In the latest Chuck Chats! interview, I talked with Steve Crescenzo, ceo of Crescenzo Communications. For years, Steve has been one of the more powerful and comedic voices in internal communication. He's never shies from confrontation and isn't afraid to challenge communicators to do more with their influence.
Here are some of my favorite takeaways from Steve's chat...
On communicators taking their roles seriously....
If you want to throw together PowerPoints and churn out crappy intranet stories and press release, there will always be a job for you. If you want to excel in the field, you need to take what we do seriously. That means doing the stuff most communicators don’t want to do — like research and measurement. And standing up for ourselves. And fighting for what we believe is right. And speaking truth to power. None of which is easy.
On why communicators should measure actions
It’s also the only way to change. The one question I get at conferences, EVERY time I speak is, “How can I convince management to let me do things differently.” There’s only one way: First, you have to prove to them that what they’re currently doing isn’t working. That is research and measurement. Second, you have to show them you have a better way of doing it. That’s where best practices come in. Third, you have to show them the new way is working.
On asking permission versus forgiveness
I am firmly on the side of “Proceed Until Apprehended.” I mean, don’t get fired, and don’t do anything stupid. But if you are doing the job right, and you are helping the organization achieve business goals because you’re a strategic counselor, then you’d be surprised with what you can get away with. BUT . . . organizations tend to say no to “concepts.” They are hard wired not to try new things. The communicator has to be the one to push on that.
You can check out the full interview, along with the rest of the Chuck Chats! series.