When is the right time to take the podium? And who do we push forward? These questions do communication professionals at companies have to deal with. For me there is only one answer: the CEO is the ultimate spokesperson. CEOs can add value with their presentations and speeches. Their reputation can reflect positively on the reputation of the company or brand, according to research.
To take the stage, you as a CEO have to show that you have a different message than colleagues. It’s not that difficult at all. Take time and determine the topics on which you as an expert have an opinion. Think of new products or services that your company is working on, how you make a difference as an employer and success stories of your company. Find sufficient proof for it, prepare your story well and tell it. In the initial phase, I recommend saying “yes” to as many invitations as possible where you can highlight your expertise. That’s how you learn how it works.
A top executive whom I have great admiration for is Eduard Schaepman of Tribes. I met him years ago when I gave Regus communications advice. Schaepman was the CEO. I found him too “eager”. He would do anything to get publicity. It didn’t matter to him whether he was two hours on the road for a 10-minute interview on a local radio station. Always in a checked suit, always ready to spread the message of his former employer. His stage got bigger, his reputation got stronger and now, years later, he has his own company Tribes. He still takes his podium whenever he can and was proud to tell me during an interview for my book that if Tribes is sold, the company will be worth 25% more if he stays on.
So you see, a CEO who is positively visible to employees and customers and who has a good story for the media can make a big impact with his message. Ultimately, it will result in better performance and more profit.
Video: Christine van der Linden gives Eduard Schaepman “De PR factor”