“We realized that our business leaders were listening to us, but we didn’t have that ball all the way punched into the end zone,” one corporate communications executive told Neill. The game-changer was “informal coalitions” of the sort that stem from talks in break rooms, coffee shops or fitness centers. But recruiting allies that way may mean letting someone else take credit for ideas, the executive said. “We joke that we don’t care how we get the ball in the end zone as long as we score,” he said. “Building coalitions” may be as simple as walking down the hall. One communications officer, whose office was next door to an investor relations executive, said there is “this constant back-and-forth between us on how to position an issue and how to explain it . . . There’s lots of partnering and teaming.
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