Veteran PR Pro’s Guidance: Write Persuasively, Learn Continually, Digest But Don’t Always React

[Editor's Note: When we heard veteran communicator Heather Knox was available for an interview, we jumped. There are few communicators whose background includes domestic and international positions at Microsoft, Amazon, Nissan and Renault. Knox's most recent post was SVP, head of communication, at Footprint, the environmentally-conscious materials science company.

Among the takeaways we gleaned from her is the need for communicators to be life-long learners, particularly about business and labor trends. In addition, she touts the importance of persuasive writing and preparation for myriad scenarios, including crisis. Combining crisis and writing, she cringes when company messages during a crisis sound like robots crafted them instead of humans. She also spoke about communicating with employees who lack electronic devices and the importance of budgeting for data collection, among other topics.

Her responses were lightly edited.]

PRNEWS: When you assess young communicators coming out of colleges and universities, what do you look for? What do you think is missing most?

Heather Knox

Heather Knox: I'm shocked at the lack of writing discipline. If you go to Amazon, you are required to write so many internal documents that sell an idea, that defend an idea, that provide reporting for your quarterly.


Access to all Crisis Insider articles, quarterly reports and valuable blueprints for crisis management.


Per Month Lowest Price


Best Value!

Unlimited access to all Premium and Crisis Insider articles and monthly reports.

First Year Offer


Per Month


Unlimited access to all Premium digital intelligence, 10-year web archive and monthly reports.

Save $140 With Annual Subscription


Per Month