If you are the CEO of an organization, you are engaging in PR. The problem for many CEOs is that they are not aware that they are engaging in PR. Rather than being a part of a sound public relations strategy being carried out under their management, with the aid of a professional and experienced PR firm that is ensuring the right connections, exposure, and audience, many CEOs are more like victims of PR that happens accidentally, through social media posts or random media exposure over which they have no control. That is dangerous for any CEO’s future and irresponsible for their brand. If that is your story, then it is time for a new story that involves professional, responsible, and effective PR for CEOs.
PR for CEOs Connects the Leader with the Brand
As the CEO, you are your brand’s most influential voice. If you are not using your voice regularly, strategically, and effectively for the benefit of your brand, then your organization is not achieving its full potential. If people do not recognize you as the voice of the brand, then a key tool for your brand’s success is going unused.
Connecting the CEO to the brand is one of the most important things that PR for CEOs accomplishes. Whether through the publication of articles in trade sources, speaking appearances at industry conferences or seminars, or guest spots on podcasts, PR will establish the CEO as the voice of the brand and give the public a personality with which they can connect.
For busy CEOs managing an organization, the work of PR can seem like the least important. It is easy to believe that if you focus on running a great business that delivers a great service or product, then public acceptance will take care of itself. However, in today’s world, people want more than a great product; they want a product that has a story. And there is no one who is better qualified to tell the story than the CEO.
PR for CEOs Gets the Conversation Started
It is important to think of PR for CEOs as a conversation rather than a broadcast. With a marketing campaign, a marketing message is broadcast to the market. A message is shared with the hopes that it will address a concern and inspire action.
With PR, each connection that a CEO makes with a media outlet is another component of an ongoing conversation in which the CEO is representing his or her brand’s values, mission, and vision. Whereas marketing buys you access to a certain number of eyes, PR provides you with access to a community of readers or viewers who have an interest in a topic.
When a CEO is featured in an article in a trade publication, it is part of a conversation with that publication’s readers about how his or her brand engages in that field and solves certain problems. It includes insight into the brand’s personality and values. It reveals an understanding of the struggles faced by that community.
When a CEO appears on a local newscast, it is part of a conversation with that local community about the role the brand plays in the community and the help that it is able to offer. It establishes the CEO as a member of the community who has expertise that benefits the community.
PR firms serve CEOs by providing connections to the writers, editors, and reporters that can grant them access to those communities. By helping to start the conversation between the community and the brand’s top voice, PR positions the brand not just as a company seeking the community’s business, but as a person in the community who is interested in seeing it thrive.
PR for CEOs Strengthens the Brand
While marketing promotes features in an effort to sell products, PR tells stories in an effort to recruit fans. When CEOs engage in PR, they become the brand’s storyteller, strengthening the brand by sharing stories about the brand journey, the brand vision, and the brand values. As potential customers and clients come to know the people and values behind the brand, they are able to connect with the business in a way that is more meaningful.
Marketing may be the tool that gets a company new customers or clients, but PR is the tool that will retain customers. The ongoing conversation that a CEO has with the media will be heard by the community and the client or customer base. When that conversation continuously communicates the brand’s commitment to its values, it builds trust and credibility.
PR for CEOs Boosts the Brand
The duties of a CEO demand that they stay focused on their business. They must build a great team, cast a great vision, and ensure that their brand’s products or services are solving problems well. Understanding how current events can help to boost their brand’s reach and appeal typically is not something on which CEOs are focused.
PR firms help CEOs to boost their brands by leveraging current news and media interest to get a brand in the spotlight. PR firms know how to align a brand with a media outlet to make sure that pitches for coverage are successful. This is an essential step for brands that want to stay relevant in the culture.
The COVID-19 pandemic launched countless news stories regarding how people and businesses were coping. A wide variety of businesses, from cleaning companies to financial advisors to fashion brands, had the insight that could contribute to the conversation on how to live in the new normal. The news surrounding COVID presents countless opportunities for CEOs to become a part of the conversation and achieve beneficial exposure for their brands. PR firms stay focused on these opportunities, bringing them to the attention of the CEOs they serve so that CEOs can stay focused on the work they need to do.
PR for CEOs Rallies the Troops
A final benefit of PR for CEOs is found in the work it does to grow the CEO’s relationship with his or her staff. Your workers are also your watchers. They are looking to you to inform and inspire them. As PR professionals help you to craft your message for potential clients and customers, they will also help you to more effectively express your brand’s mission to the people who work alongside you.
The CEO is the best spokesperson for the brand because he or she knows the story the best. The CEO is at the epicenter of the company. He or she knows what is working and why. He or she is living the mission and knows why it must succeed. PR for CEOs makes sure that the best storyteller connects with the best audience and tells the story in a way that inspires.