How communicators can learn to speak ‘CEO’

It’s more essential than ever for communicators to become strategic advisors to corporate execs, but that means they must become fluent in subjects that matter to business leaders.

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PR pros have aspirations beyond broadcasting press releases to their media lists.

Inherent in the debate about the true function of the in-house public relations pro is the question of PR’s value to leaders and other executives. Is PR good only for driving awareness? Not according to some communications leaders.

Proponents of the integrated communications model, wizards who blend the tactics of marketing and media relations with content creation and brand journalism, argue that communicators should be treated as strategic advisors. They want PR and communications to have a seat at the table with the CEO, CMO and other high-flying decision-makers—and that means communicators must become better businesspeople.

“It’s really important that communicators get outside of their comfort zone and explore the business side of their clients or their company,” says Larry Parnell, associate professor of strategic public relations at George Washington University, where he runs the master’s degree program. 

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