Nearly 300 chief communications officers, agency heads and educators met in Washington, DC last week for the 35th annual Page conference. Under the conference theme “Purpose, Policy & Protest: The Role of the Corporation on Social Issues,” the group discussed pressures facing businesses and CCOs in responding to increasing stakeholder expectations for corporate purpose and concerns about policy and social issues. They also honored two role-model leaders who have been on the front lines of these communication challenges.
David Samson became the 33rd member of the Page Hall of Fame and Sandra Macleod received the organization’s coveted Distinguished Service Award. Congratulations to these two incredible leaders and friends.
Dave Samson is general manager of Public Affairs for Chevron Corporation, a position he has held since 2004. Dave and his team are responsible for Chevron’s communications strategies and activities, including digital engagement and advocacy, media relations, employee engagement, executive communications and risk-mitigation communications. Dave also oversees corporate branding, advertising, research and analytics.
Previously, Dave was head of worldwide communications for Levi Strauss & Co. He has also led international communications at both IBM and Oracle, and was a partner and managing director at Ketchum Public Relations.
Page Hall of Fame inductee Dave Samson focused his remarks on leadership traits he feels are important to influencing the future of our profession.
“None of us who’ve received this recognition got here on our own – we’ve all benefited from those who gave of themselves to give us a leg up,” Dave humbly acknowledged. “Mentors who imparted wisdom and candid advice; colleagues who’ve had our back and allowed us to excel; clients who pushed us to be better at all we do; and family members who made sacrifices, so we could pour our full energies into the demanding nature of our jobs.”
Citing wisdom he’s received over his career from family, mentors, clients and friends, Dave referred to this advice as gifts of courage, access, feedback, perspective, perspective and exploration.
Read Dave’s acceptance remarks here.
Sandra Macleod is CEO of Echo Research where she provides counsel in reputation management, valuation and measurement. She has been in the reputation measurement business for nearly 30 years in the U.S. and U.K.
Sandra fully recognizes the interconnection and interdependency between organizations and their employees, customers, suppliers, shareholders, financial institutions and other stakeholders.
“In our noisy, digital times,” Sandra said. “I believe that active listening is more important now than ever before, to understand where and how winds may be shifting and moving – and why. I have a default belief in the unique voice we bring to our organizations, with the power of evidence, to help them navigate through these gusts, squalls and challenges, safely – and for the better.”
In her challenge to PR professionals, Sandra said: “In our fractious, disrupted, demanding and chaotic world, the youth of today are seen as the answers to our hopes for tomorrow. But we mustn’t wait or pass off our responsibility. This is the time for the communications profession to act and lead with courage, as catalysts of purposeful change, stewards of the future, transforming business for the better.”
Sandra’s remarks will soon be posted with speeches of past Distinguished Service honorees on the Page website.