When disaster strikes a brand, news travels fast, and if it’s not handled well, this could destroy the company. So it seems obvious that comms professionals need to be at the heart of any organisation, making sure that when a crisis happens, it does not affect the reputation of the business. Yet PROs still struggle to get onto the board. Quantum PR’s Managing Director, Charlie Vavasour, was recently asked by prmoment.com to comment on the right of PR to be represented in the boardroom.
How PR should step up
To get into the boardroom, the first step is to get the CEO’s trust. Charlie describes how: “Comms professionals need to provide clear, sensible, releant advice atthe right time on key issues. It is a mistake to continually bang the comms drum – instead try to make your interventions powerful, persuasive and well presented. CEOs need to develop trust and respect for their comms advisors – once this is established, sourcing the opinion of comms advisors on major issues will become automatic in the CEO’s decision-making process.
“You need to build the reputation for their profession internally, demonstrating the clear benefits of having a communications contribution in every major decision, strategic approach or campaign. They need to make communications central to everything that their organisation does and demonstrate the added value this provides.
“PR is valuable but it needs to be more confident about its value and then prove it to CEOs in order to get its rightful place on the board. Our profession does not have a divine right to be at the board table – it is down to the practising individuals to earn that right, and consequently raise the reputation and perceived importance of the profession as a whole.”