Who You Are : Chief Communications Officer

Okay, it’s just us talking here. You’ve been doing this for a long time. So have I. You may know me. If you don’t, your friends in The Seminar or Arthur Page do. We may have met when you were just a press relations guy, or editing the company’s website, or reporting for a mid-level daily newspaper. I may have known your predecessor. Your daughter’s graduating from the Newhouse School and you may ask me to give her some tips. We’ve been around.

You have some great people in your department. You’re calling me because you have a couple who aren’t, or aren’t the in the right positions, or who are good at their work but lousy at corporate diplomacy. You may need to upgrade the quality of your internal communications, media relations, social media or speechwriting. Or simply replace someone retiring.

HR may be urging you to use a search firm they have a preferred provider agreement with. They’re large, can’t recruit from the huge number of companies who are their other clients, and know nothing about communications. You know some PR recruiters, but they’re contingency firms, or designated hitters at the Big Four, or won’t give you the personal attention and concentrated focus you need for this search to turn out well. We don’t “round up the usual suspects,” we do original research on every assignment. I meet everyone you meet. No second-tier recruiters, no pushing the search down to junior people.

Let’s spend some time together. You know that I know what good writing is, and that these days, few people can say that. The reporters I speak with are the ones who are important to your press relations. Internal communications to us aren’t about awards and circulation, they’re about employee engagement and persuasion. Crisis communications isn’t about reducing blowback, it’s a chance to enhance the reputation of the company you believe in. We can meet on that common ground, and I can identify, evaluate and attract the person who will punch up the quality of your department, burnish its reputation with line managers, reflect well on you with the C-suite and board. We contribute our expertise, our enthusiasm, our insight and our persistence until the search is complete and as the new appointee integrates into your organization.