Creatively Corporate

Emojis: Do They Have a Role in Corporate Communication?

Emojis: Do They Have a Role in Corporate Communication?


creatively corporate emoji

You might have noticed that the folks at the Oxford Dictionary named the crying emoji as its Word of the Year. A drawing of a yellow face emoting tears has been named Word of the Year. Let that sink in for a sec. Did you ever think you’d see the day – especially as a communicator… someone who holds the written word sacred – when something like an emoji recognized as a word?

In a way, I guess we’ve come full circle as homo sapiens. After all, the first form of written communication was the drawing of images on cave walls. So when you think about it, we’ve become so advanced that maybe there was nowhere for the language to go but back to illustrations. I’m not sure if it’s a good or bad thing that even terms like “LOL” are so much of a hassle to type that we need to have a picture of a face or pizza slice or thumbs-up.

It begs the question: Do (or will) emojis have a significant role in corporate communications?

I’m not necessarily speaking about marketing communications. If you’re like me, you’ve probably gotten the airplane icon in those Travelocity emails in your inbox. So what would be wrong with putting a smiley emoji in the subject line of a broadcast email to employees… or some other symbol to represent a particular kind of message? Maybe it could accompany a good-news communication.

I can certainly see emojis used in smaller companies or organization with a casual culture, but larger, more established entities with traditional environments might be a tougher sell.

I suppose this is one post in which I don’t have much of an opinion or ideas to offer. Seeing this story triggered an immediate response on which I hope to expand later. But right now, I’m more interested in a discussion. What do you think? How would you use emojis in your corporate communications? Let me know in the Comment section below.

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5 thoughts on “Emojis: Do They Have a Role in Corporate Communication?

  1. Amy

    As you stated, I think emoji use would be fine for a casual company culture, but I would reserve their use for more informal announcements. They might be fine to use for a company lunch party but not for a promotion announcement or communication about a benefit change. It all comes down to knowing your audience and subject matter well. There is a fine line between being whimsical in communications, or coming across as a teenager texting a friend.

  2. Brian

    I actually see it a lot in email communication now. Not only with younger folks but with higher level managers trying to reinforce the emotion of their email as if they are uncertain whether their point was made. I have seen it come from vendors, I think as an attempt at relationship building. I find it says a lot depending on the author and how suddenly and in what context the emoticon is used. I like when others use them, it’s like an extra bit of info into their thought process.

    1. Jon Reed Post author

      I somewhat agree that it might be a primitive form of communication – one that might indicate that you don’t know the words to express what you’re thinking. But this is the way people are communicating today, and rather than deny or resist that, it’s always better to adjust to your audience. Now if you have a higher-brow audience and you don’t need to do that, then that’s great! But as someone who is particularly sarcastic, I’ve seen, for instance, that a smiley emjoi helps to reinforce that I’m being sarcastic for those who aren’t familiar with my wit and don’t know I’m kidding.

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