Corporate Affairs Department of Citibank Limited

Corporate Affairs Department of Citibank Limited

Main Tasks

The main task of the department is to maintain liaison with different organizations, especially with those who work in close proximity with Citibank, Bangladesh. This department is very crucial for the bank as it establishes relationship with other organizations in the corporate world. It also maintains relation with internal and external customer. Sometime there might be crisis situation that could be unheard of, that time this department takes active role to protect reputation and brand value of the Citigroup. Moreover, this department arranges various seminars and workshops and also takes the initiative in undertaking various training programs to enhance the knowledge of the employees regarding Citibank, its customers and suppliers. The Head of this Department is Ms. Mehreen Mahiuddin titled as Corporate Affairs Manager.

Basic job purpose

This department is responsible to build and protect the bank’s overall reputation and image while proactively developing communication strategies to generate revenue that support the business objectives as well as maximizing the opportunities to promote the brand.

Dimensions of the job

Hard numbers are the least significant criteria in job evaluation, but are indicative of the overall size of the area of the bank’s activities, which the job has been designed to have its main impact upon. Headings are shown below of the more common measures.

Communication

  • Establish and maintain contact with relevant journalists on influential media
  • Maintain Citibank branding intact
  • Rationalize advertising, media and promotional expense against revenue
  • Maintaining internal and external communication

Financial & Non – Financial

  • Achieving top of the mind awareness of Citibank N.A. in Bangladesh
  • Creating space in consumers mind rather than only focusing on consumers wallet

Principal accountabilities (Major end-results areas)

The following are the major principal accountabilities (major end-result areas), which describe the end results or output areas expected of the job. In other words, these are the main areas in which the job must deliver results in order to achieve its purpose.

Accountability Communications

Internal Communication

It is achieved by:

  • News Letter: Monthly/Quarterly newsletter on the bank’s internal and external activities
  • Annual Events: Organizing annual corporate events like union/picnics/annual dinner etc. for employees
  • Communicating internal decisions to employees
  • Keeping employees and officials posted about the company developments

External Communication

  • Corporate, institutional and private customers to bank with us
  • Governments, regulators and opinion formers to take notice of and support our views
  • Citibank to be a preferred employer attracting the best.

The communication team

The communication team is responsible for the following activities:

  • Establishes messages which media influences our audiences
  • Establishes and maintains contact with relevant journalists on influential media
  • Prepares messages carefully before contacting or responding to journalists
  • Anticipates their questions and prepares responses
  • Recognizes information made available at one location as a news story may trigger media interest elsewhere
  • To handle events and press

Crisis communication

In times of crisis situations, the communication team should take care of the situation through crisis communication in three stages:

Media communication

During any event of crisis, the media would look for news and as a result, the company must keep its channel open to press to feed the media with information updates. As soon as the company faces a crisis, it must have an internal meeting to review the situation. It should gather as much information as could be available.

These information may include those from outside the company like different authorities, rivals etc. As soon as the situation is clear to the company, it should develop a line of communication and one person should be appointed to talk to the press. The spokesperson must have a clear idea about the happening and so, he should not give any impression to the press that he is not unaware about the developments. In case someone asks something which he does not know, he must admit it and say he will gather the information as soon as possible and communicate it to the inquirer. The company should also issue its formal press releases on the event. The company will also have a press conference, depending on the need, to clarify its position. In case some thing big happens and the press does not contact the company, it should voluntarily contact the media.

While these formal channels would work, the company key persons would also contact the editors of the press and also open a second informal channel of communication.

Policy-making level communication

The Company also needs to brief the policymaking level about any crisis. For this, the top company persons must prepare a brief and then call on top important relevant persons and brief them about the situation. It will be necessary to mould the mind-set of the authorities because the press will also contact the authorities to get their reaction.

Internal communication

Last but not the least, the company should also inform its staff about the event and tell them what to do. In case any of the company employees are affected by the crisis, the company must contact the affected persons, their families and share their concerns.

 

Brand Management

It is achieved by:

  • Strictly following the branding guidelines
  • Keep up to date knowledge on branding guidelines and maintaining relationship with the branding team
  • Working on re-branding issues through proper coordination with the branding team
  • Responsible for the changes to be made that is related to re-branding of Citibank

Development of regional marketing strategies, programs & sales and marketing tools in line with global marketing strategy, and provision of local input and feedback.

Create innovative marketing plans by means of direct mail, email marketing, internet marketing, and space advertisements.

Develop marketing partnerships with press, newswires, trade associations and publications to promote events through strategic marketing efforts

  • Coordinate production and designing of publicity materials
  • Carry out Customer and Employee satisfaction survey
  • Monitor response analysis of the surveys
  • Build in-house database of competitors
  • Develop vendor relationships
  • Designing brochures, leaflets and other publicity materials for new product launch
  • Arranging press conference on launching new products
  • Work on advertisement related campaigns for new products marketing.

