While company and brand reputation may be the top priority for many organizations, seasoned public relations professionals would argue that the value of executive visibility must not be overlooked. A strong executive visibility program can support:
Executive thought leadership content is reputation-enhancing, helping to position a company as an industry leader. Published thought leadership content establishes the executive – and company – as an authority in their industry.
Amplifying an Existing PR Program
A robust thought leadership program adds a higher-level dimension to a core, ongoing PR program. It helps to magnify your PR efforts – thought leadership content can be shared across social, leveraged in awards and speaking submissions, and included in media outreach when appropriate. An added benefit: this content can and should be repurposed. For example, executive bylines are often repurposed into company blog posts or LinkedIn articles.
Future Business Opportunities
If executives are in the market to do a deal, it’s wise to make it known what kind of person they are. Potential business partners feel assured and confident when they see that their prospective partner is a thought leader in a particular industry, either through executive commentary on relevant issues or bylines in leading publications. Additionally, if companies are looking for investors, it is good to keep in mind that they value partnerships with executives with reputations for industry leadership.
Anticipating and Preparing for Questions
If executives know they’re going to be asked a certain question, they should refine their thoughts in a “professional” setting – from a byline to a YouTube video – since addressing the question ensures they own the messaging. This also allows executives to direct folks back to this “polished” version of the answer if it continues to arise.
Potential new hires appreciate seeing executives with high visibility. One of the most common practices potential new hires will do when considering a job is to search the executives at the company, in addition to the company itself, to see how they handle themselves in the media and what is being said about them. Do they strive to boldly insert themselves into important and timely topics of their industry, or do they play it safe? Or, arguably worse, is there nothing at all in the media about the executive?
Positioning as an Industry Expert
Executive visibility is important for being seen as an industry leader by all target audiences, including journalists. When journalists look for commentary, they want to make sure the spokesperson has been published before and has a stake in the topic at hand. Also, consistently contributing to various mediums – newsjacking, profiles or speaking at industry events – will build an executive’s reputation for being a prominent expert in their industry.
Don’t Forget the Sizzle
Most PR agency clients want publicity for new products, new hires, mergers/acquisitions, and funding. But the success of all of those core, ongoing media relations activities can be enhanced by a complementary executive visibility program component. There are numerous elements of such a program, but the benefits certainly make it worth the time and effort for your executive – and business!