How Do Communicators Get a Seat at the Table?

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My colleague, Linda Capcara of TechThinq, asked me to serve on a panel discussion for the Arizona Technology Council, to discuss the role of marketing and communications in the tech industry.  I’m always happy to help a friend out and I can certainly talk about marcom, so was happy to oblige.

Linda (far right) served as the moderator.  I was joined on the panel by (l-r) Shelly Esque, former vice president at Intel Corporate Affairs, Chuck Vermillion, president/CEO of AccountabilIT and Erica Sietsma, senior vice president of consumer engagement and strategy at Digital Air Strike.

The discussion focused on the fact that as the need for marketing and communications continues to expand in our ever-increasing connected world, so is the need for these professionals to have a seat at the table.  And not just a seat, but an active role in developing and communicating strategy.  In short, we must be trusted advisors to the C-Suite.

Coincidentally, the panel discussion took place within a few days of the United Airlines incident so there were plenty of timely references to be had.

We were all in agreement that as communications professionals, it is imperative that we are a part of the larger strategic discussions taking place within our organizations.  Our job is to be the objective voice in the room – look at all decisions from many sides and not be afraid to share our opinions.  Excellent CEOs/owners should want that -- after all, we have the best interest of the company in mind.

CEOs want results, they want a return on their investment.  We must factor in success measures into any campaign we are developing.  Those success measures should mirror the overall goals of the company – and in the case of marketing communications, this is much more than how many media clips we secure.

So how do you get that seat at the table?  I say be passionate about the organization, be committed to its success and be confident in yourself and your opinions.

What do you say?

Abbie S. Fink
Abbie S. Fink
Vice President/General Manager Abbie has been doing public relations her whole life…from organizing a picket line in 6th grade to organizing client communications today. She’s passionate about a lot of things, you’ll see. Check out Abbie's full bio

1 Comment

  1. George Couch says:

    In some cases, you will never get a seat. Regardless of if you have a seat as a PR professional, know your business and industry as good or better than the boss. Know your customer. Talk to them. Same with company employees. Know them and get their input. If you do that yet leadership doesn’t include you, you’ve done your job.

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