A rarity: A VP who understands strategic communication

Why this communicator wanted to hug and kiss a corporate vice president.

I almost hugged and kissed a corporate vice president last week.

I’m not normally prone to such public displays of affection — well, not in the workplace, anyway — but it was all I could do to restrain myself. The vice president in question is a woman, but don’t get me wrong. My impulse was not sexual. It was purely intellectual.

Any communicator who’s been around corporations for longer than, say, a week knows how rare it is to find an executive who really gets it when it comes to communication. They do exist, but they’re rare indeed.

But here I was, sitting in this vice president’s office, expecting to talk about some story ideas about her department for the company intranet, and instead I’m treated to an exposition on the tone, quality and content she’d like to see in communications about the department.

Such direction can be a nightmare if the executive hasn’t a clue what good strategic communication is all about. Add the fact that this vice president’s department is responsible for corporate responsibility — you know, corporate giving, community outreach, that kind of thing — and this conversation really could have gone south in a hurry.

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