CEO PR: Celebrity Executive Officer or Chief Executive Officer?

By Emmanuel Adeshugba, Tech Team, Intern, Aspectus Group

The term CEO is likely the most corporate sounding title there is in the workplace. What typically springs to mind is an older man in an expensive suit and tie at the head of a boardrooms.

However, this mental image is slowly becoming a thing of the past. In the technology space the image of a suit and tie is slowly being replaced by a 30-something-year-old in much more casual attire with an office in the heart of Shoreditch.

The slow phasing out of the old corporate images of the past can be seen as a movement into a new era where the focus is less on professional protocol, but instead on results and revenue – whether that is done in dress shoes or flip flops.

This move does come with some externalities that are becoming a staple in the tech industry. The CEOs of large tech companies such as Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are transcending the corporate boss character and are becoming celebrities themselves. With Jeff Bezos having over three million followers on Instagram and Elon Musk with his notorious and sporadic Twitter account.

From a technology PR perspective, does this help or hinder the company’s reputation?

Elon Musk’s tweets are controversial mainly due to their ability to move the markets. The tweets by Musk have had a heavy effect on his own company’s price sinking his stock by 12% after tweeting a poll about selling 10% of his stake in the company. It’s not just his company that he’s impacting though, one tweet by Musk in 2020 caused the price of bitcoin to skyrocket by over 10% in a single day.

The benefits of CEO PR

In a more transparent commercial world public relations extends past just the company and applies to the personnel that represents said company. Unfortunately, the cliche of “all views are my own” does not apply when given the title of CEO in a firm resulting in a need to present a more positive stable public image.

Having the power to control markets in the hand of one CEO with an iPhone can be a scary thought for anyone and is likely a PR teams’ nightmare, but there can be benefits to this.

The personality of CEOs can become a brand in and of itself that individuals, who may not have heard of the brand before, will now know through the CEO.

Ultimately, this new wave of CEOs with big personalities could be seen as a move in the right direction for firms in a generation that requires more transparency, authenticity, and engagement before making decisions on where to spend their money.

We’ve also seen how media fails can turn into media wins with the likes of BBC dad – when Professor Robert E Kelly let his corporate mask slip and showed viewers some personality – which showed us showing your human and softer side doesn’t make you make. It just makes you relatable.

We’ve worked with some of the most exciting chief execs across the globe to make them household names. To find out more about media training and how we do this for you or your business, get in touch:

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