PNC financial communications VP Chris Solie is a communicator first, a finance person second. She knows she’s a rare bird. “How many writers can even balance their checkbook?” she says.
She offers tips to executive communication people who might be (rightly) intimidated to get involved in the analyst call.
“At the very least, listen to the calls,” she says. They’ll help you get a sense of where you might improve them, and in any case will help you better understand your organization.
Lots of people are there to see that you don’t screw up. Solie sardonically calls financial communications a “feedback-rich environment.” Nothing makes it into the final script for an analyst call without review by finance people and “more lawyers than you want to know about,” Solie says. A curse, but for a communicator who knows words better than numbers, a comfort too.
Know that you have a legitimate role. In her job, Solie deals with lots of accountants who, “if you ask them a question, they pull out their calculator.” Her scripts translate their financial language, which only some people understand, into human language that everyone can understand.