We live in an era when management scandals seem to arise with the regularity of the sun and CEOs always bear the brunt of blame regardless of whether they personally are at fault. The much-publicized disparity between average CEO compensation and average worker pay only intensifies pressure in the C-suite.
CEO reputation matters so much because independent surveys show that it accounts for up to 50 percent of corporate reputation. At McEwen McMahon, we help CEOs align their public personas with the interests of the organizations they lead in order to benefit both.
This is not to say we try to turn CEOs into rock stars. We don't. But we do know what Emerson meant when he wrote that "any institution is the lengthened shadow of one man." For most companies, that man (or woman) is the chief executive.
Just like any other wealth-creating asset, CEO reputation requires investment to produce what is commonly referred to in PR terminology as "CEO capital," meaning equity which, leveraged wisely, can be a key driver of corporate prosperity.
The old adage "You only get one chance to make a first impression" holds especially true for CEOS. It is vitally important that new leaders "get out of the gate fast" during the first hundred days of their administrations.
That means having a platform ready on "Day One" from which to communicate effectively with all constituencies. McEwen McMahon CEO positioning program helps construct that platform by putting the "planks" in place. We develop thought leadership programs, identify speaking forums, engage executives with business and civic organizations, and help them establish relationships with top print, broadcast and online journalists.
To ensure chief executives can handle the high visibility that comes with the territory of the positons they hold, we conduct rigorous media-training and presentation training exercises in which CEOs rehearse for annual meetings, analyst calls, news conferences, "ambush" interviews and congressional testimony.