It goes without saying that business success heavily relies on corporate reputation. And these days, corporate reputation is often dictated by what leaders say about key issues that might have little to do with the actual products or services their companies sell. Today, customers, clients and stakeholders are looking beyond brand positioning. They’re looking at your company’s top leaders for their take on – and the company’s commitment to – big issues and topics: ESG, DE&I, voting rights, climate change and so on.
With an ongoing need to cultivate trust and forge a stronger, lasting bond with customers, executives can leverage their expertise and values to reflect a different dimension of the company. Executive visibility, often formally called an Eminence Program, offers proof points of how your company believes in, what it values and what it’s committed to as far as the social good.
So, how do you create an authentic, effective and assertive executive visibility strategy that resonates throughout your market? To start building a plan, marketing and comms pros must first understand the unique value an executive visibility strategy offers within any marketing plan.
3 Questions to Consider When Building Your Eminence Plan
When shaping an executive visibility plan, consider these questions to ensure your company has clear objectives, evaluates your executive’s strengths to find their niche in the market and measures the success of the program.
1. What’s your goal?
Set clear, measurable, and attainable objectives to guide your executive visibility strategy. What does your executive want to address? How does that topic relate to the company? What does the perspective offer to your audiences? Be honest when setting expectations to ensure your executive’s personality shines through while aligning with business priorities.
2. What are your leader’s strengths?
As a CEO or C-suite executive, it’s clear your leader has expertise to share. Identify their strengths and weaknesses to ensure they’re strongly positioned. What can they knowledgeably speak about? What topics should they stray away from? Does your executive want to be seen as a visionary thought leader? Are they focused on advancing the industry? Each topic of interest should have its own supportive role to uniquely position your executive.
3. How will you measure success?
Like any plan, it’s essential to identify how you’ll measure success. What does success look like for your company, your executive? How will you track short-term and long-term success? Is your key audience more engaged after executing your plan? Are you now able to better connect with clients? Once your strategy launches, evaluate the success of your plan, be patient as trust takes time to develop and adjust as needed.
If your company is passionate about diversity, equity and inclusion (DE&I), environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) or corporate philanthropy, ensure your CEO presents a relatable, authentic and meaningful positioning that goes beyond the company itself. This showcases the organization’s commitment to doing the right thing while crafting an engaged relationship with its key audiences, gradually building trust and loyalty by having a progressive voice on key issues that matter – no matter the issue.