Ragan CEO Diane Schwartz shares how to stop being an ‘order taker’

Ragan’s leader spoke about learning to use the language of business to solidify the increased role comms pros have taken during the past year of crisis on the Business Communicators Podcast.

Over the past year, communicators have risen to new heights in many organizations. According to data from Ragan’s Communications Benchmark Report, the role of the communicator expanded dramatically in the last year of global crisis.

Yet, as the pandemic wanes and business look to return to some semblance of a pre-2020 “normal,” will communicators be able to keep their hard-won clout form the past year? The question was the focus of discussion on the season three finale of the “Business Communicators Podcast.”

Ragan CEO Diane Schwartz joined the program to share her view on how communicators can make sure they stay in the room with top leaders and demonstrate the value of the communications function. Communicators are tired of being “order takers,” Schwartz said, but there’s still a lot of work to be done to earn that seat at the table.

“Communicators have been working really hard on the measurement side of the discipline,” she said, admitting that there often is not a direct line to revenue for comms activities. That makes conversations with senior management more difficult, she said.

However, communicators are not unaware of the measurement conundrum and many organizations are at work to provide frameworks and metrics to show the value of comms work. “We are seeing that happening now,” Schwartz said. “That’s the good news.”

And the events of 2020 have only accelerated those trends.

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