By: Santiago Villegas, CEO and co-founder, 1903 Public Relations
When companies think of progressing business goals, they often move toward marketing the company and its products or services. While that should always be part of the overall strategy, choosing a spokesperson within your organization and elevating their name/voice within the industry can be a powerful tool toward accomplishing business goals.
One way we do this is by leveraging earned media – whether that be by being a source of truth for reporters or by developing contributed articles in key target publications. When done properly, media relations can have a major impact on sales. By placing your spokesperson in industry conversations and identifying key trends through contributed content, individuals within the industry will see you as an expert. Ultimately this lends credibility to your company in the process.
Who to Pick as Spokesperson Within Your Organization
The first question most companies need to address when seeking to find an adequate spokesperson is who within the company should be the voice. Ideally, this person should be someone who is going to be with the company long-term. The CEO tends to be the right choice as head of the company; they are likely to stick around and ultimately represent the company in most situations already. If the CEO has too much on their plate and can’t add this type of activity, look to someone within the C-Suite as a suitable alternative.
But don’t select just any high ranking executive. Even if a person has the right title, they might still not be the right fit for this role. A spokesperson needs to speak to a subject with energy and excitement if they are going to move the needle within the industry. No one wants to talk to or read about something from someone monotone or unenthused. The right spokesperson can mean the difference from building an arsenal of opportunities or just plain wasting your time and energy.
How to Establish Your Spokesperson as an Industry Leader
Now that you have chosen an individual to serve as the spokesperson and are ready to start elevating their voice. This can be done by becoming a source for reporters and/or by contributing content to key publications.
How do you become a source for reporters? Is there a breaking story happening within your industry right now? Does your spokesperson have insights that are unique and relevant, even if that commentary doesn’t directly relate to selling products? Then you have what it takes to be a source for reporters. The goal is to be seen as an industry expert and commenting on news not directly related to your company adds credibility to your spokesperson.
How can you place contributed content? Most publications take articles from industry experts so again, if you can discuss relevant issues without being overly promotional, you can be published in these outlets. After identifying a publication that accepts contributed content and reaches the audience you’re seeking visibility with, we suggest pitching a reporter that covers a topic similar to what you’d like to discuss.
Describing solutions to common pain points that your company is facing when selling their services or products is a great place to start with these articles. Do not outright say your product solves X problem, but you may be able to list your solution as one of the possible options available on the market.
With either method, you don’t want to be a one trick pony. If you only have one thing to say, it will become harder to secure future placements without something new to say. Being able to discuss a range of topics is important with contributed content and/or when speaking to reporters.
Elevating a spokesperson within your organization can be a powerful tool for your company to leverage and can help overall business goals. PR can brand them as leaders within the industry and increase the credibility for your business in the process. This helps when trying to target key customers/clients. The visibility that derived from being included in key publications will help keep your organization top of mind for customers.