First, a confession
I’ve got to admit it, for the first few years of my life as a professional communicator, I didn’t exactly look forward to working with in-house corporate lawyers. As my colleague and communications thought-leader Elizabeth Williams has frequently said, “For most communicators, venturing to the legal department can feel like being hauled off to the corporate woodshed”. After all, in-house lawyers can be notorious for red-lining, dismantling and obscuring communications that, after much painstaking crafting, has buy-in from multiple stakeholders .
The problem child?
But, why do these tensions exist? Is Employee Communications an organization’s problem child? And, what’s that got to do with my former reluctance – and, yes, I did say former – to work with in-house legal professionals?
Just listen in to The Swear Jar Podcast episode, “A lawyer and a Communications Professional walk into a bar…” for our conversation with Bridgemarq Real Estate Service’s Executive Vice President, General Counsel, Paul Zappala. Together, with Elizabeth and me, Paul helps pave a path for how these two sets of professionals can come to work together well in what could be the professional communicator’s most unlikely alliance.
- Understanding how in-house lawyers are evaluated (1:34)
- What in-house lawyers want communications professionals to understand (9:56)
- Initial steps in building an unlikely alliance (16:57)
- Some key lessons (17:54)
ABC Resources Highlighted in this Episode
- The Fearless Communicator’s Guide to COVID-19. Available on Amazon
- Worst Employer Ever: How to deal with Online Reviews (90-minute workshop)
- !mpact Measurement (90-minute workshop)