PR Counsel from External Sources Gives CEOs a New Perspective on Business.
Abstract from PRWeek article
CEOs are a picky bunch by nature.They have to be. When the fate of a company can rest, in part, on the ability to charm the press, inspire employees, and woo investors, it pays to be selective about whom you surround yourself with.Most CEOs have in-house communications teams, but many also like the availability of outside PR counsel to give a fresh perspective and (hopefully) uninfluenced advice on how a leader can get messages out most effectively. These profiles of five CEOs and their personal agency counselors prove that no matter what business you’re in, it’s always nice to have someone to whisper in your ear.
Patty McDonough Kennedy
CEO, Kennedy Spencer
When Tony Manwaring took over as head of Scope, a prominent UK-based international charity that focuses on assisting those with cerebral palsy, he knew whom to turn to for communications advice: Patty McDonough Kennedy, his former employee at another charity who had established herself in PR back in the US as CEO of Kennedy Spencer.
“We’re both interested in the ongoing reflection of British and US politics, culture, and experience,” he says. “For me, getting an American sensibility to that … is really useful.”
Manwaring credits Kennedy with helping him hone his strategic communications toward potential corporate partners. He also says his image as CEO is crucial as Scope repositions itself in a more diverse and global role. “It needs a personality and face that [stakeholders] can relate to, and that’s been me in the role of CEO,” he says.
“In some ways, Tony’s role might even go beyond what a corporate [CEO’s] role is,” says Kennedy. “It’s about seeing a mission through and getting key stakeholders behind it.”
Manwaring’s job is a tall order, but Kennedy, head of her own business, says her role isn’t all giving. “The counseling really goes both ways,” she says. “It’s a relationship built on mutual trust and respect.”