Twenty Minutes Later

Coming from the wild world of public relations where I had a hand in the latest news, launches, and even the occasional crisis, I confess, IT did not seem like the sexiest choice or an obvious rung up the corporate ladder. However, after 15+ years writing press releases and pitching stories, I was also itching to explore something new.

Hourglass

Seven years ago, I met with the company’s CIO, who was looking to infuse more PR and marketing into the IT organization. To say the least, he is a dynamic, driven and persuasive personality. Twenty minutes later, I was convinced. Here’s why:

  • Selfishly, I knew leaving PR was the best way for me to advance my career. I did what I could there, but there were only so many positions to step into.
  • The CIO was an inspiring and rising star in the company. Even in a brief conversation, I could see he had a lot to offer the company (and me). As they say in those career advice articles, work for someone that inspires and can teach you something.
  • As a PR person in high tech, I learned the products, messaging and industry, but never fully understood what happens after a product is purchased. How does it get deployed? What are the hurdles? What if it doesn’t work? A look inside “black box” of IT would broaden my horizons significantly.
  • While the average person only thinks of IT when they have to call the help desk, IT is increasingly more intertwined in a company’s success. And, it is only going to get more exciting as companies look for ways to disrupt the competition and industry.
  • IT communications is a largely untapped profession. Sometimes there is a formal role or IT gets help from corporate communications. However, based on my experience, most people tasked with communicating in IT aren’t communicators. They may have leanings, but not formal backgrounds or roles.

I’m still in IT. It’s not always roses and rainbows, but I have worked alongside four CIOs, collaborated with thousands of ITers, and built a team to help me drive our executive, employee, internal and external communications. If you are just dabbling in IT communications or stepped into a formal role, I’ll be sharing my lessons learned here, so stay tuned.

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