A recent report from the
Malaysia Star describes how CEOs are reaching out to PR
firms to polish their public images. This is a trend
that we are seeing around the globe.
The issue has been brought
to a head by the many corporate scandals of the past
year. CEOs are beginning to realize that a
communications program is essential to dealing with
crisis situations. How these situations are handled by
those in charge makes a large impact on company
With information instantly
available, the old adage “deny, deny, deny” doesn’t work
anymore. Stonewalling is virtually impossible, and in
most cases will have a deleterious effect on a company’s
image. It was precisely this type of executive behavior
that exacerbated several of this year’s scandals.
The general consensus in the
PR industry is that most of these situations could have
been handled much better. Apparently executives believe
the same, as the Star reports that many are taking an
active approach to contacting PR firms about polishing
their communication ability.
More and more, CEOs are
realizing that they are a brand extension of their
company. Just as marketing executives strive to improve
brand positioning, top executives are working on
improving the quality and appeal of their “brand”.
Looking at some of the most
successful executives, we can see how well this strategy
pays off in the real world. In the ‘80s when we thought
of Chrysler (and in many cases still today), we thought
of Lee Iacocca. Say the words “Wal-Mart” and Sam Walton
immediately comes to mind. When someone mentions
“Wendy’s” you think about Dave, not his daughter.
People don’t buy Berkshire Hathaway stock; they buy
How does this affect your
company? Consider how you have positioned your chief
executives. Are they considered leaders in their
field? If not, it may be time to do a little branding
of your own.