Public Relations Awards

3 Tips for Succeeding in Corporate Communications, From a PR Awards Judge

Posted by Liz Dean on Thu, May 03, 2012 @ 12:11 PM

Alison Graves, Director, WW Influencer Relations, Printing at Hewlett-Packard Company, will chair the committee for final judging of the corporate communications awards, investor relation awards, and PR awards categories in The 2012 American Business Awards. Finalists for the 2012 ABAs, the premier business awards program in the U.S.A, will be announced on May 9. Here Alison shares tips for making your mark in global corporate communications.  

What are your top 3 tips on how to make your mark in global corporate communications?

  1. Alison GravesSurround yourself with the right people. Whether they are on your direct staff or at your agency partner, you should work with people who are talented and smart—and willing to keep pushing when their opinions differ from yours. 
  2. Follow the Golden Rule. Build a career path where you can make deposits, build relationships, be a grown-up, be positive, be helpful, be considerate—behave!
  3. Know your strengths. Discover your best skills and embrace them.

What item of news recently caught your eye and why?
I was intrigued by the funding controversy between Susan G. Komen for the Cure and Planned Parenthood. I was constantly wondering what was happening behind the scenes and how events unfolded.  How was the media strategy developed? Were the PR teams consulted?  I ask those questions whenever any communications crisis arises. I’d like to be a fly on the wall to see how those companies are handling it and talking about it—what they’re saying, what they’re debating, and what factors play most heavily in the decision-making process …

If you could choose another profession, what would it be?
A Chief of Protocol, social secretary, etiquette expert—like Emily Post.

What quality or qualities do you most value in your business associates?
Intelligence and humility.

As someone at the top of your profession, what keeps you inspired or makes you hit the ground running in the morning?
I’m inspired by the amazing people on my staff.  They’re the best of the best, and getting to work with them is an honor and a privilege that keeps me going when the going gets tough.

About Alison Graves:
Alison leads the worldwide PR/AR organization for HP's $26 billion printing business, with staff and agencies across 170 countries.  With over 20 years in communications, Alison has experience spanning executive communications, employee communications, media relations, investor relations, and crisis communications, both agency- and client-side. She has expertise in customer segments (consumer and commercial); industries (IT, retail, healthcare, hospitality, government, and nonprofit); budgets (zero to tens of millions); and geographies (U.S. and international).

About HP:
HP is the world’s largest technology company with a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure to solve customer problems. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at

Tags: communications awards, business awards, PR awards, American business awards, corporate communications, investor relation awards, Alison Graves, HP