Creating a Positive Reputation for your Company (or CEO)
Call for Motivational Speakers: CEOs Building Personal and Corporate Reputations Via PR
Motivational speakers always seem to deliver the message I need to hear at the time. One event was especially impactful in 2011 as I listened to General Stanley Allen McChrystal, retired United States Army general, and Christopher Gardner, the gentleman whose life inspired the movie Pursuit of Happiness. Two very different people, two different approaches to life, and two incredible, positive reputations that many of us would love to emulate. For me, their stories hit home with three small children that I was raising while working full time. I would do anything to protect and provide them the best possible life. So what changes could I make to my own personal journey to construct a positive and potentially influential reputation?
Working closely with companies building a brand through PR, many days are built around campaigns that could potentially impact lives for the better; the customer, the employee, partners, acquirers, and all stakeholders. What does it take from the personal level of each spokesperson to the broader company image?
I believe it comes down to being your authentic self and open to sharing struggles, challenges, and wins, but in a way that forgoes ego and makes you real. That is the voice the press wants to hear and the right PR firm helps guide, foster, and deliver to elevate the brand across all target audiences. It is not easy for many as business communication needs to be carefully crafted – so how do you create this positive reputation?
When starting with clients, those that understand injecting the personal side into the business reputation have an advantage. One CEO kicked off the company user conference telling the story of his relocation across the country for the new job. The family dogs could not make the trip and his children were devastated. Unbeknownst to the kids, the parents were working hard to have the canine siblings back in the fold. One day when the kids got off the school bus, the dogs greeted them and everyone was overjoyed. Tears flowing, tails wagging and giddy laughter filling the air – the son looked up in amazement and asked, “How did you make this happen?” That was the exact experience he wanted his customers to feel and for his employees to be empowered to deliver. This was one personal story but the way he continued to lead the company so all stakeholders knew their role, knew he was approachable, and knew they would be rewarded for delivering superior experiences. That company still stands out to me as one of the most incredible workplaces and the press coverage became a blend of culture, product superiority and ultimately the company was acquired and many of the team members remain in top roles within the new organization.
The domino effect doesn’t stop there. One of the customers from that company was so impressed with the positive media persona created over the years, he is now our client as well.
There has been hesitation in the past to be vulnerable and reveal more of your personal reputation. However, through the pandemic, we saw leaders handle the pillars of the pandemic from health, financial, logistics, and mental wellness in many different ways. One CEO stepped up and I will forever be in awe of the empathy, humanity, and true leadership from the heart.
Today’s world and the ‘digital footprint’ create both a challenge and opportunity for a positive brand. Is my story one that I am proud of and believe would encourage others to be better and pay it forward too? Do I create and follow a regime to achieve the long-term goals? Does this become an intrinsic part of how I operate and perform on a daily basis? Do I have the team around me with a similar moral compass and vision to build a sustainable reputation that lives on past my reign?
More than ever so many companies have discovered the power and necessity of positive PR on the growth and positive trajectory of products and brands. So it should start with individual PR within an organization to directly impact each of our personal brands, career trajectory, and the organization we represent.
Understand and deliver what customers value. Always remember that continuously enhancing the value of your business strengthens your market position and increases demand for your products…
1. Take Initiatives to build credibility. …
2. Establish your purpose, beyond financial
3. Determine what makes you stand out
4. Be consistent / yet flexible.
5. Embrace integrity – always.
Imagine you will always have to be on stage telling your story. So make it a great one, you never know who is listening but know this, everyone is in one way or another!