By: Gary Sheffer, Chairman, Arthur W. Page Society and Jeff DeMarrais, Membership Committee Chair, Page Up

Later this month, Page and Page Up members will gather in Atlanta for the first in a series of Insight Forums focused on the future of the Chief Communications Officer. Brad Shaw of Home Depot is graciously hosting as well as helping to organize an excellent discussion. Before we know it Page members will be gearing up for their Annual Conference in Philadelphia around the theme of Authentic Advocacy. We know Elise Eberwein of American Airlines and her team are planning a terrific event. Whenever we survey members of Page, Page Up and our Future Leaders program, they unanimously cite networking and building valuable relationships among the key benefits of their participation. It was clear to see from the conversations taking place during the breaks at the Spring Seminar in New York that we have a group of individuals eager to meet, to learn, and to discuss and debate the issues and opportunities facing them.

Chris Talley quote

Every day, deep and lasting relationships are being built and strengthened by our membership, and the benefits extend beyond the camaraderie of communicators. Collaboration among our membership is also leading to tangible business benefit.

Sherry Scott of Gagen MacDonald, our Page Up Chair, recently explained that she was asked by a global, multiple business unit client, how its peers structure their CEO communications. This client was seeking best practices regarding strategy, structure, internal collaboration, engaging stakeholders and aligning external opportunities to maximize the CEO's objectives. Sherry was able to contact the CCOs of 12 separate enterprises, all members of Page or Page Up, for their feedback. "I heard back from seven of them within 24 hours," Sherry told us. "They called me on the way home from the grocery store that evening, or I had emails waiting for me when I woke up the following morning." Sherry is packaging together those responses now for her client. "What a wonderful example of a network that wants to share its experiences," she said.

Elsewhere, Linda Rutherford of Southwest Airlines and Chris Talley of USAA, both Page Up members and former Future Leaders classmates, run joint training sessions for their teams covering mutually beneficial topics, including how communications can best integrate with marketing despite silo budgeting; approaches to implementing the New Model across their enterprises; and gaining counsel and perspective on how to navigate and manage sensitive C-Suite issues. "The Page Up family provides a natural, safe and incredibly powerful network to gain real-time counsel on common issues and challenges," Talley said. "When leaders unite around our profession and the day-to-day development of our teams, great things happen." Another example of a joint training session comes from Becky Edwards, a Page Future Leader, who runs communications for GE's Oil and Gas business, and Kurt Glaubitz, her counterpart at Chevron, also a Future Leader participant, who together initiated a session for their staff on crisis simulation. Chevron is actually a customer of GE's but it's the relationship they forged through Page that led to this. Becky told us: "The power of Page extends beyond the programs. Kurt and I are excited about bringing a learning experience to our teams which results from the bond we've forged in the Future Leaders sessions."

There are countless examples of this sort of collaboration across the Page network, and it's why the Page Society, Page Up and Future Leaders continue to thrive. Together we total around 700 communications professionals at the very top of their game, replete with experience, influence and innovative ideas. Page and its members thrive by utilizing that collective power.

The mission of the Page Society is to strengthen the enterprise leadership role of the CCO. Working together, sharing and building long-lasting relationships, our members are achieving this mission, both for the good of the profession and to deliver day-to-day business benefit to their enterprises.