Maybe PR professionals can do a better job of educating top executives, not only on the value of PR, but on the chief executive’s role in the process. A CEO with PR and media skills is an asset to any company, and one who shuns the press may undermine its stature.
Some are masters of the game. Look at iconic entrepreneurs such as Richard Branson or Steve Jobs, whose reputation lives on beyond his passing. Others must grow into the role, such as Deloitte’s Cathy Engelbert, the first female chief of a major accounting firm. For better or worse, a CEO is a steward of a company’s image and reputation.
Most chief executives aren’t like those celebrity CEOs, and they don’t necessarily embrace a role as brand spokesperson. Many lack the time, charisma, or commitment to deal with reporters. They don’t trust the press, and they may be wary of social media and its risks. According to another study from CEO.com, 68 percent of CEOs at Fortune 500 companies have no social media presence.