Earning Credibility with the C-Suite: Demonstrate your understanding of the business

When executives decide to invest money into PR they do so with the idea that PR will help their business achieve certain objectives. The C-suite values business results, and showing how PR maps to business objectives is critical if you want to earn credibility and prove PR’s value. To do this you first need a clear understanding of the company’s business goals. Focusing on the company’s goals will help you produce the results executives desire so that your campaign is deemed successful.

 Sometimes PR programs produce results that aren’t considered to be extremely high priorities for the business. This happens when PR objectives are not aligned with business priorities. In this scenario, PR pros may wonder why they’re not seeing love from the executive team for all of PR’s accomplishments. But, executives wonder why PR isn’t achieving the most important objectives. To avoid this type of situation you need to make sure that business objectives are clearly communicated from the very start, and that PR objectives map to business goals.

 It’s important for PR professionals to ask smart questions in order to identify goals and priorities. Here are some examples of smart questions to ask at the beginning of each campaign:

 • What are your primary objectives for the company?

• What do you hope to accomplish within the next 18 months?

• What are the most important initiatives the company is undertaking during the

next 18 months to achieve your revenue goals?

• Is there a particular product line that you’re focusing on to achieve revenue goals?

• What are your top three priorities moving forward?

• How do you see PR as being of value here?

• How can we help you achieve your goals?

Using the knowledge you’ve gained by asking these questions you can create targeted PR objectives. This is your chance to show executives you “get it” so be sure to give quality attention to the PR objectives. Appropriate and thoughtful PR objectives will demonstrate your understanding of the client’s business goals and assure the executive team that the PR program is based on their desired business outcomes. It will also ensure that your PR accomplishments will produce the business results that the C-suite most wants to see.

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