Fortune favors the bold, Raymond F. Kerins, Jr., senior vice president and head of communications at Bayer, says.
“If you’re willing to be bold while exercising prudent risk on behalf of your organization’s reputation-you’ll be recognized by leadership,” he assures.
Want to see Kerins in action? Attend our upcoming PR and Media Relations Summit in New York City on April 9.
Kerins will reveal PR leadership strategies and lessons for promoting and protecting your brand’s reputation.
Here’s a preview of some of his tips:
1. Break out of your comfort zone. Leaders notice and promote those who step forward and lead, Kerins says. “But you must make decisions and take actions others won’t. You must be willing to carve out a position and stand by it.”
He illustrates his maxim by pointing to CVS Caremark’s decision to stop selling tobacco products. It was a bold move with huge communications and reputational effects, he believes.
2. Own it—stop seeking approval. How do you avoid taking the safe route?
When Kerins was with Pfizer, he launched the brand’s Twitter handle without legal approval. “I didn’t need legal approval and shared the launch with them after the fact,” he explains. “Twitter is simply another channel, and I have trained professionals who know what and what not to say.”
3. Launch an external reputation audit. The No. 1 PR hot button for CEOs is reputation, says Kerins. His advice: “Again, be bold. Conduct an external audit of your reputation instead of risking subjectivity in-house.”
4. Dare to directly engage detractors. CEOs respect communicators who show leadership in crisis. “Allow the facts to lead. Do not let emotion take over, and be willing to step out and engage detractors directly,” Kerins advises.
Kerins recently called a high-profile detractor to set the facts straight about erroneous statements the detractor made on network TV about one of the company’s products. The detractor relented, and Kerins’ CEO mentioned the incident at a recent Bayer company meeting.
Want more to learn more? Join us at our PR & Media Relations Summit April 8-10 in New York City.
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