Should Corporate Communications Officers Act as Spokespeople in the Media?

Should Corporate Communications Officers Act as Spokespeople in the Media?

Mark Laudi 10/09/2019 4

This question came up in conversation with one of my clients recently. Where do you stand?

Pros

  1. Comprehensive messages – The corporate communications specialist (=VP, Director, Manager, etc) is likely to have crafted the messages (or been in charge of it). They will have a good grip on them.

  2. Frequently available – The Senior Leadership Team (SLT) is frequently traveling or busy running the business. Clearly there are circumstances when the SLT needs to step up, such as during a crisis. But for less urgent media appearances the corporate communications specialist is more likely to have time.

  3. Excellent communicator – You would expect the corporate communications specialist to be the highest skilled to communicate the message (in theory).

Cons

  1. Senior decision maker – As a TV producer at CNBC, corporate communications specialists were the last people we would accept on the show, and then only if no one else from the company was available. We really wanted a key decision maker to appear.

  2. Substance – Our fear was always that a corporate communications spokesperson was just going to give us a sales pitch or the corporate line.

  3. Known personality – The CEO is likely to be well known, unlike the corporate communications spokesperson. You can probably imagine advertising on your channel: "We have the CEO of Amazon on the show tomorrow!", but not "We have the VP of Corporate Communications of Amazon on the show tomorrow!"

What do you think?

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  • Jack Broom

    This is a complex but a critical question

  • Stuart Lane

    No they shouldn't, the media landscape has changed.

  • Norma Barnes

    People will continue to demand more from brands and will want to better understand brands that they buy from.

  • Peter Cleaver

    The rise of the digital economy and the loss of faith and trust in organisations will necessitate a shift towards greater regulation.

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Mark Laudi

Media Guru

Mark Laudi is a media and communications mentor with 24 years of expertise in the media industry, including mission-critical B2B communications, crisis communications, public speaking and presentation skills. Besides mentoring business and political leaders worldwide in media skills, public speaking, and conference presentations, Mark is a much-sought-after speaker, conference anchor, and panel moderator at business events. He conducts master classes in media and presentation skills as well as crisis communications workshops for senior executives at a large number of multinationals in Asia, the Middle East and Europe. Mark also possesses expertise in investor relations and invests in online startups that cater to the needs of SMEs.

   

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