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November 08, 2011

PRSA: PR Professionals Would Make Excellent CEOs — PRWeek Letter to the Editor

In a letter to the editor in the Nov. 4, 2011, issue of PRWeek, Keith Trivitt, PRSA associate director, public relations, advocates the business value of public relations professionals to corporations. Trivitt notes that as public relations professionals continue to expand their influence in corporate boardrooms and among senior management, there are growing opportunities for them to expand their scope of influence into CEO and other C-suite positions.
The letter is in response to an Oct. 27 column by PRWeek Editor Danny Rogers, which noted the growing influence of corporate affairs professionals.

Opinion: From Feedback — Comms Experts Would Make Excellent CEOs
Published: Nov. 4, 2011
We are seeing quite the same situation in America among corporate affairs/comms professionals, particularly at the top level of management (“Danny Rogers: Corporate affairs is gaining influence,” Oct. 27). It's been a long, tough battle, but on many fronts, the tide has shifted toward realizing that corporate comms and PR play a key strategic role in advancing a business' objectives.
In many advanced markets, top corporate affairs professionals now have a prominent position in the C-suite and are regularly being utilized as a CEO or chairman's top counsel. This is how it should be, as corporate reputation, stakeholder relations and crisis management become three of the leading challenges faced by businesses in the service economy and digital age.
I'd take this a step further and argue that corporate affairs/comms professionals are well poised to be future CEOs. After all, who else besides a CEO or chairman has their finger on the pulse of a business more deeply or prominently than a PR professional? The goal of our work is to help businesses grow by connecting them in meaningful and beneficial ways with key audiences and stakeholders. Sounds a lot like the role of the modern CEO.
Keith Trivitt
Associate Director
Public Relations Society of America
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