Creative Leadership

Why Corporate and Nonprofit Boards Should Include a Media Professional

Corporate and nonprofit organizations tend to fill their boards with members who are influential or have helpful areas of expertise. It’s not unusual to see CEO’s, CFO’s, and other corporate leaders on another company or nonprofit’s board. We’re also seeing a growing number of women populating boards as well as representatives from minority communities. However, one area of expertise that should also be represented on a board of directors is an experienced media professional.

Today, we live in a digital age, and nearly every aspect of corporate and nonprofit life touches on some aspect of media. From advertising and marketing, social media, news coverage, public relations, to crisis management and more, a deep knowledge of media issues is essential for a successful board.

Many boards have private conversations behind closed doors, where bringing in expertise from the outside might not be appropriate. Therefore, having that expertise inside the board itself is invaluable. Plus, when privacy issues come up it’s good to have the right advice from the start before the board goes public.

So the next time your corporate or nonprofit board of directors is looking to add a member, consider a voice with a media background.

It could save you enormous heartache in the future.

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  1. Very good advice Phil.
    I believe this is so important because we, the creative people, can definitely bring a positive and significant impact on organizations’ strategic planing and operations. However, we do need to be prepare for it.
    We cannot expect to tell to a board how to run a business, if we only focus on educating ourselves on cameras and production gear.
    In the same way leaders need to learn about the value of a media expert and what it takes to communicate effectively, we, communicators, must learn about business management, organizational communication and leadership in order to make a difference.

    Thanks for post! Hope it inspires many leaders and media professionals

  2. Great advice.

    I believe that organizations also need to have a communications person on the board. Without that person in the room, the board often fails to define the “why” behind decisions that are made. This leads to a lack of understanding of how to effectively communicate and carry out those decisions. Speaking from experience, it is frustrating to be the one tasked to share a new vision, event, etc. when you have not been in the room to help ask crucial questions.

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