How to Tell Your CEO It’s Time to Radically Change Your Communications Strategy

PwC—one of the biggest global names among audit and tax consulting companies—is decreasing its press release output by 75% and shifting its communications emphasis to Snapchat and LinkedIn blogs, among other mobile, digital platforms. Megan DiSciullo, PR director, markets, sectors and firmwide leader at PwC, casually dropped this information at PR News’ recent Business Leadership Boot Camp in Washington, D.C.

Megan told attendees that this shift was pushed hard by the PwC communications team, which made it a mission to enlighten the C-suite about millennials and the ways in which they use their mobile devices—otherwise known as the umbilical cord connecting them to the world outside their skulls.

So, how do you get a similar transformational message through to the C-suite? Well, you don’t bang on doors and show up announced carrying a laptop loaded with a graphics-heavy PowerPoint presentation. Communicating your hard-earned, important insights to the C-suite requires a foundation—a well-thought-out strategy of managing up.

Megan suggests using these basic steps to create and maintain an open dialogue with your CEO, CFO—all the C’s in your organization:

• Establish regular check-ins with the C-suite
• Always ask how their goals have changed and what they think communications success looks like
• Listen closely
• Solicit feedback

PR pros are closer to the ground than their counterparts in the C-suite—they’ve got the one-to-one relationships with external stakeholders and access to data that shows how those stakeholders get and share information and content related to their organization. When it comes time to drop the data on the C-suite and suggest a radical new direction, you’ll be in a stronger position if you’ve already established ongoing, direct communications with these decision makers.

—Steve Goldstein, Editorial Director, PR News @SGoldsteinAI