. Now they look for their own solutions. Your corporation had also many plants which need electricity. We understand that you have no power plant to supply your own electricity. Your plants will stop working, if you do not install your own energy power plant. You need to have new investment initiatives. You are spending your money for some unnecessary business activities, building new shopping malls, etc. You should start to have your own plans. For thermal power plant design activities, I can serve your corporation. Please advise


After one week, an e-mail message appeared on my PC screen

"Your message is received. Thank you for your comments. Signature- Corporate Communication Coordinator"

It is like a message from a machine, from an android, from outer space. I could not evaluate the response. You may say that in this world of spam, junk mail bombardment, it is obvious defence for a corporate. But that is too much. you can not reach any human being in the modern world.

Phone respond in prerecorded machine messages. Web sites respond again with pre- written messages. You can not reach any one in the corporate world. Even you do, those administrative assistants will never let you reach our contact point. The security guards will never let you in, even make you very sorry that you came to their main corporate gate.

Even staff in the smaller companies apply the same procedures. "Do you have an appointment?" - Even if you have- They have no time to listen to you.

I do not know where we shall go to with that isolated, insulated world of corporate management. If I can reach someone via his/her cellular phone, or if his/her e-mail is responding, then I make business with them. For others, I do not care. Let them do what they want. Your further comments are always welcome


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