Why the company CEO and business owner has to be a true marketer

Every company needs its leader to be a marketer. Here are five tips to help owner managers and CEOs push forward marketing and PR activity.

Every company needs its leader to be a marketer. Not only do you need management buy-in for PR and marketing activity – but you also need someone to step up and be the public face of the company.

Many CEOs or business owners would rather shy away from the limelight which is understandable, but a large part of a CEO’s role is to be the figurehead – both inward-facing and-outward facing.

As a PR agency we get the best results when we have the CEO on board from the outset, not just to provide quotes when needed but to really drive the PR and marketing forward.

We can only do so much though. If the CEO runs his own active Twitter account or is happy to write blog posts, it gives a unique personality that we can’t replicate without a name or personality to frame the stories around. When the CEO is happy to contribute his ideas and personality it really brings a PR campaign to life.

Here’s five tips to help CEOs push forward marketing and PR activity:

1. Write regular blog posts in your own voice.

It doesn’t matter if you’re not a great writer – you can talk someone else through your ideas and thoughts and ask them to formulate them for you. I think the important part of a company blog is that it gets across your ideas and personality.

2. Be active on social media

Not everyone wants to use social media – but if you do start to use it you will soon see the benefits. It’s the ultimate communications tool – you can speak directly to your customers, communicate with prospects and network with your peers.

3. Be available to speak to journalists

One of the worst things in PR is that you can spend a long time trying to organise an interview with a journalist, only to find that the CEO is too busy to talk. If you truly value the role of marketing in taking your business forward then it’s a good idea to make time to meet journalists or be there if the opportunity for an interview arises.

4. Tell your story

If it’s your company, then no one knows it quite as well as you do. So use that position and put yourself out there. The business is about you, and the story that people want to hear is how you got there and where you are going.

5. Invest in media training

Being on television or radio – or even being interviewed over the telephone – can be some peoples’ worst nightmare. And it can be frightening. However, by investing in media training, a CEO can practice speaking to the media, get used to having cameras on them and make sure they look relaxed and confident on screen. It really is worth the investment.

Carolyn Hughes works for Fourth Day PR and helps small business optimise social media for growth and new business. You can follow Carolyn on Twitter and Google+.

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