Earning Credibility with the C-Suite: For PR pros, credibility is never a given.

As a PR professional, do you ever feel like the C-suite expects you to “knock it out of the park” every time you step up to the plate? Even the best sluggers in baseball can’t do that. But for PR pros, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done in the past, or who you are, you’re judged by the results you deliver every time you’re at bat. There’s constant pressure from executives to deliver more results better and faster. If you can’t, well, then you’re traded for someone who can. In the PR world, it doesn’t matter how good you are at your craft, credibility is not a given with the executive suite. It’s something that has to continuously be earned.

So, how do you earn respect from the executive team? Well, doing great PR is a start. Let’s face it, creating a winning strategy, executing it well, and analyzing your results will help you earn points with execs. But, to really earn credibility you have to take it a step further and make sure that your executive team clearly understands the value that PR is bringing to the table. This is an area where a lot of PR pros struggle and it doesn’t help that many executives are skeptical about PR’s ability to impact business results.

To prove that you deserve to be in the game you need to show executives a connection between PR and business achievements. You want to give executives evidence of PR’s successes, and do it in a way that is meaningful to them. Prepare charts, graphs, and reports that illustrate the business goals that have been met, and then demonstrate how PR was responsible for those achievements. In theory this may sound simple, but perfectly successful results generating PR firms are fired all the time simply because they don’t communicate program results in a way that makes sense to the C-suite.

In our series of upcoming blog posts “Earning Credibility with the C-Suite” we’ll talk more about some of the specific ways in which PR professionals can prove the value of PR and gain credibility for their programs. For now, here are a few of our suggestions:

• Demonstrate your understanding of the business

• Gather baseline data and set measurable goals

• Measure PR outcomes and outputs

• Execute and then analyze

• Improve and perform beyond expectations

• Package PR results the right way

Watch for more on these topics in our upcoming posts. And remember, for PR pros credibility is never a given. That’s why it is so important to do everything possible to convince the C-suite of PR’s value.

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