***I had the opportunity to study international public relations in the cultural hub of London. Below are my notes from a visit to the London office of Northrop Grumman.
Ken Beedle, Director of International Communications of the leading global security company Northrop Grumman, presented the companies latest innovations and advice for future media specialists. They specialize in cyber security, logistics, aerospace and electronic systems, and information technology. Models of unmanned drones, surveillance equipment, and the F-35 Lightning II fighters lined the table. From the excitement shown from each specialist during the announcement of the newest products, one thing for certain is the passion employees had at this company. Everyone was eager to present what they have worked on that year and the hopes for the future.
Beedle stressed the importance of growing your business internationally making connections in many markets. Under the international communications department, their focus includes corporate communications where they work towards market shaping, acquisition shaping and keeping their products sold. Through PR efforts, they enhance visibility, reputation and maintaining their image within international markets. It is also important to enhance the brands’ image and strengthen a political profile within internal and external audiences.
A crisis is inevitable in business. Northrup Grumman handles a crisis by maintaining the image of responsibility within the company. They make sure relationships with stakeholders are strong. How you handle a crisis determines the maturity of the company.
Media Relations -> Brand Advertising ->Trade Publications
The PR Department raises the companies profile and continues to uplift the brands’ image. Their goal is to move public opinion to more product. The effort all leads into moving the brand forward. Whatever mode of communication they release, they want to be able to prove what they are saying using more than words. Strategies of brand marketing include web communication, social media (Twitter, SnapChat), executive visibility, government relations, corporate hospitality, industry leadership, trade shows, speaking engagements, education outreach, internal branding and emphasis on employee communication. Their crisis plans are drilled by being first to respond during a crisis and coordinating with the other departments to make sure everyone is on the same page. No one works separately despite being divided into different offices.
What does it take to work at Northrop Grumman?
*Understand where opportunity lies
*More and more specialization in your craft
*Know the business
*Learn industry, hot butter moves (Energy, healthcare etc.)
*Get involved in everything
*The way you climb the ladder is how you handle your job
*In an interview, they will test your funnybone, wishbone and backbone.
*Do you stand for something? And give your best knowledge of it.
*Research heavily on the agency or company you want to work for. Read up on the client lists, website, and keep your mind open.