A sunset for communications specialists

Image copyright 2015 by  Marueen Zwier

Image copyright 2015 by Marueen Zwier

You can make a career in communications out of choosing a stakeholder group and a medium / channel and becoming an expert. Employee engagement master. PR guru. Social media ninja. High priestess of the intranet! And that's great for tactical work at a company or agency.  Right now, some of those specialties are pretty popular in the job market, too.  But this approach to building a communications career makes it very difficult to develop the generalist, strategic skills that deliver real value to the C-suite in the role of Chief Communications Officer. How do we grow tomorrow's communications leaders who can square off effectively with today’s executives and do more than take orders for the next press release?

I think it's time to sunset the specialist mindset of career development in communications in favor of a generalist, more holistic approach to skills development. One that integrates both art and science, and reflects the realities of business today. That's in large part what this blog is about - developing a more balanced, more strategic, and more business-oriented approach to organizational communication.

In future posts, I'll explore both some of the latest 'science' around communications - measurement, technologies, and influencing strategies. I'll also dive into the 'arts' portion of our field that makes up the traditional backbone of the profession, and which is more important now than ever before. And you'll read a lot about how business concepts need a much greater role in what we do to help advance our profession.

In short, this blog is about enabling all of the sub-specialties within business communications to contribute at a new level within the modern organization. And it's about building the generalist, strategic and business management knowledge necessary to contribute as a true Chief Communications Officer within a large enterprise. I'll share some of the best practices of exceptional communicators and leaders I've worked with over the past two decades, and some of my own home-grown approaches as well.

This site is certainly a work in progress, but I hope you'll join me as it develops, and contribute your thoughts and ideas we explore both the art and science behind modern organizational communications.

Thanks in advance for reading!