If you want an authentic brand, make your CEO accessible to the media.
That’s one key finding of the Brand Authenticity Survey 2017 from D S Simon Media. A whopping three quarters (74 percent) of journalists surveyed said an accessible CEO makes a brand seem more authentic.
“It’s clear that not putting your CEO front and center damages your brand’s reputation for trust and authenticity,” said Doug Simon, CEO at influencer marketing firm D S Simon Media, in a news release.
“What’s critical is turning your leaders and experts into influencers,” added Simon. The results were consistent across television, radio, newspaper, magazine and online.
It also pays to get your CEO out on social media
Eighty-two percent of reporters, producers and bloggers get story ideas from social media, the survey found. There is also a significant opportunity for message control with video content featuring your CEO: 81 percent will link to or post unedited video provided by third-parties.
The study also looked at which spokespeople were least authentic
For both brands and non-profits, it was third-party spokespeople who had the least credibility—82 percent found third-party spokespeople least authentic for brands, and 87 percent said they were least authentic for non-profits.
Brand communicators agree
Despite hundreds of millions of dollars spent on campaigns featuring third-party spokespeople including celebrities, 84 percent were satisfied or very satisfied with their internal spokespersons ability to help earn media, compared to only 37 percent who were satisfied when using a third-party spokesperson.
Journalists voiced a similar perspective
Eighty-seven percent of media pros surveyed preferred to interview an in-house representative vs. a third-party spokesperson.
“Brand authenticity is more important than ever,” Simon added. “The FTC is tightening disclosure rules and journalists prefer covering your own people, why risk your reputation with third-party influencers?”