COMMUNICATION CHALLENGES AND RECOMMENDATIONS
Conducting a corporate communications initiative in India can be an overwhelming experience with it’s religious, cultural and lingual diversity. The critical factors to take into account when conducting a corporate communications initiative in India are the language challenges, political considerations, different ethical systems and the level of corruption, different cultural norms, religious differences, attitudes towards women, mass media challenges and limited information technology structure. Although India is a developing country, it has over 5,000 media channels that are thriving, the factors of ‘early stage’ media and narrow media channels does not affect the corporate communications planning for this country.
India has a population of over 1.2 billion people and is the world’s second-most populated country. It is home to several languages, but does not have a national language. Depending on region Instead, India has official languages that they function with on a daily basis.
English has a subsidiary official language status in India, whereby it is the most important language for national, political and commercial communication, as well as in education. With more than 400 million speakers, Hindi is also one of the most widely spoken language and a primary tongue for most of India.
In addition to these two languages, to date, India has 22 official languages in total. In no particular order, they are: Assamese, Bengali, Telugu, Marathi, Tamil, Urdu, Gujarati, Malayalam, Kannada, Oriya, Punjabi, Kashmiri, Sindhi, Sanskrit, Bodo, Dogri, Konkani, Maithili, Manipuri, Nepali, and Santhali. In India, one’s national identity is not as important as identifying with a certain region and one’s mother tongue.
How It Affects Corporate Communications
Among the many challenges that an international corporate communications practitioners will encounter, language will always be on the list. Corporate communicators must communicate with the opposite party using language that is common to both parties. One of the key challenges that practitioners face will be to know which language they will be using to communicate. There are 22 official languages in India, so communicating with clients will depend on which region of India the practitioners decide to conduct business.
While knowing which language to use is important, practitioners must realize that there may be a need to prepare multiple versions of the same material. International practitioners must know which language they must use to effectively communicate with their clients, whether verbally or in writing. However, this raises another concern for practitioners in the case of which audience will be able to properly receive the key messages. There are still many illiterate people in India, and this will affect the international communications practitioner’s methods of communication with the audience and...