CityBlock Health head of communications Cath Anderson says delivering results is a key part of communications success. However, she tells Doug Simon that "behind-the-scenes comms work" also plays a major role in elevating the impact of your message.
Such factors as "building coalitions, bringing people together around an idea and ensuring you have cross-functional support" go "a long way to determining your success as a leader and as somebody who people can get behind."
Expanding your skill set is one aspect of that behind-the-scenes work, and Anderson says that "the commonality across all skill sets is that it's folks that really enjoy writing. They lean into storytelling in their lives, so it's a natural tendency when it comes to their career."
Also important is "the ability to quickly analyze and pull out the most important points amidst a pretty noisy world and noisy news cycle," she says.
Developing these skills, she says, is not a one-and-done affair. "It’s not something you take a class on and you know how to do it. You have to just put it into practice day to day."
Anderson stresses the importance of culture building. "I actually think that culture building is everyone's job and that over the past several years, we've all kind of come to understand that it's up to us to come together and to create the community that we want to live in."
She also tells Simon that "success" is a word you have to define for yourself. "I've come to see success as something that is helping to propel me forward and to grow and learn and become a better person. And that it could mean a new company on my resume, or it could mean a new volunteer opportunity."
With a resume that includes stints at Google, Facebook and Apple, Anderson discusses ways that PR can mitigate some of the challenges being faced by the tech industry.
"I think the two biggest ones would be, first to help the business be more strategic around their timeline," she tells Simon. "The second thing I would say is, one of our primary focus areas is to look around corners. So, with mitigating risk, we want to be bringing up the top red flag items, asking tough questions, and poking holes in things."
But one more essential quality for success in a changing marketplace, she says, is leading with vulnerability. "I think vulnerability is kind of the glue that connects us all and actually helps to build trust."
Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at [email protected]