Beyond a Seat at the Table: Fully Engaged PR Team Makes Rest of Company Better

Buy Rosetta Stone - Learn Polish (Level 1, 2, 3 Set) Regular readers of “Force for Good” may wonder why I have been updating this blog so infrequently over the last few months. I should begin by explaining that my career has taken a new and exciting turn as I have joined Navistar, a global transportation company with its core business in commercial trucking and diesel engines, as vice president – Communications. While I have been quite busy in this new role, I do intend to continue to stake a position of thought leadership in progressive public relations by authoring this blog. As in the early days of “Force for Good” when I still worked at Ford, the views expressed here are my own and do not necessarily reflect the policies or views of my employer.

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argumenative essay I’ve been remiss in following up an earlier post in which I discussed the role of public relations as counselor to the business. Here is the long ago-promised sequel.

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do compare contrast research paper Public relations professionals bring value not only through effective and purposeful internal and external communications, but by earning and keeping a “seat at the table” in bringing the voice of reputation to the business operations’ decision-making process. In this way, PR helps anticipate and avoid business decisions that don’t pass the “how would this look in tomorrow’s newspaper” test. To function well in this role, PR professionals need solid business acumen and understanding of the inner workings of the company and its industry.

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enter But a fully engaged and professional public relations team can bring even greater value to its company beyond those three vital roles of PR (internal and external communication and “seat at the table”). Simply put, when PR is functioning at its highest level, it makes each of the other staff functions more effective.


elsevier language editing services Strategic alignment of message certainly helps corporate staffs such as Investor Relations and Governmental Affairs meet their objectives. Clearly there is value in working to ensure messages delivered through consumer media complement or amplify those delivered to Wall Street and Capital Hill. Media such as the my doggy ate my homework poetry New York Times and 3 essay dissertation Washington Post clearly reach multiple sets of stakeholders; messages effectively delivered through those publications can advance the company’s objectives in multiple ways. .

see Internally focused staffs, such as Finance, Human Resources and IT can better achieve their objectives when PR’s internal communications efforts are thoughtful, strategic and targeted. Employment alignment and engagement, a more complete understanding of financial responsibilities from Sarbanes Oxley to staying within budgets, success stories captured and shared from one business unit to another, and the creation of a company culture of innovation and creativity are all hugely positive outcomes when PR partners smartly with other internal staffs.

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link Marketing, of course, also has much to gain through a strategic partnership with PR. Certainly, public relations can create cost-effective consumer awareness of a new product in the weeks or months leading up to the first waves of advertising that won’t hit until the product is about to reach the market place. Cuing up masses of potential customer at the top of the "Purchase Funnel" enables the company to reach its sales goals despite perennially tight marketing budgets. PR creates awareness and some initial favorable consideration; the Marketing and Sales staffs take it from there, down the funnel from active consideration to product evaluation, purchase and loyalty. (The same dynamic works for B-to-B companies as well.) .


watch A less apparent but even more important benefit of the strategic partnership between PR and Marketing comes from enhancing the power of corporate reputation and the company’s brands. Marketing is rightly focused on each product’s customers in its own partnership with Sales, as well as on sharpening the power of the brands. PR should be working to find “proof points” in the products, the people and the processes to tell the stories that bring the brand alive and a winning association to the company’s name. Companies with vivid brands and favorable corporate reputation are nearly always successful by any measure of their business.


.A fully engaged and strategic public relations team, partnering with the rest of the company, can drive the actions inside the company and the favorable perceptions with all its stakeholders to define it as a winner. People want to work for, buy from and invest in winning companies. It’s not hard to see the value in that.


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  1. Rick Sauter says:

    As always Jon a great take. Hopefully 2008 will be a year when communicators really prove this to senior management and senior management start “getting it” with regards to the wasted value of not utilizing the strengths that a strong corporate communications department can provide for the corporate bottom-line.
    Best wishes on the new gig (as you can see I have one as well) and hope we can connect soon!

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