open highway with blue sky ahead
For Communications Directors
Your destination: Becoming a trusted advisor. Here's how.
In This Issue
This Month's Free Download
August's Top 10 Tips
Are you a trusted advisor?
Where to Catch Me
Experts Workshop Options
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Free Do

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From our sister blog at 
The Eloquent Woman, 
here's your 
-- a must-read before you and 
your spokespeople get on stage or on camera.

What Directors are Reading

August's top 10 communications tips and issues offered Evernote business travel tips, 
prizes for scientists who communicate, and a Flip camera
  with great sound, plus much more. 
Quick Links



You may be a top communicator, but are you a trusted advisor? It's the crucial issue that will determine your success, no matter where you work. I've got some ideas for how to hit the mark, below. This month, I've launched new pages on the blog about my own advisement services, including:

I hope we'll be able to work together or meet up soon.


Denise Graveline

Are you a trusted advisor?  
woman lost in thought

Getting accepted as a trusted advisor can feel like a huge hurdle, especially in a new job, with a new CEO, or when you work with experts (about which more below) who always know more than you. But you're more in charge of this aspect of your work than you may think. Try these tactics:

  1. Create a climate where communications issues become part of the discussion. Make sure the rest of the management team knows what you can contribute to their issues, and don't be shy about pointing out the communications aspects of managing any issue, until it becomes routine to include it. No traction in the boardroom? Call your own monthly meeting with other departments to find out what they are up to, until word spreads that you're actively managing issues and how they work in public. Don't assume they know what you need.
  2. Don't show them up. Show them how. Since your expertise is likely not your leaders' specialty, use your skills not to show how smart you are, but to help them look smarter--big difference. Making sure they know what to do when you're not there makes you look confident and useful.
  3. Strike a neutral but thoughtful tone. Don't be crying wolf or overly critical, but do point out possible unintended consequences, and urge colleagues to start anticipating how this will be seen, or how awkward questions will be handled.
  4. Prove your worth in concrete ways. Skip the shelf of awards. Your best accolade comes when a colleague comes to you wanting help before a problem occurs, because she knows you want to help and are able to do so. Don't assume they know how to make use of your talents.
Where to Catch Me This Fall
This fall, I'm traveling to conduct workshops for clients, and attending conferences. Catch me in these locations: 
  • Binghamton, NY, for a workshop;pinpointing spot on map
  • Flagstaff, AZ, for the National Association of Science Writers annual meeting; and
  • San Diego, CA, for the TEDMED conference.

Want to meet up? Email me to arrange a meeting.

Be an Expert on Working with Experts:
More Workshop Options to Try
University and scientific society communicators attended the first open version of my workshop Be an Expert on Working with Experts in late August. "I recognized so many of my experts, but hadn't put it all together in that way before," said one participant. 


Clients are requesting on-site, custom versions of this workshop, with interesting combinations. For some, I'll be doing the training for communicators on working with experts, then leading a training with their experts that they can observe--with a debriefing for the communicators afterward. Let me know if you want that combo.


I'll also offer another open-registration workshop soon, so email me if you're interested and want to get on the waiting list. As with this first workshop, you can register as an individual or come with a team from your communications, development or public affairs office.