13 Clever Ways To Communicate Corporate Values To External Audiences

To ensure a cohesive organizational culture, it is critical for a company’s leaders to ensure that all internal stakeholders understand and embrace its core values. However, corporations also need to communicate their values outside of the organization in ways that people will pay attention to and remember.

While there are many avenues for reaching external parties, some are more useful than others. Here, the members of Forbes Communications Council explore 13 clever ways to communicate corporate values to audiences outside of the organization.

1. Communicate Your Values Through Actions

Communicate through actions, such as employees volunteering for a non-governmental organization’s event that aligns with your corporate values. This not only communicates your values outside of your company but also reinforces those values for your team. Actions are more meaningful than words to make values living and breathing pillars of your organization. – Katie Horvath, Aunalytics

2. Make Sure Your Leaders Walk The Talk

Rather than being clever, be authentic. Make sure your leaders demonstrate their authentic commitment to your corporate values consistently and with conviction. When leaders talk, people pay attention. As a result, they have a huge opportunity to influence others. At Cisco, our corporate values are baked into our mission statement, and our CEO and leadership team walk the talk every day. – Monica Koedel, Cisco

3. Stop Virtue Signaling

Don’t display your company values just to show how ethical and virtuous your company is. Start presenting them as the representation of a culture your customer can trust. Your customer doesn’t care about how good your business is; they care about how good your business will be to them. Make the customer the hero, not you. – Mason Burchette, Best Buy Metals


4. Show Your Progress

Too many companies are afraid to communicate the incremental steps they take toward living their corporate values, whether they are related to diversity, equity and inclusion; climate commitments; or something else. By transparently showing your work toward these larger goals, you’ll pique the interest of value-oriented consumers and create more conversation about your business. – Alyssa Kopelman, Healthline Media

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5. Create And Regularly Update Content Around Your Values

Having meaningful and relatable values is a fantastic way to keep employees engaged and attract talent. To communicate them externally, create a catchy acronym for your values, associate them with an eye-catching icon or graphic, use them in social media content and update content about your values on your website regularly to keep them fresh and relevant. – Lynn Kier, Diebold Nixdorf

6. Incorporate Your Values Into Every Facet Of Your Product

Companies that don’t simply say they stand for a given value, but rather incorporate their values into every facet of their product, are intriguing to consumers. One such company is nuhü division, a sustainably sourced loungewear company that uses no plastics in its entire process, from concept to consumer. In December, the company opened a retail store in New York City that was constructed entirely of cardboard. – R. Scott French, VERY New York

7. Partner With Influencers Who Share Your Values

Partner with influencers who share the same values and work on initiatives that best represent those values. Brands are already working with influencers to eliminate plastic waste, support LGBTQ+ communities, distribute food to the hungry and more. Results are proving that doing good is good business, and influencers are ecstatic to work with brands on social-impact initiatives. – Keith Bendes, Linqia

8. Give To Nonprofits That Support Your CSR Mission

Corporate social responsibility programs are a great way to communicate what an organization’s values are. They say you’re willing to put your money where your mouth is. For instance, if you value diversity and inclusivity, create ways to give to nonprofits that support that mission and highlight them on your website. Nonprofits can also provide other opportunities for employees to participate that aren’t financial. – Liesl Perez, Hubilo

9. Create Short, Visually Engaging Videos For Social Media

Social media is the holy grail for values messaging. It’s all about mindset and catching people when they are open to that type of messaging (not when they’re on a deadline and responding to emails). People typically scroll through social media, stopping when something catches their eye. Use short, sharp and visually engaging videos that quickly and succinctly deliver your message in seconds. – Rosie Guest, Apex Group Ltd.

10. Commission Pieces Of Art And Tell Stories That Convey Your Values

This is a difficult question to answer, as it really depends on the values of the company and what the leaders want to communicate. One example of a clever way to communicate your values outside of the company is by commissioning a piece of art that conveys those values. Another way is to tell a story that is meaningful to the customer. – Gala Grigoreva, Adsterra

11. Showcase Your Culture And Personality On Video Platforms

Video might be the most powerful way to communicate a company’s values and personality. We live in a world of TikTok, Instagram, YouTube and other video platforms. So, it only makes sense to use these highly engaging channels to connect your audience to your brand. The key is being authentic to your company’s true culture and personality. – Tom Wozniak, OPTIZMO Technologies, LLC

12. Inspire Customers To Communicate Your Values For You

Live your values, and your customers will communicate it for you. When customers are passionate about your company and the values you live, grassroots marketing takes off. Organic social media, reviews and video testimonials are key tactics that are easy for the customer to execute that will resonate with other customers. Communications teams can amplify those grassroots, organic messages. – Kimberly Osborne, UNC Greensboro

13. Sponsor Events That Increase Brand Awareness

A great way for brands to showcase their corporate values to the world is to sponsor events. Sponsoring events is a great way to increase brand awareness, and brand values are a part of this. Make sure you have some promotional products to give away because everyone loves swag! Make sure your swag represents your company values. Get creative. Think outside the box. It could be the best investment you can make. – Preity Upala, The Omnia Institute

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