Ray Day | Influence 100
Charting the future of public relations

ray-day

Ray Day

Group Vice President, Communications
Ford Motor Company

Ray Day has helped to revolutionize Ford’s market positioning—from automaker to technology leader—and its corporate reputation, focusing on environmental leadership alongside product performance. As a result, Ford is gaining market share for the first time in more than a decade. And its communications is now being benchmarked as best practice by several Fortune 500 companies. Reporting to Mark Fields, Ford’s chief executive officer, Day leads the company’s global external and internal communications and public relations activities to audiences including customers, employees, dealers, suppliers, news media, communities, governments and policy makers. He was appointed to his position in 2007, after serving as executive director of global corporate communications and executive director of global automotive communications and spending more than two decades with the company, including four years in Europe. Early in his Ford career, Day led the company’s print and television employee communications network, helping it become an internal communications benchmark throughout the industry. He was a newspaper reporter and editor in the Detroit area before joining Ford.

What do you consider your career highlight?
Being given the chance to shape, nurture and develop the world-class Communications team at the Ford Motor Company.

What is the best advice you ever received?
Never pay attention to your title -- have people know you for who you are and what you stand for.

What do you enjoy most about working in PR?
Learning something new every day.

What was your biggest career break?
While studying in college, being given the chance to work at a TV station and newspaper for practical experience. The on-the-job education was stronger than anything I ever learned in class.

Who inspires you?
My wife -- as she is my biggest cheerleader and the person who pushes me hardest to always grow and improve.

What are your favorite media, offline and online?
Offline: New York Times and Economist for their continued depth. Online: New York Times for depth and CNN and USA Today for breadth of coverage and experimentation.

In one sentence, sell a career in communications to a new graduate.
Communications is a passion and a lifestyle. If you are in love with storytelling, learning and being always on and always communicating, this career is for you. Communications never will be "just a job."

What is your favorite city for business travel?
Los Angeles