Common wisdom suggests that recognition naturally comes to a CIO when his department does a great job delivering successful projects. But what happens when the organization just doesn't acknowledge IT's greatness? For one CIO, the answer lies in public relations.
An IT department posted a note in CIO Magazine seeking PR assistance:
I am looking for a publicist with a good history of marketing the CIO, Director and IT department’s accomplishments internally and externally.
Reading this, sarcastic comments come quickly to mind. For example, maybe the organization hasn't recognized the CIO because his department constantly screws up. In that case, the PR initiative represents Mr. CIO's lame attempt to combat rising tides of well-deserved, anti-IT sentiment. Hey, it's a big city out there and sometimes people do crazy things.
On the other hand, maybe this IT department is too good: they execute on time, within budget, and just get things done. Many organizations take a CIO for granted when his IT department consistently delivers the goods without fanfare and attention; sadly, this human failing is all too common. In that case, PR might be a great idea, especially if the CIO isn't a great communicator. Of course, the CIO should improve his communication skills, but that's another story.
I don't know whether this particular IT group wants PR to trumpet great, unheralded accomplishments or to protect a lousy CIO. Either way, despite overall weirdness associated with the whole idea, the age of IT public relations seems to have arrived.