External communication includes messages from an organization to stakeholders outside the company, via such media as television, radio, print and digital tools. The goal is to build awareness and promote products to potential customers, and to generate positive goodwill from communities and public officials.
External communications are the opposite of internal communications, which are messages presented inside an organization by leaders to employees. Much of external communication is promotional in nature. Companies pay for advertising to let customers know why they should buy their goods and services. Each medium has its own advantages. Broadcast media, such as TV and radio, allow companies to reach large audiences. Newspapers, magazines, flyers, brochures and other print collateral allow companies to provide static messages that may result in multiple exposures over time.
Companies also communicate externally to offer training and support to customers. At trade shows, company representatives discuss the company's technology and products to educate potential partners and buyers on product usage. At seminars and conferences, company leaders deliver presentations about the value and usefulness of goods and services.
Public relations is unpaid for media exposure that allows a company to build rapport with various stakeholders. In general, a company wants a positive image in the public because it improves opportunities for mutually beneficial relationships.