Building credibility with your audience via public relations
As a firm, we partner with client organizations to deliver excellent public relations services. At Big Sky Public Relations, our work extends beyond to support specific individuals who seek to build credibility with their audiences. For leaders within client organizations, developing executive credibility becomes an integral part of the overall public relations plan.
Audiences look to leaders within organizations to influence whether or not they trust the overall organization. According to Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the relationship between the public and an organization “hinges on the leader’s credibility, which is difficult to build and easy to lose.” The main factors contributing to credibility are a leader’s perceived competence and trustworthiness.
We agree that it is difficult to build executive credibility and navigate public perception, especially without the help of a seasoned public relations team. When preparing an executive credibility training plan, a long set of questions must be answered and tailored to the organization and its leader’s strengths and weaknesses. What are the most common questions this leader will encounter on behalf of the organization? Does this leader have any blind spots, and if so, how can we prepare for those? How can this leader build a strong relationship with local media? How can this leader effectively communicate during media interviews? What are the needs and concerns of the local public? Each of these questions will have unique answers based on the organization and leader. As leadership may change, these questions will be reconsidered and adapted to best reflect the new situation. Furthermore, if different segments of the organization require different internal spokespersons to field area-specific questions, an extended executive credibility plan must account for the different individuals and their roles when interacting with the media.
The new age of endless information creates an added layer of challenge to building a relationship between an organization’s leader and its audiences. Audiences are inundated with messaging from multiple media platforms and channels, from reading a text message to scrolling through Facebook to listening to the news. This media clutter pulls their attention in many directions, making it even more important for an organization leader to succinctly speak to the public and leave a lasting impression. Additionally, the stress of public speaking and initially getting in the door with news outlets are more hurdles organizations and their leaders must overcome when communicating with an audience.
Although it is difficult to maneuver this tricky balance of building individual credibility with audiences that both support the needs of the overall organization and the public, our team has assisted numerous organizations and their leaders in successful executive credibility communications. Big Sky Public Relations’ goal when creating an executive credibility training plan is to facilitate your relationships with the local media, whom we work with daily, and to fully prepare leaders before they speak to a crowd, in-person or online. We take the guesswork out of creating positive moments between organizations, their leaders, and the public.