How do communicators develop linkages to CEOs and dominant coalitions to establish communication exceIlence ? How can communicators acquire the power necessary to contribute to strategic planning and decision making? We believe that changing the roles that top communicators play provides the most direct path to exceIlence. Top communication departments from the ExceIlence Study combine knowledge of both manager and technician roles to provide the requisite foundation for exceIlence. To actuaIly achieve exceIlence, however, top communicators must play advanced organizational roles of communication manager and senior adviser.