Communication and the C-suite

C-suite has a significant role in any corporate environment. Positions of power, authority, and responsibility make the C-suite executives among those who have been driving the organisation. All the chief officers make a substantial contribution whether they are responsible for running the entire organisation or specific functions like marketing, finance, technology, information, and operations for that matter.

Not only the C-suite executives are answerable to their organisation in terms of their expected deliverables, but also to all their peer group, subordinates, and extended staff within their department function in terms of getting them to do what they must, and that too successfully.

While on one hand there are systems, processes, methods, best practices, and historic ways that are already available and established within the organisation to make all this happen, on another hand, the ability to communicate well among the C-suite executives, can make all the difference.

A CEO, is focused on the holistic growth of the organisation, keeping the core team to work together cohesively, bringing in innovative practices, is constantly looking at increasing topline and bottom-line for the organisation and thereby enhancing value for all stakeholders of the organisation becomes one of the key objectives.

Sales and marketing, without which any organisation cannot grow and flourish, undoubtedly make the most important function. Across the hierarchy, up to the junior-most sales executive plays a key role in the success of the organisation. How effectively and efficiently, the customers are reached out, how the products and services are being sold, how the customer service is being done, what are the feedback and customer response channels, how such information is plugged back into getting new insights, etc., all of it is crucial. The CMO is solely responsible for ensuring all of it goes on smoothly.

Not only this but ensuring the marketing research, planning of most appropriate and impactful marketing strategies, advertising & promotional campaigns, etc., is under the CMO of any organisation. A CMO requires to communicate with a variety of resources falling under his ambit including sales personnel, market research professionals, and the marketing & advertising workforce. In parallel communication at the lateral level among the C-suite executives, is also an unfailing requirement for a CMO.

In the age of technology-driven business, where there are so many business processes that are automated, tech-enabled, and constantly being upgraded, often it becomes a challenge to bring everyone to level in a short period. Whether it is about upgrading the existing technology or bringing in new technologies, all of which are aimed at enhancing the value of the business, requires a lot of discussions, interactions, deliberations, and planning among various internal and external constituents, for a Chief Technology Officer (CTO) to be engaged with it.

Similarly, a COO always ensures excellent coordination between all functions on a day-to-day operation and requires communicating constantly with not only his peer group but also at various levels in the organisation hierarchy. Usually, being second in command after the CEO, he makes a key contribution in driving the organisation towards achieving its goals.

Not to forget the finance function of any organisation, where the CFO calls the shots in close coordination with the CEO and COO, apart from the other C-suite executives. Whether it is about revenues, dealings with the bank, financial stakeholders, regulatory and compliance authorities, a CFO is always in an exchange of information, inwards and outwards.

Corporate communication function in any organisation works closely with all of these C-suite executives, who are in a way interdependent, and their communication. All of them need to have a similar voice, same information, identical thought process, and a synergistic delivery of communication, whether to either internal or external organisation.

C-suite executives, having well-trained in corporate communications practices can make a big difference in the overall image and perception of any organisation.

The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.

Praveen Nagda
Praveen Nagda is the CEO of Peregrine Public Relations, a full-service corporate communications and public relations consultancy firm delivering a pan-India reach to its clients. He also heads White Coffee, an independent events & celebrity engagement company.

Praveen has been closely associated with many national and international events related to cinema for children, art and culture. He has a well-rounded experience that cuts across all key sectors of PR & Corporate Communications.

He started his career with URJA Communications, an advertising agency specialising in technology brands, where he was instrumental in developing the PR division. Post this, he had a stint with Horizons Porter Novelli, a global public relations consultancy. Thereafter, he was heading the IT & Telecom division at Clea PR, a leading Indian public relations and communications company followed by a fairly long stint with Omnicom Group agencies viz. TBWA\India and Brodeur India.

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