Why is it that many exceptional PR professionals and leaders have a lack of confidence in what they can do? Today, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) publishes a skills guide looking at making the move from communicator to CEO. A thread running through the information gathered was that we question our position, ability and often don’t step outside of a rigid comms role.
It is something that we have talked about within the industry for some years but are we now facing a crisis of confidence?
2020 and the first days of 2021 have been extremely challenging for everyone, and especially the PR and communication professionals who have been thrust into dealing with a crisis, supporting struggling business, trying to keep people safe and save lives, and for many self-employed put food on the table. This pressure could very easily take its toll so that we second guess ourselves, and question our role in the world. Alongside that for many there is the imposter syndrome as well to battle with.
I feel we are at a crossroads for the PR world. Down one path will be the loss of jobs, the loss of position within businesses, and an introspection that means we lose touch with the wider world. Down the other is the opportunity to build from the amazing work that has been taking place, taking up the seat in the boardroom, operating strategically and helping to shape the future of the business.
We need to make the second road the one we take. It is not going to be easy and it will require more strength, foresight and development at a time when many are feeling exhausted. The Skills Guide does give some useful insight into the importance of development, understanding our knowledge gaps and working out a road to where we want to be.
There has been so much discussion in recent years about getting a seat at the top table but I have long said that it requires a wider skillset than just being excellent at communication. Being business savy is vital, knowing the business and also being able to influence are essential. You may not want to become a CEO but we all need to regain our own and the industry’s confidence.
You can read the document here Comms Professional to CEO (cipr.co.uk)