How to build an executive's reputation

We often get questions from clients to support them in the thought leadership. However, few ask for an executive profiling program, while their reputation is of great value for a company. 
executive profiling

For those who wonder about the value of an executive profiling program:
An executive’s reputation is of critical importance to a company’s success especially nowadays with personality-led and values-driven communication. It is one of the crucial drivers of corporate reputation when it comes to business and employee engagement. However, we still experience that executive profiling strategies are very under-utilised by communications professionals. But if we look closely we see that an authentic, visionary, engaging and unique PR profile increases a brand’s credibility, influence, leadership, visibility and provides commercial advantage. So if you want, we can say that it contributes to the thought leadership of the company, but from a different perspective.

We all know the founders of Tesla, Amazon, Alibaba and Microsoft. But what about the profile of your executive team? Did you ever think of its value? When (potential) buyers can identify themselves with the executives of a company, they are most likely to buy into those companies. We want to connect with their executive views, ideas and leadership philosophies. So executive profiling builds prestige, it heightens the credibility of a company and strengthens loyalty towards a company.

To ensure a deeper sense of brand-customer intimacy (and that is what every company strives for), profiling at the highest level is key. When onboarding a new CEO or when a brand is criticised, it is the CEO who we all turn to. She or he guides us through the chaos as a calm visionary. They are our thought-leaders and our inspirators.

So how does one build an executive’s reputation?  

  1. For the PR professionals that supports a senior leadership it all starts by analysing and researching the competitors. What are their key talking points, whom is their thought leader, what boards and associations are they part of, do they speak at keynotes, awards? When and where does he or she appear in media? At Progress Communications we call this the landscape assessment. 
  2. After the analyses an interview with the executive is of great importance to know vision and focus areas and expertise. It gives you an idea of what makes them tick, what they are passionate about and what direction you should be looking at. But also insights in the executive’s agenda are crucial. 
  3. Once all these insights have been gathered, it is time to create a personal branding strategy, to define the goals and to create the executive narrative.  
  4. Together with the executive it is time to work on his/her social media profile, presentation and media skills. A media training is of course an essential part of the narrative and messaging. 
  5. Now that the groundwork has been done, it is time to build a balanced agenda with different stakeholder touchpoints and to create the content for these moments and to repurpose the content that you derive from these moments. And this can be all kinds of touchpoints, depending on the strategy, such as town hall meetings, meetings with industry representatives, newsletters, keynotes, LinkedIn posts and media interviews.  
  6. Monitor on progress and on the goals that were defined. 

Last but not least:
Make it workable with an ambitious, but achievable plan. If that is a challenge for an already busy team: contact us, to help you to get started or to manage the day-to-day work.

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