3 steps to successful media coverage of a company director

Mickael Barreteau Mickael Barreteau - 18th Juin, 2024

The media profile of a company director is closely linked to the company’s reputation, both in terms of successes and failures.

Your communications strategy must include your CEO: when a CEO speaks, they represent the company at all times.

The impact of a company director’s words on his business should not be overlooked. On social networks, taking a stance that is too clear-cut or, on the contrary, remaining silent in the face of major events, can be the source of fierce criticism from the public.

For example, Michel-Édouard Leclerc, voted « France’s favourite boss » in 2021 by Forbes magazine for his stance on purchasing power, did not escape criticism during the agricultural crisis of 2024. After opting for a much-criticised media silence for several weeks, the emblematic figure of French supermarkets finally defended himself in the press and on television in the hope of restoring his reputation and that of his company.

But how do you strategically build a CEO’s reputation? As a PR agency working with high growth technology companies and venture capital firms, Ballou regularly helps companies to raise the profile of their CEO.

Discover the 3 key steps to building a CEO’s reputation.

Step 1: Identify the strategic topics to be addressed by the CEO

The first step is to identify topics related to the company’s business on which the CEO has a legitimate voice.

Once a press relations agency has helped the company to identify the topics on which the CEO should speak, we define the guidelines to be followed:

  • Define the position of the executive, in line with that of the company
  • Decide the key messages to be conveyed and the language to be used to convey them
  • Have evidence to illustrate the message

We also put in place a watch on these themes to enable the company director to comment on current events where relevant. It’s not just a question of reacting every time an identified subject comes up in the media or on social networks: effective communication must above all be strategic for the manager.

Step 2: Train the company director in media training for effective public speaking

Mastering public speaking techniques is a competitive advantage for business leaders. That’s why we offer our clients media training during a company director’s media campaign.

This second stage is just as important as the first, and even more strategic. Whatever the CEO’s degree of confidence in the media, nothing must be left to chance, from the tone used to the attitude adopted.

With our media training sessions, CEOs learn how to express themselves and behave in front of the media, whatever the format: speaking at a press conference, being interviewed on television, etc.

During our sessions, we work on both :

  • Substance: the ability to convey messages according to the communication channels used;
  • Form: attitude, tone and language.

Media training has proved its worth to our customers; by avoiding potential mistakes that could have an impact on their company’s reputation, managers gain in confidence and can approach their public appearances with equanimity.

Finally, as practices in the media sector evolve rapidly, we recommend that CEOs update their knowledge of media training on a regular basis.

Stage 3: Defining the right communication channels

The final stage in media training for CEOs is to identify the best communication channels for transmitting their messages. Not every message belongs in the same place. What’s more, it needs to be tailored to the audience you are trying to convince: customers, partners, investors, candidates for recruitment, the general public, etc.

There are many channels through which executives can express themselves today: the written press, television and radio can be at the heart of the strategy, but social networks should not be neglected.

Our PR agency selects the best channels to use depending on the sector of activity of the company to be represented, but also on the nature of the message to be conveyed and the expected reaction time. Social networks are particularly well-suited to sharing viral messages, while traditional media can be used to tackle subjects in depth. The impact and response time are not the same, but the strategy is often complementary.

Finally, the CEO’s media profile also includes appearances at industry events. For the CEO, this is an opportunity to express himself to a well-informed ecosystem, but also to develop his expertise, which inevitably has an impact on his reputation.

Ballou supports CEO media coverage

The more business owners speak out, the more confident they become in expressing themselves on subjects related to their business. Over time, it will be possible to expand the list of topics on which the CEO can speak – tackling subjects that both directly and indirectly affect his company.

Ballou has helped business leaders define their personal branding and strategic communications for over 20 years. Contact our media training agency for your executives.

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