Every organisation needs a figurehead. Someone who can power dress and wade fearlessly into a press conference or AGM, parrying difficult questions and charming investors. Alongside their focused acumen and hard-won experience in driving companies forward, CEOs are increasingly required to perform, and PRs to have accurate media tracking. As the public face of the business what they say and how they are reported matters. Take a look at Uber, who have been recently proving this rule in all the wrong ways. Thirty years ago, Mr Kalanick might well have gotten away with some of his behaviour, or it would never have surfaced – but now it has an impact on the whole brand.
So tracking media coverage on the performance of your CEO and his/her competitors is now a must for any business. How else can you measure the progress of your brand? How else can you know the performance of your competitors’ spokespeople? With Signal, you can see trends in your industry media – and plan accordingly. You’ll have a better idea of when to send your CEO out in front of the media for maximum impact and when to keep them firmly away from the press. We’ve used our media monitoring tools to chart the performances of major CEOs in the Energy and Telco sectors over the last year.
Summertime at Hinkley Point
At a glance, it’s clear that EDF were in the news through most of last Summer while the Hinkley Point decision dragged on. The news media mentions peaked at 600 in July but kept on going right through to October. Signal allows you to track media for any given time frame for any keyword right up to the current second. So a quick search for the summer months brought up a range of different headlines. It was a busy summer schedule in the spotlight for CEO Vincent de Rivaz, who was dealing with a situation in flux.
The issue was complex, with a raft of different stakeholders and angles, from union concerns and political delays to worries over Chinese investment and French protests. Mr de Rivaz was often required to respond to ongoing developments without much preparation time. With Signal’s unlimited tracking capability, (where you can track whatever you want, whenever you want at no extra cost) Mr de Rivaz and his team would have been able to get ahead of rogue stories in real-time and anticipate the news cycle.
As the data shows, while Mr de Rivaz was sweating in the limelight, other energy CEOs were able to fly under the radar and enjoy their summer holidays.
On top of this, other energy firms would have known through Signal’s media tracking that the media storm was focused elsewhere. Big positive announcements could be delayed knowing it was unlikely anything else was going to get coverage. And any bad news could potentially be slipped out while the press was looking elsewhere.
Openreach and Sky
Two issues hogged the column inches earlier this year in the telecommunications sector; the heavy regulation of Openreach, and the proposed purchase of Sky by 21st Century Fox. BT had a brace of fumbles, between January and April. As Signal’s media tracking shows, the first peak was in January when Ofcom announced it was investigating BT, the second peak when Openreach was fined £42m, and a deal was reached forcing the legal separation of Openreach from BT. This smokescreen worked wonders for Sky’s Jeremy Darroch, who could let the press, politicians and the regulator focus on one of his major rivals while he quietly worked with 21st Century Fox on a new takeover bid without too much interference or difficult questions.
The issues surrounding Openreach also gave Virgin’s Tom Mockridge an opportunity to steal the limelight. Mr Mockridge was quick to promise ultrafast speeds as standard, capitalising on BT’s failings in a message to consumers, and strengthening Ofcom’s regulatory hand to weaken the BT / Openreach bond. Our media tracking shows that his coverage got a bump in March as a result, providing a fascinating insight for all others concerned.
Signal’s unlimited media tracking mean you can track other CEOs or spokespeople, benchmark against a particular issue, or even get ahead of fake news. Your company’s voice is important – and people are listening to your CEO. Signal means you can be sure they speak at the right time to make sure they’re heard and maximise their impact.