Business for Communicators provides future and current professional communicators with a hands-on, working knowledge of how businesses profit, grow, and adapt in their competitive environments.
Corporate communicators aspire to sit at the decision-making table but too often fall short because of an inability to speak the language of business or effectively apply a business mindset to communication strategy. Business for Communicators provides the in-depth business literacy these professionals need, beyond just building the case for business intelligence or explaining business basics. The text delves into the details of corporate finance, accounting, marketing, strategy, operations, and economics to provide a theoretical grounding and a working knowledge that business communicators can apply to every decision they make. Real world applications illustrate concepts covered, focus on the communication implications of business outcomes, and provide opportunities for extended learning and discussion.
This book is an essential resource for advanced undergraduate and graduate students, as well as professional corporate communicators ready to enhance their influence and advance their careers with business acumen.
An accompanying website, blog, email, and social media platforms provide additional resources, interaction, commentary, and responses to questions from educators and practitioners, as well as teaching materials for educators, at www.thecommunicatorsmba.com.
Table of Contents
Introduction to Business for Communicators
1. Why You Need to Speak the Language of Business
2. Capitalism: Its Benefits and Discontents
3. A Micro and Macro View of the Economy
4. The Art and Science of Financial Statements
5. How and Why Finance Rules the Business World
6. Marketing Envy and Other Observations
7. Getting Comfortable with the Quants
8. Why You Cannot Ignore Operations Management
9. The Care and Feeding of Human Capital
10. What is Strategy?
11. And Here Comes Legal
12. Last but Not Least: Business Ethics
Sandra Duhé is Associate Professor and Chair of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs at Southern Methodist University, USA.
"As a teacher of graduate and undergraduate courses in public relations management, I have long sought this book, Business for Communicators, to give my students a business mindset for their public relations careers. This book is an essential guide to organizational livelihoods – e.g., finance, marketing, and data analytics within the broader perspective of the US economy. A very welcome book for our classrooms and industry."
Elizabeth L. Toth, Professor, Department of Communication, University of Maryland, USA
"This easy-to-read and oftentimes entertaining book provides a wide range of business knowledge that is essential for corporate communicators, for students who aspire to such careers, and for educators whose business literacy may be limited. In a sole volume that includes a brief history of capitalism, the book's uniquely qualified author teaches contemporary business practices, including micro- and macroeconomics, financial statements, operational management, legal considerations, and a range of related topics that are insufficiently covered in existing communication textbooks."
Dean Kruckeberg, Professor, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, USA
"A must read for communications professionals seeking to advance and enrich their leadership. Dr. Duhé’s insightful and highly readable book will help you gain a vital second language – business, the vocabulary of big decision-making. The book provides a rich breadth and depth of business knowledge highlighted by case studies and real examples. Read it and become business smart."
Bruce K. Berger, Professor Emeritus, Advertising & Public Relations, University of Alabama, USA
"Since the days of Eddy Bernays, when public relations went mainstream and corporate communicators claimed the mantle of a profession, a serious credibility gap has existed. Far too many communication specialists have no business acumen. They don’t understand how the organizations that employ them make money. They have no real understanding of how business and economics function to produce prosperity, wealth, and opportunity.
Sandra Duhé’s brilliant new book, Business for Communicators, is a serious first step in closing that gap. Short of getting your own MBA, this is the resource you’ll need to fully understand the levers of commerce and inner-workings of the enterprise you’ve chosen. Her work is carefully researched, thoughtfully organized, and exceptionally well expressed. Keep this one on the shelf and read it periodically. You’ll never again be regarded as an amateur."
James Scofield O’Rourke, IV, Professor of Management, University of Notre Dame, France
"Business for Communicators: The Essential Guide to Success in Corporate and Public Affairs by Sandra Duhé fills an important gap. She understands firsthand how to build trust and credibility, the essential currencies that enable communicators to influence decision making and company success. I wish I had had a book like this to help develop my business mindset when I embarked on my journey to the C-suite!"
Carolyn Covey Morris, Corporate Communications and Agency Leader
"Sandy’s work dissects the daily grind of C-suite corporate communicators, extracts the most salient lessons, and provides a simple to follow guide for students looking to find a differentiator that can last a lifetime. There’s a reason why her students are among our best strategic communicators, and she graciously uncovers those secrets here."
Chris Murphy, AT&T, CEO Communications
"Oh, how I wish this book had been available when I started my communications career! Skillful communications informed by data and business acumen are a powerful combination. Sandra Duhé has written the quintessential MBA for communicators. This book is required reading for those who want to advance their careers, their profession, and their organizations."
Kathleen Beathard, Vice President, Strategic Communications, Medical City Healthcare
"It is difficult to effectively communicate from what we do not understand. Since communicators work with and within businesses, it’s important that we internalize the business mindset to craft strategies and tactics that move the business forward. This reinforces the communicator’s role as that of a trusted advisor to senior management, while also emphasizing the importance of keeping the discipline in the front lines to support business decisions. From an individual’s perspective, an effective business mindset enhances lifetime career potential and broadens the scope of prospective trajectories. Business for Communicators is the foundation for new communicators (or those new to business) to understand basic business, while also acting as a refresh or reference for experienced communicators."
Linda Beheler, Head of Communication, North America, Diodes Incorporated; Immediate Past President, Corporate Communication & Public Affairs (CCPA) Advisory Board, Southern Methodist University, USA
"We have enjoyed working with prominent educators like Sandy Duhé to advance the level of business acumen within the communications profession and contribute more to strategic decision-making. Sandy's new book, Business for Communicators, is an important addition to this vital conversation."
Matt Ragas and Ron Culp, College of Communication, DePaul University, USA