What Communicating With Purpose Really Means

More and more, purchasing decisions made by businesses and consumers are based not just on price, but also on values and beliefs.

Sylvie Harton

April 11, 2023

In today’s business landscape, effective companies not only offer valuable products and services, they also communicate the purpose of why they do what they do, and how they contribute to their environment. This demonstrates to investors they have what it takes to be successful long term. 

Purpose means using authenticity to communicate organizational goals. This includes, but is not limited to: vision, mission, products, and services.

More and more, purchasing decisions are being made not just on price, but also on values and beliefs. For example, the demand of constituent groups that work for, purchase from, and invest in businesses want to know what those companies are doing in the Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) space and in regard to fostering Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) within their organizations.

Why Purpose Is So Important

An effect of communicating with purpose is building trust. According to the Edelman 2022 Trust Barometer, trust declined from 2021 to 2022 for government and media, leading business to be the only trusted institution at a rate of 61%. 

With concerns about fake news at an all-time high, public relations and investor relations teams can consider purpose as an opportunity to increase awareness and consideration. For example - including information about communications efforts related to purpose in regular PR measurement reports will ensure visibility up to the C-suite, and thus continued understanding of the importance of communicating with purpose.

Communication with purpose goes beyond ESG. It also encompasses communicating with ethics and communicating the socially responsible things that organizations are doing to drive business outcomes. 

As Lars Voedisch wrote for Forbes, “Given the power to influence perceptions and shape society as a whole, PR consultants should be conscious of the narratives they weave, the causes they champion, the brands they represent and, of course, how they conduct themselves as professionals.” 

To help guide you, start with a clear understanding of your company or client's reputation across traditional and social media via your media monitoring tools and reporting tools.

The Purpose Checklist: Questions You Should Be Asking

As you plan how you’ll communicate with purpose, it’s important to ask these questions:

  • What are your company values?

  • What goals do you have for your business?

  • How do your values align with your business goals?

  • What is the role of public relations and communications in achieving those business goals?

  • Who’s your audience?

  • How and where will you reach this audience?

  • When and for whom will you measure whether you’re successfully communicating with purpose?

Purpose should be considered when making decisions about all aspects of a business, including determinations of success. Motivate and engage others around your purpose by sharing your values through messaging—and connect it to purpose-driven action. 

Create spaces such as events, website pages, or feeds of relevant user-generated content to have conversation about your purpose and your community’s connection to it. Then, purpose-based communication can lead to longer-term relationships and greater business growth.

Notified is the world’s only communications cloud for events, public relations, and investor relations. We provide everything you need to effectively reach and engage your customers, investors, employees, and the media for 10,000+ global customers. Learn how Notified can help your company or clients to communicate with purpose. 



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