THIS WEEK’S BIG QUESTION: Should senior managers be trained in corporate communications?

Manchester School of Management has set up a masters course in corporate communications

Manchester School of Management has set up a masters course in

corporate communications

Tim Melville-Ross

Institute of Directors

’I don’t think that senior people spend nearly enough time communicating

with the outside world about what business is trying to achieve

Directors as a profession are seriously under-trained. There’s a

tremendous aura of gifted amateurism. So, yes, we need to be trained and

to communicate.

The only worry I would have about it is that you get to the stage where

you end up having to cope with training overload. It mustn’t be allowed

to interfere with the main task, which is to achieve long-term

shareholder value.’

George Westropp

Deloitte and Touche

’My view has always been that most senior managers have very little idea

of best practice in communications. There are a number that do, and it

shows. Every one of them is obviously a natural - they don’t need to go

on a course - which only goes to emphasise that the rest of us do.

Senior managers are required to communicate the whole time. It’s an

absolutely vital skill.’

Nigel Whittaker


’Being able to communicate with both small and large audiences

effectively is one of the necessary skills of a CEO in the US. In this

country it is too often not there and has to be trained in.’

Gill Carrick

Goddard Kay Rogers

’Increasingly chief executives see the development and protection of

their organisation’s corporate representation as a critical part of

their role. For many of them understanding reputation and how it is

developed and maintained will not come naturally so training is a


Philip Dewhurst


’All the best CEOs and chairmen have got an understanding of what

corporate communications is about. But all too often it’s instinctive

and picked up on the job. Some element of formal training is a good

idea. I don’t believe communications is some mystical area worthy only

of gurus. It’s a business discipline. Training of top level people

should make the jobs of communications directors more effective.’

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