Cara Good

Article Summary:

The media craves a good story, and today's CEOs must be good business storytellers.

The Five Vital Roles of a Headline-Worthy CEO

Does this scenario sound familiar to you?

"Our competitor gets all of the press. I don't understand it. We've been in business longer, and have products and services. We even get interviews - but few of them result in the kind of press we expect. What do we do?"

This situation is played out across America, in both small and large companies. CEOs in this situation could increase their public relations IQ to boost their company's brand equity.

CEOs today must wear many hats: visionary, fundraiser, strategist and more. Now they can hang another title on the executive hat rack: business storyteller.

To carve out a prominent place among the media, chief executives must master the art of storytelling. No one is more believable than the CEO when presenting a company's vision to the media. Yet a dull and drab interview can kill even the most newsworthy story.

Here are five characteristics of business storytelling that every CEO must master.

Futurist
In this media role, CEOs define the future direction of the company. The media seeks knowledge on where the company is headed and how it will get there. It's the CEO's perspective that makes headlines.

Historian
Just as the media wants to know where a company is headed, they also want to know where the company has been. Especially with a product-driven company, the CEO can humanize a business story by creating strong messaging around the company's origins.

Ambassador
The media views CEOs as the "face" of a company. It's vital to portray an image during media interviews and other public relations events that is congruent with the company's overall brand. Headline-grabbing CEOs are personable, conversational and charismatic, even when delivering bad news.

Analyst
CEOs must be industry forecasters and well-versed on the trends, opportunities and problems that their industries might face. In any public forum and with the media, they must be ready to answer the question, "Where do you see your industry going over the next year and what challenges do you anticipate?"

Contrarian
The media loves a good dogfight, and quotable CEOs know how to jump into the fray and come out a winner. Take a look at industry issues, economic climates and general business forecasts. Now analyze your opinions on each. Do you agree or disagree? The media needs to present both sides of a story to be impartial. If you disagree with a prevailing thought, let the media know.

Cara Good is the co-founder and president of WunderMarx Inc., a fast-growing international public relations, marketing and branding firm representing some of the world's most innovative technologies and ideas. She has been quoted and featured in numerous articles on entrepreneurialism, public relations and marketing, and speaks frequently on these topics. For more information visit www.wundermarx.com

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