I recently joined The Associates, a group of senior-level business leaders that supports the University of Manitoba’s Asper School of Business. I think it’s noteworthy that when I introduce myself as leading Dooley Communications, Manitoba’s largest PR firm, people I meet at The Associates immediately assume that business must be good. Why? Because business leaders are clearly understanding that senior leadership need to embrace good public relations in order to effectively lead their organizations.
I joined The Associates partly because of its excellent events and opportunities to meet new people and learn new things, and partly because I thought it was time for our agency to show support for the Asper School of Business. We have been long time corporate supporters of programs at Red River College and at the University of Winnipeg, but we have never offered similar support to the UofM and the Asper School.
The world of business is growing and changing. I have long felt that the best communicators in the private and public sector are always the ones who grasp their organization’s strategy. Additionally, I feel strongly that the best CEOs in the world are the ones who communicate the best; they understand PR intuitively and make it part of their organizations.
When we talk about PR with our clients, we prefer to talk about it at a strategic level with leadership. Good communications practices don’t just build brands, they build trusted organizations. They’re also like putting a strong coating of Teflon around your company so you can recover more quickly in the event of a crisis. So I was happy to be invited to join The Associates.
Last week I attended the AGM where we heard from Randy Ambrosie, the Commissioner of the Canadian Football League. The event also marked the 35th anniversary of the Associates. Prior to that I took in an informational session on how blockchain is disrupting businesses around the world. Led by experts from IBM, it gave me an interesting glimpse into the potential for blockchain to radically alter many aspects of our lives.
One of the premiere events run by The Associates is the annual IDEA dinner. I meant to go to last year’s event honouring David Foster, but I dithered on buying tickets and ended up missing out. I’m told it was a terrific event, but that doesn’t surprise me. I’ve had the opportunity to attend a few events put on by The Associates over the years and they’ve all been well done.
I’m looking forward to attending more events in the near future and discussing the growing role of public relations in C-suite. I’m also making plans to attend next year’s IDEA dinner which will honour Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post. Now there’s a CEO who gets how PR and communications can impact a brand and a business.