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The wider leadership role of the effective public relations manager
By Kim Harrison,
Consultant, Author and Principal of www.cuttingedgepr.com
Many PR managers find it difficult to understand management issues beyond the level of communication concerns. However, to be fully accepted by top management, you need to think like a manager, understand management issues from management’s perspective, talk like a manager (not use PR jargon) and to figuratively put yourself in the shoes of operational managers in looking at their problems.
Above all, you are proactive and assertive, prepared to insist that PR should be at the table when corporate decisions are being made: “Very few business decisions don’t require communication.”1 You will ensure that when business plans are drawn up, their communication implications are considered.
The pragmatic strategy for you as PR manager to be a leader is:
Success in influencing management attitudes can be measured in three informal ways:
You are asked to attend important meetings and those special informal sessions where the real decision-making occurs.
Operational managers seek you out privately for your views and advice.
Your advice is used and your comments are quoted around the organization (mostly without attribution to the source).2
Turning decisions into reality
In working with corporate leaders over several decades, legendary management consultant Peter Drucker concluded that the most effective managers apply eight practices for turning decisions into reality:
They took responsibility for decisions, and considered that a decision wasn’t made until people knew:
You would be well advised to put the Drucker formula in a prominent place to remind you how to improve your effectiveness.
About the Author
Kim Harrison is a recognized authority in the public relations field. His website, www.cuttingedgepr.com, provides a wealth of informative articles and resources on public relations techniques and management.
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