Ms Esther Cobbah, Founder, Strategic Communications Africa Limited (Stratcomm Africa), has called on businesses to develop communication strategies that will enable them to cross cultural barriers.
She said that was particularly important for businesses, which sought to scale up across cultures to reaching potential customers.
Ms Cobbah was speaking at the third Stanford Seed Transformation Network (STN) 2020 Business Conference, on the theme: “Embracing Forced Change within Diverse Cultures.”
She said there had to be recognition, especially by leadership of businesses, of the value to be derived from such strategies rather than assume that customers would readily accept what the company had to offer because it was good.
The conference was to empower businesses to embrace changes and seek solutions that would ensure business sustainability and success despite the COVID-19 challenges.
It was also to discuss the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and its implications for businesses.
Ms Cobbah said it was rather unfortunate that organisations tended to focus on everything else but their communication.
She said organisations paid more attention to the “hard” aspects of the business – the financials, the operations and the engineering related to that – than the “soft” aspects, like communication.
“The communication needs of various constituents are often not considered a central part of a business, for instance,” she said.
Ms Cobbah said a lot of resources were thrown at addressing crises, whilst systematic prior investment in communication could well have been adopted to avoid those crises.
She said business success in any culture required understanding of how that culture influenced perception of, and attitude to, the business and its brand, products and offerings.
The Communications Specialist said the COVID-19 pandemic had also put a spotlight on the importance of communication in nations, communities, and organisations across the diverse cultures of the world.
Mr David Ofosu-Dorte, Senior Partner, AB & David, said the COVID-19 may have been one of the changes that affected the implementation of the AfCFTA but other factors might have also contributed at the background.
He called on the private sector to prepare and create a mindset that would take competitive advantage of the AfCFTA.
Other areas are Manufacturing and Value-addition, tourism and creative industries, education, skills and healthcare, financial services and housing the People.
Mrs Linda Yaa Ampah, President of STN Ghana, expressed the hope to get young people to be interested through skills transfer.
She called on the private sector to look at opportunities of partnering educational institutions in curricular design to create the necessary human resource for industry.
She urged the media to collaborate with the STN in providing requisite information and sharing them with the various constituents in the country, who would make good use of them to better their lives.
“It is hoped that such information can also get the attention of policymakers for policy formulation,” she added.