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The average person doesn’t like a “faceless corporation.” That phrase – which could also apply to private and smaller companies rather than just the world’s largest companies, too – may be a cliché but is essentially true. When public scrutiny turns on an organization, the organization that will weather the storm is the one that already has a face – but just as crucially a positive, purposeful story and a meaningful executive communications strategy.

This is the essence of why executive communications are so important to any brand strategy today. We live in a world where news – and outrage – are 24/7, and where there’s historically low trust in institutions of all types. Simply laying low may work for awhile, but offers little insurance against a more popular, visible competitor. But it’s not enough to get your brand’s logo out there; you need executives out there telling an appealing story about your company’s actions, goals and overall purpose to distinguish yourself, both in news and social media. The public relates to actual people – as long as they’re likable and saying something positive.

So, what are the steps you should take to launch an executive communications strategy?

Align on Your Executive Communications Story

Before putting your executives into a more public-facing role, you need to be sure they have a narrative to amplify. Of course, an organization’s story has to be based on something it’s actually doing; this is non-fiction, not fiction. But often it takes creativity and reflection to bring all the threads of what you’re doing for your industry or the wider world together into a single picture of your value. You also should link your story to important social trends, such as the increased focus on sustainability issues like the environment and diversity, or the relentless rise of artificial intelligence and its potential benefits for humanity.

Identify Your Executives

Once you have your executive communications strategy and brand story, you need your faces. A lot of care should go into the decision to position certain executives for media, including their expertise and accomplishments, their ability to present a clear and persuasive argument and their overall demeanor. In some cases, you’ll have a born media start in your executive ranks. In other cases, you’ll need to rely on a partner like Stern Strategy Group to provide media training. But what’s important is that you have the right people representing your brand.

Be Consistent and Show You Can Be Trusted

We would caution against thinking a good story and a charismatic executive will get your organization through anything. Ultimately, your own actions will determine whether you can keep the public’s trust. Consistency in how your run your organization and address issues like sustainability or AI will reinforce your overall executive communications strategy, which in turn will highlight your constructive efforts.

But if you do have a story to tell and a great executive to tell it, make sure you contact us to help you build your executive communications capabilities.

Giving Your Company a Face: The Importance of Executive Communications Strategy was last modified: May 11th, 2023 by Brian Sherry