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February 15, 2011
Sizing Up CEOs
 
We've been writing on Flack Me mainly about public relations practitioners and aspects of their craft. Time to change the focus a bit to the CEOs they work for. Chief executive officers set the tone for their organizations and aspiring public relations people should be clear about the style of the person they may end up working for or, hopefully, with. The culpwrit blog has some pertinent thoughts on CEOs plus a tip to a New York Times column on CEO mindsets. 

It's certainly true that a CEO's style means a lot, if not everything, about how his or her organization is perceived by its publics, starting with the community in which the business is located. "Determine what the CEO is saying about the community and what he or she is doing in the community," culpwrit advises, "and you'll get an accurate view into the corporate culture and PR opportunities within the organization. If you read a lot of 'no comments' and the CEO is not visible in the media or community, you can expect a limited role for public relations."

Also important to assess, of course, are the issues the organization is faced with and/or dealing with. 

The referenced New York Times column on CEO styles is Corner Office. Written in Q&A style, it "provides weekly insights into the communication mindsets of CEOs and should be must-reading for anyone pursuing corporate PR careers." Here's a sample interview, this one with F. Mark Gumz, president and CEO of the Olympus Corporation of the Americas.  

There you are, PR people. Meet your potential bosses!

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Doug Bedell has a background in journalism and PR and is the owner of Resource Relations LLC in Central PA, focusing on organizational and crisis communication. He’s the community manager of SimplyFair.net, a social network on fairness. On the Web, Doug’s at www.ResourceRelations.com. On Twitter, he’s @DougBeetle.
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