PR Training

From Misfits to Heroes

Glynn — As I started working on the PRSA presentation for Detroit, I was struck by how “basic” the principles were that we used in transforming your team. And how patient you were in building the foundation brick by brick. At least three things stood out:

  • Organizational communication isn’t about messages and audiences; it’s about conversations and community.
  • When people see what communication can be, they want to make it happen.
  • When people own the mission and the methods, they take more initiative and more responsibility.


Les — What we did with my team was, retrospectively, pretty obvious. The first brick: All people have the same intrinsic value as human beings. And this applied to the people on the team and the people we communicate with (banishing the idea of “target audience” was a big step forward). This is what my team responded to, at a very fundamental level. They all had disparate jobs; they were scattered in different areas. Coming together as a team, seeing the possibilities, and then owning the plan and the implementation were the result. The challenge throughout was how the team kept growing — from three to six to nine and then 11. And now it’s going to 25.


Glynn – I remember the breakthrough meeting was the one on professional development. The team took it over. They realized it just wasn’t a skill-building activity, but a basic part of their day-to-day operations that the whole team had to create and do. They saw it as a vital source of their strength and value to themselves and others.


Les — That was two months into the process, if I recall. I still think of it as the day we became a team, and that one discussion transformed us and ultimately the company.



By Glynn Young, APR, Fellow PRSA, director, employee and electronic communications, Monsanto Company, has over 30 years of professional experiences in executive communications, employee communications, print and Web communications. The range of projects Young has developed includes content development for Monsanto Company’s Web site to speeches and crisis communications. Glynn Young has received two Silver Anvil Awards from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) for excellence in public relations, and nine national awards for speechwriting. He also has extensive experience in communications for corporate restructuring, mergers, acquisitions and spin-offs.

By Les Landes, APR, president, Les Landes & Associates, is the former head of communications for one of the world’s largest food companies. Speaking at conferences and seminars across the country, he is well known for his trademark message about the perils of the quality “program trap.” Author of numerous articles, his areas of expertise range from communication to marketing to organizational development to employee engagement, and more.  Most importantly, he brings a unique perspective on how to ensure that those elements are aligned in a way that brings out the best in all of them.

Join Young and Landes for the case study From Misfits to Heroes: Transform Your CommunicationsTeam Into an Important Corporate Asset  (*sponsored by the PRSA Employee Communications Section) on Wednesday, February 25 at 2 p.m. EST!

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Glynn Young

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