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And the award for best communicating CEO goes to…

NaMedia MD Natasja Beyleveld said visionary leadership goes hand in hand with pro-active public relations.

NaMedia MD Natasja Beyleveld said visionary leadership goes hand in hand with pro-active public relations.

In a recent NaMedia survey, the best communicating CEO brands of 2013 were FNB Namibia, SAB Miller, Bank Windhoek, Standard Bank, Ohlthaver & List, MTC, The Development Bank of Namibia, and Dundee Precious Metals.
NaMedia Managing Director, Natasja Beyleveld said, “A brand is more than a name; it’s often a company’s single greatest asset. An effective brand needs solid communication investments from the CEO into both internal and external communication avenues.”
“Chief Executive Officers are brand stewards and need to publicly discuss challenges that affect their brands.
Different strokes for different industries means that you have to make a conscious effort to keep your stakeholders in the loop – educate them but also credit them by providing expert opinion and thought leadership on the industry or company matters at hand,” said Beyleveld.

CEOs have to partner with executive leadership, remove bureaucracy and speak on behalf of the company in times of crisis. According to Beyleveld, “Most importantly, fill the umbrella that covers general public perception about your brand, and be sure to do so purposefully. Invest your external communication in a variety of reputation clusters to best balance general public perception about your brand, which will enable you to draw strength from during times of crisis.”
Support can only be created where understanding and appreciation exists, one of the reasons why the reputation of the CEO brand is so closely linked to the reputation of the company brand. “You can only create support where there is understanding and appreciation, and that is one of the reasons why the reputation of the CEO brand is so closely linked to the reputation of the company brand” she explained.
The symbiosis is clear; visionary leadership goes hand in hand with a pro-active public relations strategy.
A strong relationship between a CEO and PR practitioner creates a brand ambassador that represents all the expectations for good service, sound leadership, and sustainable development. “Companies that suffer from CEO mismanagement or controversy, have to ‘double invest’ in effective, transparent external communication.”

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