2016 PRSA Pittsburgh Professional Development Day Session Recap

Session: Making the case for PR to the C-Suite: Senior Practitioners Panel


  • Bob Butter, Principal – Veritas Communication Advisor
  • Niki Campbell, VP, Communications & Field Support – North Side Foods
  • Brian Peiritsch, Director of Corporate Communications – Michael Baker International

Recap: This panel, geared toward senior practitioners in the public relations field, focused on the importance, and difficulty, of making connections with the C-suite of major companies. The C-Suite refers to the executives in upper-level management positions, who make the major, final decisions in corporations.

The panelists engaged in an open conversation about the struggles of communicating the importance of public relations to other professionals, as well as some of the techniques they have used to do so.

Key takeaways:

  1. Do not pigeon-hole yourself into one role. Executives need to know that public relations include a diverse array of skills.
  2. Always communicate clearly to the C-Suite about plans and potential issues – no executive likes to be surprised.
  3. Always use your critical thinking skills when in a company meeting—or any other time. You do not only have to use your public relations training to prove that you are a valuable member of the team.
  4. Make yourself as valuable as possible. Company your words with deeds and show that you are reliable and useful.

Teghan Simonton is a sophomore with a dual major in public relations and journalism. She serves as the publicity chair for Waynesburg PRSSA and as managing editor for the award-winning Yellow Jacket student newspaper. She is an active member of Red Brick Communications and the Society of Professional Journalists. In her free time, Teghan is a member of the cross country and track teams.


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