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Journalists say press-shy CEOs make brands less authentic

by | Sep 27, 2017 | Public Relations

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.

Journalists say press-shy CEOs make brands less authentic

“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.

Journalists say press-shy CEOs make brands less authentic

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.

Journalists say press-shy CEOs make brands less authentic

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?”

Download the study here.

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Richard Carufel
Richard Carufel is editor of Bulldog Reporter and the Daily ’Dog, one of the web’s leading sources of PR and marketing communications news and opinions. He has been reporting on the PR and communications industry for over 12 years, and has interviewed hundreds of journalists and PR industry leaders. Reach him at richardc@bulldogreporter.com; @BulldogReporter

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