As Pam Wickham, Raytheon's VP of corporate affairs and communications, says, "It's all about the pipeline."
Since joining the company in 2005, Wickham has made developing the talent pipeline in communications a core function for the entire team.
The group has extensively expanded its presence within Raytheon's leadership development program (LDP). When Wickham started, one person was enrolled in the communications track; now there are 10. A small number compared with engineering, but the idea is to transition these people into meaningful careers at the company.
Such an endeavor requires planning, as well as a passionate commitment to the future of the function. Each participant explores three different tracks of the communications mix. They emerge from the circuit versed not only in their own jobs, but also in the holistic and integrated communications spectrum, as well as the other functions within the company.
In PRWeek's annual Career Guide, included with this issue, there are numerous examples of companies that are working hard to ensure they can meet the demands of a rapidly changing market with key talent across the board. Raytheon is taking the movement to the next level, ensuring the continuity and relevance of the function is parallel with the daily organizational challenges. The investment goes far beyond recruitment or HR, to the priorities of the communications leadership of the company. That is the level of commitment that is needed to meet the thorniest of issues threatening PR today, that of finding and keeping the best possible talent.
PRWeek is pleased to announce that the chairman of the 2008 PRWeek Awards is Tony Cervone, GM's VP of communications for North America. For more information on the Awards, visit www.prweek.com/us/events.