How CEOs Can Elevate Their PR Profile

By Matter

Here at Matter, we talk with national and regional business reporters every day, and they share with us the type of person and company they are interested in covering. Several commonalities are emerging from these conversations in 2018.

Here’s how to attract and secure positive media coverage for you and your company this year, based on input and feedback from our nation’s top journalists:

  1. Strive for balanced gender and race representation on your board. Diversity in leadership results in better solutions for the diverse world corporations now serve.
  2. Pay women and men equally for the same job. It doesn’t matter what the law is or what regulators say. The court of public opinion is watching this issue closely – and it shouldn’t really be an issue anyway.
  3. Define yourself by what your company accomplishes, not by who you are. The Personality CEO (Jack Welch, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs) has been usurped by social media celebrities shaving images of Luke Skywalker onto the backs of their heads. Stay above the ridiculous by focusing on business successes.
  4. Have a relevant, compelling point of view. Be accessible. Share your expertise. Shape the story around your unique perspective. No comment? Then don’t waste a reporter’s time.
  5. Align your company with a charitable mission, either with dollars, smarts, or sweat equity. Not because it’s fashionable or because Millennials will like it, but because it’s a requirement for our survival. Regardless of political party, government can’t meet all the needs of our country. It takes corporations, nonprofits, and federal initiatives working together to solve our most challenging problems, and capitalists are great problem-solvers.
  6. Double down on respect in the workplace. Old-school denigration of colleagues is counterproductive. Got someone who likes to throw people under the bus? Show them the exit. No one wants to work hard for a jerk.

This is the checklist reporters are holding in their hands as they search for the most inspiring leaders and successful corporations. But don’t do these things just to land a feature in Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, or the Economist. Do it because your business, your people, and your community will benefit from it.