Raytheon VP Wins Lifetime Achievement Award
Publicity Club of New England honors Pam Wickham for PR excellence
She rose from entry-level secretary to senior public relations executive in 1980s Manhattan, put the ‘e’ in GE during the Internet boom of the late ’90s and has led Raytheon’s charge into the new-media age of the 21st century.
Now, Pamela A. Wickham, Raytheon’s vice president for corporate affairs and communications, has received the Publicity Club of New England’s John J. Molloy Crystal Bell Lifetime Achievement Award. She accepted the trophy June 11 during a ceremony in Boston that also included honors for Raytheon's community relations projects and work publicizing the Zumwalt-class destroyer.
“No matter where I’ve worked or who I’ve worked for, there is one constant in my career. And that is the absolute joy and love I have for the profession of communications,” she told the crowd of PR professionals. “I developed that passion by working for some amazing people over the years, by soaking up the best of them and constantly learning to improve my own skills and capabilities along the way.”
Wickham came to Raytheon in 2005 and has led efforts to develop the company’s brand and corporate reputation through compelling content and innovative communications strategies. Within the company’s culture, she has championed communications excellence, mentorship programs and workforce diversity. Externally, Wickham has been a vocal advocate for gender pay equity and women's leadership in the executive ranks of global business.
“Over the last decade, Pam has transformed Raytheon’s communications function (and) added innovative approaches to stay ahead of business trends and complexities,” said Maureen T. Wolff, president and partner of the investor relations firm Sharon Merrill, as she introduced Wickham at the awards ceremony. “She consistently challenges executives and communicators to think differently and create new ways of reaching audiences and influencers. A quintessential mentor, Pam has positively influenced countless lives over the course of her career.”
Prior to joining Raytheon, Wickham was vice president of corporate communications for Hewlett Packard and held several top communications positions at General Electric. At GE, Wickham was instrumental in building the company’s Internet presence. Under her leadership, GE became the first Fortune 100 firm outside the tech sector to register a domain name. She later helped establish GE’s first company-wide intranet.
Among Wickham’s favorite advice to employees is to “own your chair” – an expression for knowing your value and working with confidence.
“I tell my team, who’s here with me today, every day, to own their chair, because I absolutely relish owning mine,” she told the House of Blues audience. “I love this job, I love this profession and all it entails. Our work is key. It’s important and it makes a difference. And that, of course, is why we do it in the first place.”
Raytheon also garnered a Publicity Club Silver Bell award in the product campaign category for promoting the christening of the USS Zumwalt, the first in a new class of U.S. Navy destroyer. Other awards honored two Raytheon community relations programs: the Science of Sports science fair and the Raytheon MATHCOUNTS national math competition.