The Empowering Qualities of Communications

Reading Time: 10 minutes

by James Vella Clark

Most businesses are constantly striving to connect with their audiences. And therefore, as societies become more connected through technology and a shared need to communicate, one would expect a theme, such as communication, to be at the very top of businesses’ priorities. After all, interaction is a basic human need. Unfortunately, however, so many businesses still seem to struggle to truly grasp the crucial power of communication, both within their internal hierarchies and with their external audience.

Meaningful communication can be empowering on so many levels. But, first and foremost, the basic principle is that effective communication remains essential for businesses to succeed and thrive.

Internally, effective communication structures improve collaboration by bringing employees together to work towards a common goal. With clear communication, employees understand their roles and responsibilities and how their contributions fit into the organisation’s overall strategy. This yields stronger collaborations, teamwork, and productivity and, as a result, increased efficiency and improved decision-making for employees to perform their work faster and more efficiently.

Communication also fosters an environment of creativity and innovation where employees feel encouraged and empowered to share ideas and collaborate on new and innovative solutions that help their organisations stay ahead of the competition.

Communication is also critical for companies that thrive on strong customer relationships. Because when communication is effective and targeted, businesses understand their customers’ needs better and can bring them better products and services, which eventually help build long-term relationships.

Most importantly (and this is because this is what we do at Corporate ID Group), effective communication helps businesses build a strong brand image by clearly communicating their values, mission, and unique selling proposition, thus attracting and retaining customers who share the same values.

As I researched this subject to write this piece, a particular phrase caught my attention: “Empowered Communication focuses our attention on compassion as our motivation, rather than fear, guilt, blame, or shame.”

Now, you must probably be asking yourselves, ‘What has compassion got to do with communication in business?’

I found this particular phrase touching not only for the message it seeks to transmit but also for the uncanny way I related this phrase to an interesting interview also published in this edition, in which Fr Mark Ciantar, a Franciscan who recently founded his community project Inteko, refers to compassion as “a quality that we find only when we look within us”.

He says, “When we stop looking for value within ourselves, we end up alienated from what is real, we look for happiness in other things, and this makes us more aware of our increasing loneliness.”

Compassionate people never impose; they inspire. Compassionate people bring out the best in people by helping them identify shared values and needs. Compassion encourages us to use language that increases goodwill and avoid language that contributes to resentment or lowers self-esteem.

Isn’t this how companies and brands seek to inspire their customers and stakeholders? Because ultimately, we all know that where there is inspiration, there is trust.

“Communication is everything, and no matter what the situation is, it is crucial that we communicate, and we communicate well,” says Reuben Xuereb, Chairman, Corinthia Caterers. “Positive feedback too goes a long way to empowering people where a simple “well done” could boost an employee’s morale beyond imagination. On the other hand, when concern about a particular situation exists, it is equally important to communicate constructively. Proper communication empowers individuals and organisations whereas the lack of it can be the most destructive of ways to deal with a situation.”

“There are no two ways about it – a breakdown in communication leads to demotivated people and misunderstood directions,” adds Alison Bezzina, Digital Marketeer and Commissioner for Animal Welfare. “Effective communication empowers individuals, relationships, and organisations,so whether it’s a business, a government department or a voluntary organisation, effective communication is a fundamental requisite for performance, contentedness, and ultimately for overall productivity. When it comes to communication, organisations are no different to relationships, so communicating is a must!”

“For a company like ours where our work entails a lot of daily verbal and written interactions, clarity in communication with our clients is key to our business,” says Andrew Xuereb, Founder & Director of Realhouse. “I look at communications as an essential contributor to our success. Moreover, positive communication between our clients led us to achieve more business growth over the years.”

Kenneth Farrugia, CEO of Bank of Valletta, outlines how in an overcrowded market, corporate communication can indeed be a powerful tool to ensure that the purpose, vision and mission of the organisation are fully understood by all the stakeholders of the organisation, making it stand out while maintaining brand and reputation.

“It exists within a complex environment incorporating brand identity, public perception, regulatory requirements, shareholder and employee feelings, and many other factors, and when properly planned, communication can effectively reach out to internal and external audiences and positively influence stakeholders both at a macro and micro level,” he said.

Perit Antoine Zammit, Founder of Studjurban, added, “As an architecture and urban design firm, communication helps us strive for excellence, which we seek to showcase in the projects we direct. Communication is critical, and we use our projects to communicate what we hope to be good design solutions and high-quality outcomes to various individuals, from homeowners to public authorities. Through our work, we hope to inspire people to want to aspire for better quality of our urban environment.”

