“Never get hard work confused with results.” – John Chambers, Cisco Chairman and CEO

Last night in New York City, the Cisco PR team won three of the most prestigious awards in the Public Relations industry at PRWeek’s PR Awards. We won the corporate branding campaign of the year, the In-House PR team of the year, and the overall PR campaign of the year (this is the overall winner of the other winning campaigns). Thank you PRWeek and all the judges for the recognition.

David McCulloch and I co-lead this great team and we couldn’t be more proud of this team recognition (and, we, of course, have to give much credit and guidance to our great boss, Karen Tillman, VP and Chief Communication Officer at Cisco – PRWeek PR Professional of the Year Honorable Mention). We also entered the corporate campaign of the year with our agency partners Text100 and Brunswick and, clearly, they get their due credit for helping us on our PR journey.

What is the definition of Public Relations? The Cisco PR team took a crack at defining PR and came up with this:

“Public Relations is knowing what to say; when to say it; how to say it; where to say it; whom to say it to, to promote and protect the client’s reputation.”

Public Relations and communications overall was often looked at as something that was important, but wasn’t necessarily vital to the operation of a company. I hope we’ve evolved past this point of view, but as a PR practitioner I certainly want to take every opportunity to do a little PR for the PR profession.

At Cisco, and all companies, PR professionals know that we don’t operate in a vacuum. Results matter. And business results matter the most. At Cisco, we have recorded record revenue each of the last 8 quarters. That is because we have great products and solutions, a great sales team, great partners and a great strategy. Our overall, long-term goal to be the #1 IT company in the world is a journey and we must be patient and diligent to achieve this goal, but we do know that it will take EVERYONE in the company: engineering, sales, service, HR, legal, business development, marketing, workplace resources, IT, finance, operations, and, YES, communications and public relations.

So, congratulations to the Cisco PR team, congratulations to all the other winners and finalists at the PRWeek Awards and congratulations to the entire PR industry for continuing to show the value of PR.

PRWeek Awards 2013 - Cisco PR Team
PRWeek Awards 2013 – Cisco PR Team


John Earnhardt

No Longer at Cisco