Major challenges

  • Handling press & crisis communication
  • Event management
  • Handling community projects, realizing grant from Citigroup Foundation and implementing Employee Volunteer program
  • Creating platform for priority banking within low marketing expenditure budget
  • Deposit mobilization through priority banking

Individual responsibilities

The most important tasks performed on an individual basis without involving subordinates are:

  • Maintaining good media relationship
  • Keeping up to date information on re-branding and current Citigroup issues
  • Customer calling (deposit mobilization)

Other factors relevant to the job

Other aspects of the job not covered by the above but necessary to have a full understanding of it are:

Government Relationships: The aims of good government relations are:

  • Increase Sales (directly with governments or indirectly through their sponsorship)
  • Increase Citibank’s Profile, Visibility, Influence and Market Standing
  • To support a friendly Regulatory Environment
  • To Extend, Protect and if necessary re-Locate our franchise
  • To obtain Market Intelligence and a good Information Flow
  • However, the ultimate test is to have friends in the right places that will support

Citibank in times of crisis

The Corporate Affairs Database is a tool to help manage the government relations’ process. It is not an end in itself. The Database should contain:

  • Accurate and up to date country information
  • Accurate and up to date government relations’ objectives
  • Accurate and up to date key messages
  • Accurate and up to date information about key organizations
  • Accurate and up to date information about key individuals
  • Accurate and up to date record of contacts its function is to act as a
  • Corporate Memory. It is designed to make it easier for everyone to leverage our relationships

Media Policy

NO SURPRISES. The bank has global procedures and policies in place to make sure there are no surprise stories about the company when people read the newspapers or watch TV.

No one should speak to the media unless authorized to do so by country or regional public affairs. Each country, product/ business is responsible for its list of approved spokespeople this will include the CCO and country business managers, as well as the areas about which they may speak.

All interviews must take place with a PR person present….making notes or recording the interview. Economists or analysts may be authorized as exceptions.

The country public affairs office should be cognizant of all contact with domestic media in that country and all upcoming stories must be placed on the regional weekly story run which is then forwarded to Citigroup Public Affairs in NY. Regional public affairs should be informed of contact with international/regional media.

Local issues or stories, which may run in regional media, must be discussed and approved with the regional public affairs office prior to accepting the request. In damage control or crises, regional public affairs will assist with damage containment and strategy. Direct requests from regional, international media including wire services must be approved by regional public affairs.

Each country public affairs office is required to have a daily clipping service so that coverage can be monitored and managed. Significant clips are to be sent on a timely basis to regional public affairs.

  • Press calls must be logged with the public affairs office and returned.
  • There is no such thing as “off the record”. Everything said in the presence of a reporter is fair game.
  • Everybody should tell the truth. There is no need to tell everything the bank knows.
  • The bank doesn’t comment on market place rumors or speculation. The bank neither confirms nor denies possible acquisitions or divestitures until it are ready to announce them.
  • The bank doesn’t comment on who is or who is not their customer. It respects client privacy – corporate, institutional and retail – and their legal rights.
  • The bank rarely comments on regulatory issues and not without the approval of the CCO.
  • The bank doesn’t speculate on job cuts, or discuss confidential staff issues.
  • It is unlikely the bank would comment on success in fraud detection, safety or security procedures.
  • The bank describes Internet banking to be as safe as banking through any channel at Citigroup.
  • The bank tries to avoid commenting on competitors or being disparaging, even if offered the veil of anonymity.
  • The bank doesn’t comment on money laundering issues. If customers get any questions they can call the PAO.
  • The bank prefers names not ‘a spokesperson for the company’.
  • The bank doesn’t offer gratuities to journalists or lead them to believe they will financially reward positive media coverage. Invitations to journalist educational trips must be sent to the editor.
  • The bank ask journalists to call back figures and quotes they will use…only to ensure accuracy.
  • The bank use public information. It doesn’t break down figures by country e.g. market share/customer accounts/profit. If they do decide to provide information that is not public, it must be first discussed with regional public affairs.
  • There is the need to check if media will be present before any bank employee agrees to give a speech. If press will be there and are able to ask questions, someone from public affairs should accompany the employee.
  • If the employee doesn’t know something, offer to get back to the reporter.
  • All internal documents must be written with due care and attention – they have been known to leak.
  • Only designated Citigroup spokespeople may talk to the media and these spokespeople must have undertaken media training as defined by Corporate Affairs.

Public Affairs Policy

Citigroup/Citibank is frequently approached by various organizations/individual public/customers/government agencies on matters such as media, sponsorship, philanthropic activities, speaker opportunities etc. either as a source of information and comment or for donations and support on a range of issues. These broadly come under Franchise/Corporate Image Management Activities. As a company, we encourage co-operation where this helps achieve our business goals and is part of our overall strategy to position the Bank in a positive way.

However, because of the decentralized nature of our businesses and the need to maintain consistency in communication across the organization, effective coordination of all franchise image related activities is vital. The external world views us as one organization and therefore it is crucial that comments made by one business do not have a negative impact on other businesses.

