Outside Perspective

by Dan Ward

This past week, I and my business partners joined with similar-sized PR firms from around the country to talk about the business of our business.

It’s something we have done for several years, and we always return with new ideas to improve our firm.  The discussions can be difficult; we share not only best practices but also problems, and all are encouraged to be brutally honest in discussing areas for improvement.

It’s incredibly helpful to step away at times and focus on the business of public relations rather than the practice of public relations.  But you don’t have to be an agency owner to take that step back.  As practitioners, we should always be thinking not only of the best ways to promote our clients and companies, but also about their corporate health and stability.

We need to provide an outside perspective on the business … how are our clients and companies performing year-over-year, what issues do they face in hiring and retention, are their employees working in silos or partnering to achieve the corporate mission, are they implementing policies or strategies that could impact the corporate reputation?

And when we see something that should be changed, or that could be improved, it’s our responsibility to ring the alarm bell and provide brutally honest feedback to the C-Suite.  That’s the only way we earn and keep our seat at the boardroom table.

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