Internal Communicator, Dave Cordero, is the Director of Internal Communications at PGA Tour and a speaker at ALI’s 6th Annual Strategic Internal Communications conference. He sat down with us to discuss the challenges of internal communications and his advice for overcoming them.
I love sports and I love to write, so naturally I aspired to become a beat writer covering sports for a major daily newspaper. While I did spend some time covering sports for various newspapers, including the school paper at the University of Southern California, I majored in Public Relations and quickly found that I enjoyed working with media to pitch and shape stories. I was lucky to have doors open for me right away and I held dream positions with the Los Angeles Dodgers, L.A. Kings, a high-profile PR agency and then in-house positions with TaylorMade Golf, the World Golf Hall of Fame and now the PGA TOUR, where I oversee our Internal Communications department.
What is the biggest hurdle you feel internal communicators have to overcome?
If you work for a medium-large sized company as I do, you need to find creative ways to convey your messages. At the PGA TOUR, the demographic of our employee base spans five decades and there is not a homogeneous communications approach. Internal messages need to be diverse and accommodating to multiple audiences, both locally and internationally.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to a fellow communicator?
Early on, someone taught me that a good communications person always carries a pen. Since that day, I always carry a pen with me. You’d be surprised how often you or someone else needs it. I also make it a habit to carry a small notebook with me. A good communicator never wants to be caught unprepared!
I am reading Imagine It Forward: Courage, Creativity, and the Power of Change. When I am in the car, I like to decompress by listening to true crime podcasts.
Are there any emerging trends that internal communicators need to be aware of?
Diversity is key. Being an effective internal communicator is more than writing and disseminating messages. An effective internal comms person views themselves as a shared resource. This means having a diversified skill set. Examples may include leaning into department budgets, possessing social media acumen and having general awareness of organizational priorities.
What are you looking forward to most about the 6th Annual Strategic Internal Communications conference?
Most companies (including mine), don’t have large Internal Communications Departments. I find that attending networking functions, like the 6th Annual Strategic Internal Communications Conference, promotes incredible networking and collaboration opportunities with like-minded professionals. The opportunity to hear and learn from others is invaluable.
Want to attend? Register for our upcoming 7th Annual Strategic Internal Communications—West conference here.