What is your new position, and what does it entail?
Mark Brunner: My title is vice president global corporate and government relations.This role is a move at Shure to consolidate its corporate public relations, government affairs and internal communications activities in order to speak to the public with a voice that is consistent with our brand positioning, but also to address audiences that are less familiar with the company than our customers. It also encompasses a transition of oversight of the company’s philanthropic activities as a result of the passing of our former Chairman, Rose L. Shure, in January 2016. The intent is to maintain the sharp focus we have on regulatory issues that impact our business, as well as to enhance and elevate our public reputation of being a good citizen, neighbor and employer—which we consider to be core values of the company.
How has your background prepared you for your new role?
In my 28 years at Shure, I have been fortunate to have managed almost all marketing and PR functions at one time or another, and these experiences have helped shape a solid grasp of the perception of the Shure brand—to the industry and to the public at large. For more than 10 years, I have worked with other talented Shure associates worldwide to communicate to policymakers the importance of our industry’s products and technologies, and to advocate for their regulatory protection, most notably in the area of spectrum policy for wireless microphones. Ultimately, it is relationships with high-profile customers that lead to impactful marketing or advocacy efforts, which is something I have attempted to foster in my time at Shure.
What new marketing initiatives are we likely to see from the company?
With so much powerful technology coming from our engineers and an intimate understanding of customer requirements from our marketing and sales teams, the power of the Shure brand is vast and can travel pretty much wherever we want to take it in the audio world. Specifically, however, a recent focus is on delivering intuitive and improved audio to corporate spaces, where clear communication and time are essential to productivity. We believe that these customers are underserved and that our design philosophy and audio expertise can change the market, particularly as it migrates toward tight integration with information technology rather than traditional AV systems.
What are your short- and long-term goals?
My short term and long term goals are the same: to continue the proud legacy of S.N. and Rose Shure, to elevate the Shure brand in the highest levels of society, to embrace our history and build roads to it, and to be the definitive source of information on what our Associates are doing—here at work and out in the world. Throughout 93 years in business, the company’s fundamental management principles have remained consistent, which means that our guideposts are crystal clear. My team and I simply want to maintain the trajectory of those who have come before us.
What is the greatest challenge that you face?
As someone who started at Shure before voicemail, let alone email or the internet, the greatest challenge for me is navigating today’s diverse communication landscape and understanding which channels are most effective. I still maintain a file of Mrs. Shure’s redline corrections to my dealer bulletins from 20 years ago, to remind me that the properly written word is to be respected and upheld. But as less formal channels encompass more of our lives, it is important to re-frame one’s judgment and ask if the communication is impactful rather than letter-perfect.