The Communications Advisor
A theoretical perspective and a practical perspective
In a world where the pace of change is accelerating and the level of complexity is increasing, effective communication becomes more and more important for both organizations and CEOs. Therefore, the role of the trusted communications advisor to the CEO has never been more business-critical. However, there is only limited research-based knowledge on the professional practice of the trusted communications advisor and her relationship and collaboration with the CEO.
In this research-based business book, we draw on research – both our own and others’ – as our point of departure for describing the role and practice of the trusted communications advisor. And we combine this with extensive practical experience within the communications profession. Consequently, this book is relevant for both professional communications advisors as well as communications students and teachers engaged in strategic organisational communication, management communication and the role and practice of the communications advisor.
The Communications Advisor falls into two parts: A theoretical perspective outlines the theoretical foundation for the book and our research project, and A practical perspective provides input on how to work strategically on becoming a trusted communications advisor to the CEO in practice.
The authors – research meets practice
Gitte Gravengaard, Communications Scholar, University of Copenhagen
Gitte Gravengaard (1973-2022) was Associate Professor, PhD, at the Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics at the University of Copenhagen. Gravengaard’s research areas were strategic communication, communications advising, research communication and journalism. She published several peer-reviewed books as well as many peer-reviewed articles, book chapters and conference papers on these topics. Gravengaard is the director of the research project “The Advisor of the Future”, which consists of a range of sub-projects.
Kristian Eiberg, CEO and Partner, RelationsPeople
Kristian Eiberg is CEO and partner at RelationsPeople – a Danish, partner-owned communications consulting company. Eiberg has more than 25 years of experience when it comes to advising executive management teams. Since 1993, Eiberg has served as lecturer at Copenhagen Business School, and today he is external lecturer at the Institute for Management, Society and Communication. He has been the editor of two Danish books on integrated market communication and serves as a non-executive director of several boards.
Anders Monrad Rendtorff, Associate Partner, RelationsPeople
Anders Monrad Rendtorff is associate partner at the communications consulting company RelationsPeople. Also, Rendtorff is the head of communications for VL, The Danish Management Society, and network director in EGN, Executives’ Global Network. Rendtorff is an experienced communications advisor (+25 years) in some of the largest Nordic companies such as Ericsson, Telia, Coloplast and Vestas. Since 2016, Rendtorff has been employed as external lecturer at Copenhagen Business School at the Institute for Management, Society and Communication, and he has written a range of articles and co-authored a book on research communication.
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A theoretical perspective
Introducing the theoretical perspective 9
Setting the scene: The organization and the CEO in a contemporary world 39
The development of strategic leadership communication and CEO communication 71
Portrait of the trusted communications advisor 107
A practical perspective
Introducing the practical perspective 9
The professional practice of the trusted communications advisor 31
How to understand and navigate the business context 81
How to build a trustful relationship with the CEO 127
The extensive competence profile of the trusted communications advisor 193
How to take charge of your own competence development 229
Over the horizon: The communications advisor in the future 259
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