"For executive visibility and thought leadership platforms," NextTech Communications CEO Janine Savarese tells Doug Simon, "you want to ensure that it makes sense with your brand, and is aligned with your brand, and it also needs to make sense for the spokesperson that you're putting forward."

A big part of that, she says, entails making sure that "you identify not only the areas of expertise that your spokesperson can talk to, but that it makes sense, and you're also able to substantiate it and back it up."

Savarese says that CEOs who represent companies that are already well known generally have an easier time landing such earned media opportunities as op-eds or interviews.

For those from smaller companies or startups, she says one good strategy is working with an influencer. "It not only increases the chances of you landing high-profile interviews or media coverage, but it adds credibility and starts to build that brand up in whatever industry you're in."

She also tells Simon that executive leadership and visibility are just as important for internal communications as they are for external communications. "You want to make sure that your employees are on board," Savarese says.

"As you're generating external opportunities," she adds, "it's really important that you keep that bigger picture in mind when you are identifying not only the topics, but the strategies for how you're going to execute and how you’re going to communicate all of this to your employees."

When she ran communications for the NYU Stern School of Business, working on the development of several different curriculum programs and centers, Savarese says she saw the value of "creating thought leadership platforms around what the purpose of those centers were or what was the research. Not only what were the findings, but why was the research important to the bigger picture? And that ended up not just creating awareness of the initiatives, the research, and the centers, but creating experts."

The lesson she learned from that, she says, is that " it's really important to build that expertise, credibility, and bring a differentiated point of view, and also create a dialogue, a topic, a way to engage with your audiences."

Savarese says that she expects the importace of executive visiblilty and leadership to continue. "It's an integral part of any communications plan. It's just so important that you're out there talking about the issues at hand, having that point of view. So, it's never going to go away, there’s only going to be more opportunities for it."

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Interested in taking part? Contact Doug Simon at [email protected]

D S Simon Media helps clients get their stories on television through satellite media tours and by producing and distributing content to the media. The company also produces live social media events.