3 ways communicators can build their business acumen

To be a valued strategic advisor, you’ll need to understand the language of business, from business terms to financial reports. Here’s where to get started.

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3 ways to boost biz acumen

After I got my first job in corporate communications, my boss suggested that I start attending professional development meetings. I remember hearing a recurring theme, framed as a question, at many of these: Why didn’t PR and communications practitioners have a seat at the table? Like the late comedian, Rodney Dangerfield, famous for his line, “I don’t get no respect,” the communications profession seemed to be labeled as unworthy of equal footing with the organization’s top leaders.

We’ve made a lot of headway since then, and clearly some workplaces have put enormous value in the function and in the counsel we provide. But for those who still lament the lack of respect, I think we need to ask ourselves a tough question: Do we tune out when the numbers hit the table—when terms like P&L, P/E ratio, profitability metrics and positive cash flow are discussed?

If so, I’ll bet that others in your organization notice. Maybe you’re not included in strategy sessions or left out of meetings because you’re not viewed as business-savvy or interested in “the financials.”

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