Sponsorships/Contributions:

As normal routine in business several requests to sponsor and / or support events will be reaching the Business Managers.

  • Those that relate to the business (customer requests) or could prove useful to a specific business should be considered by the businesses and proposed to PAO for necessary approvals to support. If this entails any media exposure, the media guidelines will apply.
  • In all matters where a franchise decision is to be taken, it must be referred to the PAO and CCO.
  • The PAO’s office is to be informed about all sponsorships requests – for approval as well as to avoid duplication of support to the same organization.
  • Events that involve the media (whether participating in the event or covering it) would fall into the media relations’ policy as listed above and must be coordinated with Corporate Affairs.
  • Industry Fora approach our managers to speak and share views with the industry at large. These are areas where the franchise presence and views need to be emphasized. Such requests must be forwarded for approval to the concerned Business Head as well as the CCO & PAO. After judging for sensitivities from the franchise point of view, including media exposure, approvals will be given.

Philanthropic Initiatives

Charitable and non-government organisations look for support in their good causes and hence seek financial assistance. In most cases the causes are worthy and the needs genuine. Given Citibank’s history and franchise reputation several of these NGOs will be contacting business managers on a personal and professional level. However our pockets are limited.

Therefore, all such requests must be routed to the Corporate Affairs office to be viewed as a franchise option.

  • Corporate Affairs will revert if the proposition could be supported and if so, by whom (the business unit itself / Corporate Affairs / Citigroup Foundation) as also the extent of support.
  • For long-term proposals, Corporate Affairs will manage the relationships along with any Citibank volunteers in the local area.

G r a n t s

Foundation Grants

The Foundation allocates funds by country and region based upon a set of indicators including business revenue and customer base, new business needs, existing community programs and potential growth opportunities.

The Foundation staff is sensitive to the varying cultures, priorities and needs of the countries in which we do business. Therefore we will work closely with the businesses in each region and country to fashion programs that meet our general guidelines as well as local community needs.

Decisions will be made on the merits of each proposal, with priority given to proposals in the Tier I area as described below in Section IV. Since competition for available funds will be keen, countries are urged to submit proposals as early as possible.

Proposals Should Focus on Education and/or Community Development

The Foundation’s three areas of funding are Financial Literacy, Educating the Next Generation and Building Communities and Entrepreneurship.

Within and across those areas we will give preference to proposals that fall within the following guidelines.

Tier I Interests (Preferred Funding Interests):

Education:

Priority will be given to programs that strengthen early, primary and secondary education so that all children are learning at high levels.

The Foundation supports innovative teaching strategies that increase student performance, technology-based curriculum resources, and teacher training. The Foundation also supports economic and financial literacy and school-to-career programs that expand students’ skills, knowledge, and experience as they prepare for college and the workforce. College and university grants will be made to emphasize global business interests and strengthen our relationships at selected universities.

Community development:

Priority will be given to proposals that reinforce community-led efforts to revitalize low-income neighborhoods in Citigroup communities. The Foundation seeks to support community development organizations that focus on affordable housing, economic development, micro credit programs, workforce development initiatives and community infrastructure improvements.

Tier II Interests (Secondary Funding Interests):

Grants may be made for arts education programs that enhance learning and increase student access to leading visual and performing arts institutions. We support community-based health and human service programs in Citigroup company locations. The Foundation also supports relief and rebuilding efforts in Citigroup communities affected by catastrophic natural disasters.

Submission of proposals

Citigroup and the Citigroup Foundation prefer to solicit proposals from prospective grantees with demonstrated successes in the areas they fund.

Unsolicited proposals will be accepted, but a favorable decision is less likely.

Nonprofit organizations that are encouraged to submit proposals may do so at any time during a calendar year; the earlier, the better. Such proposals should include the following:

  • Amount requested
  • Statement of proposal objective and itemized budget
  • Brief statement of history, goals and accomplishments to date
  • Current annual report
  • Internal Revenue Service tax-exemption letter
  • Current year’s budget showing anticipated expenses and income
  • List of current corporate and foundation funding sources, public and/or private, with amounts contributed within the most recent 12 months or last fiscal year (for both organization and specific program for which funds are requested)
  • Most recent independently audited financial statement
  • List of members of applicant’s governing board
  • List of accrediting agencies, where appropriate
  • Cultural organizations should submit their most recent 12-month audience statistics

Proposals encouraged for submission should also evidence:

  • Strong leadership that will significantly strengthen communities in which Citigroup businesses operate, and serve as a model for other nonprofit groups
  • Sound administration and financial condition
  • Opportunities for Citigroup employee involvement

Limitations: It is our policy not to make grants to:

  • Individuals for educational or other purposes
  • Political causes or candidates
  • Religious, veteran or fraternal organizations, unless they are engaged in a significant project benefiting the entire community
  • Fundraising events, telethons, marathons, races or benefits
  • Courtesy advertising.