How Can Public Affairs/PR Specialists Prove Their Worth?
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He argues that PR (in government, public affairs) isn't taken seriously by senior leaders because:
- They lack acknowledged credentials equivalent to an MD, MBA, etc. (I think to myself - this could be true; PMP is a well-respected credential and has elevated project management's status)
- They make leadership uncomfortable because of their role with respect to enforcing the organization's values (e.g. PR folks hold leaders accountable for keeping their promises)
- Prove the financial contribution to the bottom line - he concludes that this is difficult
- Prove that having PR folks on the senior leadership team acts to minimize risk
- If there is no choice - it occurs by "regulation or competitive influence"
"To quantify the tangible value of PR, it could be beneficial for the profession to conduct research that compares the long-term stock price volatility (or beta) of public companies that include PR in its senior level decision-making process against those companies that do not. If a stock’s beta reflects market uncertainty, then a company’s track record of consistently avoiding “PR problems” as well as its ability to address those issues quickly and effectively—as a result of having a PR professional involved in operational decisions—should have a measurable effect on its stock market valuation, cost of capital and brand reputation."
So my question is, does Andrews' analysis apply to government too? Is it true, as a rule, that chief communicators are relatively out of the loop when it comes to operational decision-making?
And if so - how can that situation be addressed? Is risk minimization the right approach?
Originally posted as a comment on GovLoop.