Maria Cauchi Delia, CEO of the Malta Institute of Accountants, explained that internal and external communications are equally important. “Effective internal communications keep the team motivated, working towards the same targets and achieving objectives in a timely and effective manner and at the same time, it is important to communicate with external stakeholders because the reality of the world we live in is that despite the quality of your offering unless you can put the message across, with no visibility, you have no relevance. On the other hand, communication should be of value: it is not about how much you say, but how well you communicate it.”

Matthew von Brockdorff, CEO and Managing Director, Atlas Insurance, believes in communication as an end in itself and not just a means to achieve something.

“At Atlas, we do not believe in top-down communication but in one that is based on the concept of continuous feedback where people feel empowered to express their views, feelings and suggestions. In this respect, trust is key to effective communication. Likewise, communication should be a means to break down silos and promote cross-functional collaboration within an agile working mode.”


Trust is increasingly featured as an essential component of brand equity. A trusted brand is a brand that communicates. When customers trust a brand, they are more likely to engage with it, buy its products or services, and recommend it to others.

A brand with high levels of trust can create a strong emotional connection with its customers, which can help to build a loyal customer base and increase brand value. And a valuable brand is an empowered brand.

“Today, building trust is more critical than ever because trust drives growth and builds legacy and reputation,” outlines Petre Tintoi, General Manager of Premier Restaurants Malta. “Communication builds trust when the right language and tone are used to share knowledge, navigate change, examine learning experiences, and tell stories demonstrating how the business lives up to its values and brand promise. Trust is nurtured when communication is transparent, meaningful, and impactful.”

Yolande Svensson, Corporate Marketing Manager, Hudson Group, referred to the subject from an internal human resources perspective, stressing that “successful communication lies in truly understanding what drives audiences.”

“Businesses are built on human beings with hearts that beat and dreams to achieve, and for a company to truly communicate and bring all its members on board to achieve its goals and strategy, it must first understand what drives its employees. But for this to happen successfully, a business should hold a clear understanding of its identity, its values, and the corporate culture it would like to cultivate and make sure these are channelled through its company events, the messages it affixes on its walls, senior management behaviour, dress code and so on.”

Davinia Cutajar, Partner, WH Partners, also agreed on how internal communication supports business operations by allowing it to share ideas and information. “When knowledge and information are shared, employee engagement, alignment, and overall performance improve. I find that short, in-person or online meetings are the best way to communicate internally, as they are the most effective means of communication.”

Sarah Cassar, Managing Director, St George’s Care Ltd, believes that internal communication is vital to ensuring the smooth running of operations and the primary tool enabling it to provide its residents with the best possible care and customer experience.

“Regular in-person meetings for management and staff ensure that all information on changes in policy and procedures are understood, and possible issues ironed out before implementation. However, a people-centred business like ours requires that information is shared as quickly as possible. This is where technology has revolutionised the way we communicate. The use of technology allows us to document all communication – which is vital for any health care company.”

That effective communication is an agent for business success was stressed by Rebecca Bonnici, Founder of BELS Language School. “In principle, we aim to communicate briefly but effectively, regularly and openly but in a tolerant and respectful manner. Most days, we succeed in doing this, and we have turned communication into one of the key ingredients in our recipe for success. In fact, every time we failed to do so and watched the business suffer, we were reminded just how crucial communication is to guarantee our business success.”

“We live in a digital era, where social media and other online platforms are hungry for content, and many will happily broadcast whatever comes their way. So there will always be an ongoing narrative happening outside of corporate corridors, and if we are not talking and telling our story, sharing our values and vision, others will end up doing the talking for us,” remarked Susan Weenink Camilleri, Head of Sales & Marketing, Farsons Group.

“This is why communications should always be considered as that vital process that helps companies forge and nurture strong and meaningful relationships with their audiences. Therefore, companies would do well to bolster their communications strategy and take control of this narrative responsibly and transparently,” she added.


As more companies seek to communicate, the role of external communications, also known as public relations, continues to grow and become more strategic in managing companies’ public perception.

Although PR has undergone a massive shift in the past few years, thanks to emerging technologies and changing media landscape which require the fusion of traditional skills to work with modern tools and channels to create consistent narratives, the intrinsic functions of PR remain the same:

  • To manage a company’s identity in terms of vision and mission.
  • To generate awareness of new products and company milestones.
  • To communicate the company’s place in society and what it stands for.

I have come to perceive public relations as the true human voice of a company.

Beyond the rush to leverage technology and social channels to reach out to audiences, these audiences remain human beings where emotional connection can only be nurtured through communication, supported by the meaningful human voice of public relations.

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