The 30th Anniversary of CommCore Consulting, which we recently celebrated, presents a good opportunity to reflect on how we have survived and prospered throughout the last three decades.
CommCore didn’t start in a Silicon Valley garage. It was a one-bedroom apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, with a $5,000 loan from my dad. I didn’t know it at the time, but I think that long-term success for CommCore—and perhaps for any PR consulting firm—can be captured in a three-letter acronym, CAP, which stands for:
Let’s go beneath the hood.
Client-focus. All PR and public affairs professionals will talk about client focus—and they should. Our take is that when you don’t have long-term contracts, you better be really good in each training or crisis engagement in order to get invited back to the table. I’m proud of several relationships with agencies and companies that date back to our first year in 1985.
Adaptability. IT comes in many forms. It could just be the technology. Our first computer was an Apple II; media training was shot with enormous studio cameras. Fast forward to smartphones and flip cams, as the current tools of trade.
We started with three core services: presentation, media training and crisis counsel. We have adapted to client needs and developed a proprietary PressureTest Crisis Simulations as well as witness training, leadership development and social media consulting.
Yet there are a few constants that haven’t changed during the last 30 years. The CommCore constants are: develop your messages, target them to your specific audience(s) and prepare for objections and challenges.
People. I’ve been blessed to have a superior team. Our staff averages 15 years with CommCore; that contributes to quality control and consistency in the work we deliver.
Our consultants have great credentials from work in journalism and other disciplines. Credentials get them on our masthead. But you need more than a resume to be good at our craft. CommCore trainers have the uncommon ability to walk into a CEO’s office or handle a group of scientists – and teach and coach them so they become better communicators.
Thirty years after starting CommCore, the simple recipe for long-term success remains Client-focus, Adaptability and (the best) People, plus a passion for the work and the PR profession.
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Andrew Gilman is CEO of CommCore Consulting Group. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.