Mastering Business for Strategic Communicators: Insights and Advice from the C-suite of Leading Brands

Matthew W. Ragas
DePaul University, USA

Ron Culp
DePaul University, USA

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Product Details
14 Nov 2017
Emerald Publishing Limited
320 pages - 152 x 229mm
The most successful communication professionals are no longer just communication experts—they are masters of business. To serve as trusted advisors to the C-suite and to collaborate across the enterprise means it is necessary to have a strong grounding in business acumen. 

Mastering Business provides strategic communications and public relations students and professionals with expert insights and advice into the various major business functions and departments. From an assemblage of top strategic communication leaders comes this collection of more than 20 essays from current and former Chief Communications Officers (CCOs). The authors show the business areas that communicators help convene, integrate, and translate across their enterprises and to external stakeholders. Each chapter features a Career Spotlight by the CCO and a C-suite View response from a business leader, including CEOs, presidents, and CFOs from household names like GE, GM, Southwest Airlines, Starbucks, Walgreens Boots Alliance, and SAP. 

This collection provides readers with a rare view of the leadership roles played by top strategic communicators inside some of today’s most well-known brands and organizations. 
Foreword by Roger Bolton, president, Arthur W. Page Society



PART I. Introduction

1. Advising “the room where it happens”: the business case for business acumen
Matthew W. Ragas, Ph.D., Associate Professor, DePaul University and Ron Culp, Professional in Residence, DePaul University 

PART II. Communications, Business Acumen and the C-suite 

2. The communicator as integrator  
Gary Sheffer, Senior Corporate Strategist, Weber Shandwick 

3. Why business acumen matters more than ever 
Peter Marino, Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer, MillerCoors

4. From farm to pharm: business and life lessons learned in the barnyard 
Jeffrey A. Winton, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Astellas Pharma

PART III. Finance and Investor Relations 

5. Taking the numb out of numbers: working with the office of the CFO
Kathryn Beiser, formerly Global Chair of the Corporate Practice, Edelman, and formerly Executive Vice President of Corporate Communications, Hilton Worldwide 

6. The partnership between corporate communications and investor relations
Carole Casto, Vice President, Corporate Communications, Cummins Inc. 

PART IV. Human Resources and Employee Engagement 

7. Mastering business means first understanding your people  
Corey duBrowa, Executive Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, Salesforce, and formerly Senior Vice President, Global Communications, Starbucks

8. Employees as drivers of corporate brand and reputation
Paul Gerrard, Vice President, Strategic Communications, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA) and Angela Roberts, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, American Veterinary Medical Association, and formerly Managing Director, Strategic Communications, BCBSA

9. Have a seat at the table – not on the fringes
Anne C. Toulouse, Vice President, Global Brand Management and Advertising, Boeing

PART V. Corporate Strategy, Innovation and Legal 

10. Collaborating with strategy and innovation: taking on the challenge to “communicate the amoeba”
Linda Rutherford, Vice President and Chief Communications Officer, Southwest Airlines 

11. Telling the story of value creation
Clarkson Hine, Senior Vice President, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Beam Suntory

12. Lessons from my father: bringing the “greener rules” to corporate strategy and planning
Chuck Greener, Senior Vice President, Global Corporate Affairs and Communications, Walgreens Boots Alliance 

13. Understanding the corporate legal department 
Mark Bain, President, upper 90 consulting and formerly Global Director of Communications, Baker McKenzie

PART VI. Marketing, Brand and Data Analytics 

14. Driving to the right place: aligning communications with business goals and objectives
Joe Jacuzzi, Executive Director, Global Chevrolet Communications, General Motors and Tony Cervone, Senior Vice President, Global Communications, General Motors 

15. Peas in a pod: communications and the chief marketing officer 
Richard Kylberg, Vice President, Corporate Marketing and Communications, Arrow Electronics 

16. Learn the language of business and keep what you earn 
B. J. Talley, Senior Director of Communications, TE Connectivity

PART VII. Social Responsibility and Transparency 

17. Truth, trust and transparency: why hard facts and corporate honesty matter
Matt Peacock, Group Director of Corporate Affairs, Vodafone Group

18. How communicators can help corporations make a difference
Stacy Sharpe, Senior Vice President, Corporate Relations, Allstate Insurance Company

19. Communications for social good
Andrew Solomon, Managing Director, Communications, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation 

PART VIII. Communication and Corporate Transformations 

20. Building communications’ influence during corporate transformation
Kelly McGinnis, Chief Communications Officer, Levi Strauss & Co. 

21. Accentuate the positive: the communicator’s catalytic effect 
Jon Harris, Chief Communications Officer, Conagra Brands

22. Communications leadership that strong leaders expect
Nick Tzitzon, Executive Vice President, Marketing and Communications, SAP 

PART IX. Summing Up

23. Observations and conclusions from “Masters of Business”  
Matthew W. Ragas, Ph.D., Associate Professor, DePaul University and Ron Culp, Professional in Residence, DePaul University 
Matthew W. Ragas, Ph.D. and Ron Culp are on the public relations faculty in the College of Communication at DePaul University in Chicago, USA, where they help develop the next generation of communications leaders. They are the co-authors of Business Essentials for Strategic Communicators.
Mastering Business for Strategic Communicators is a gem and a must-read for anyone aspiring to lead communications for any organization. It makes clear that to be a top communicator today you have to be a business leader first, mine data and relationships, and find ways to transform strategy into relationships and results.|“Wow! What an outstanding read! Featuring stories and insights from the best of the best in the industry, Mastering Business For Strategic Communicators must be required reading for students and practitioners alike in any area of business, communication, and public relations.”|“Backstopping every C-suite are their strategic communications leaders, counseling businesses on how to increase shareholder value, maintain trust in a crisis, and enhance reputation. Mastering Business provides a front row seat as to how diverse companies navigate the communications land mines populating our ever changing media landscape.”|“Mastering Business is a succinct, readable and compelling work. It does a wonderful job capturing the way the profession has evolved and how it might look in the future. The insights here from Jeff Winton, Chuck Greener, Tony Cervone, Kathy Beiser and many other true giants in the field present a blueprint for those who want to be trusted advisors with a seat at the table where business decisions are made. It is an essential read for anyone pursuing a career in communications.”|“Matt and Ron are on a mission: To make sure PR’s next generation is schooled in the foundations of business and thus regularly asked into the 'room where it happens.' Through chapters contributed by many of today’s most successful communicators, along with observations by leading C-suite executives, their newest book will go a long way towards helping students - as well as those building careers – easily and more fully understand business at the intersection of strategic communications. I used their first book in my classroom at Boston University. I will use their new one, too.”

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