Britton Manasco sparked an interesting discussion over the weekend on PR, influencers and the caliber of a client’s vision messaging. Britton’s take:
PR firms, too often, are letting their executive clients down. They are encouraging them to stroll out in the public square unclothed and unprepared. Result? Their clients are exposed as leaders without vision… It seems to me that too few have the strengths, expertise and capabilities necessary to help their clients develop and articulate a powerful vision.
I agree with Britton that CEOs and other corporate leaders need to differentiate themselves and their companies with a compelling vision of their market. There are too few CEOs who inspire us with a vision of where we are and where we could go.
We disagree somewhat on how much of a role a traditional PR team can be expected to play in the development of vision. I say less, Britton says more.
In my experience, vision is not a PR project. Vision isn’t the result of a messaging brainstorm. It comes from everyday dialogue and reading and observation. The group of people best equipped to inspire and nuture a CxO’s vision come from inside the company and from the CxO’s peers also deeply engaged in the marketplace — external thought leaders from the ranks of management consultants, competitors, partners, academics, etc.