D'Arcy Rudnay | Influence 100
Charting the future of public relations

D'Arcy Rudnay

CCO
Comcast
United States


Comcast’s reputation issues are well-worn territory at this point, but Rudnay has made efforts to improve this a “top priority” over the past two years. The way this playing out is through investing in tools, training and technology — including implementing a system for real-time customer feedback and simplify experiences. By one metric, it’s working — in Oregon, complaints to cable regulators are down 25%.

She was named chief communications officer in March of 2012, expanding her responsibilities to include leadership of Comcast’s financial reporting, crisis management, federal and regulatory activities, product launches, employee relations, diversity, and social and digital media. 
She had led investor and media for the company’s merger with NBCUniversal and the subsequent rebranding. Before joining Comcast in 2003, Rudnay served as vice president of corporate communications and media relations at Lincoln Financial Group. She previously served as vice president of communications and corporate identity at Advanta Corporation and as a communications manager for the Pew Charitable Trusts. 

Can you share a moment in your career that you recognized PR's direct impact on business performance?
I’m lucky to be part of an organization that understands and appreciates the value of strategic communications. One moment that stands out was after we acquired NBCUniversal in 2011 – we recognized that we had truly transformed from a cable company into a global leader in media and technology. So we began a year-long effort to re-brand the company to reflect this transformation. It was an incredibly important moment for us to redefine our company and communicate the story of our brand to the world.

What are the industry's biggest challenges and opportunities? 
Our biggest challenge is also our biggest opportunity … the increasingly rapid pace of change happening across our businesses. Figuring out how to adapt to and embrace that change … and lead that change … is what inspires me every day.

How do you handle the unexpected?
I tell myself, and my team, all the time to “act like a duck” – it means handling every challenge, expected or otherwise, like a duck floats through water … calm on the surface, but paddling furiously underneath.

How do you relax?
Taking long walks on the beach in Avalon … it’s my happy place … and spending time with my granddaughter.

Book/movie/TV show/podcast that teaches a valuable lesson about PR?
Dr. Angela Duckworth’s fabulous book “Grit: The Power of Passion and Perseverance.” The book isn’t about PR specifically, but rather about the tremendous value of “grittiness” in all aspects of life and business. The title says it all … passion and perseverance are absolutely critical to success in just about every way.

If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...
Something in design. I love fashion, architecture, traveling the world and discovering new trends.