Today, every communication leader must build and sustain relationships with C-Suite executives. In the past, these relationships were the purview of the senior-most communication officer only, but not any more.
Why the change? Business executives are grappling with constantly changing variables. They are shaping their businesses or functions moment to moment, responding to the present and anticipating the future. As a result, they have an ongoing need for the kind of communication advice, strategy and support that will help them be successful at sustaining what’s working and driving change where needed.
I used the word “ongoing” deliberately. This need doesn’t reveal itself once a year, say, when it’s time to set goals. And it doesn’t just happen when the quarterly business review is presented. And it isn’t something that your boss figures out and tells you to do.
This need is day in and day out, and as an Internal Communications leader, you’re uniquely positioned to be on top of it, acting like the chief communications officer for your executive, managing the demand.
How? Meet with your leader regularly, and come prepared to discuss the business and to listen. Provide counsel in a way that is pro-active, while you advocate for a systematic communications approach. Help your executive remain mindful of what engages and disengages employees, and focused on business outcomes. Minimize the distraction of the latest shiny communication tactic.
In other words, you can advise like a chief communications officer. Now, the question is, are you ready to rise to this challenge?