I have spoken in the past about how much I like the term ‘public relations’ – the concept of developing and nurturing relationships with the public, preferably in both directions, through open and clear communications.
But of course, communications goes much further. In a business or organizational context it means every aspect of communications, including within leadership teams and in networked leadership hubs across an organization.
It may be good practice for leaders either to be natural communicators or trained ones. It may be better practice to have formal communications resources as part of senior and leadership teams, not just to advise on and execute the communications aspects of programs but to provide broader business counsel as seen through a communications prism.
Experienced communications professionals with the equivalent experience of those around them on management teams have much to offer in leadership and in the debate around future business strategy: insights into market and public reactions, hard-fought successes and failures in the public arena, the ability to bring a strategic view to a chaotic set of ideas, detailed knowledge of communications theory and techniques, and the ability to articulate strategy cogently and coherently.
Maybe we’re much more than good writers and talkers after all. Maybe we are organizational leaders.