One of the first things I learned in marketing was to “mirror” my audience’s behavior. For example, working at an agency for years, we learned to watch the body language of the executives in the room. Lean forward at the boardroom table if they lean forward, be more relaxed if they are more relaxed. If the client was visiting and he or she was a “corporate” type and wore a suit, the entire marketing/PR team would suit up for the meeting. Mirroring your audience goes further today to understand their experience.
It’s all about the experience. Listening, making connections, sharing what’s relevant and of value to build stronger relationships. You can do this online and in the physical setting. There are audiences that you should think about daily so that your experience with them grows into a trusted relationship. One of the most important relationships is the one you have with executives and/or the CEO of the company. In order to move your relationship to the next level, you need to think about their experience and what they expect from you.
Let’s start with the CEO or the executives that you work with. It doesn’t matter if you’re on the same team (in-house marketing for a brand, non-profit, etc.) or you’re the agency partner, the amount of relevance and value the executives experience with you and your interactions will determine your level of relationships success. It’s important for you to think like the executives to deliver what they need from their communication professionals.
Here is your list of things to think about when you interact with the CEO to make his or her experience better:
- Leads, sales, and the sales cycle
- Employee recruitment
- Employee productivity
- Strategic partnerships
- Customer service satisfaction levels
- Company coverage and endorsements
- Crisis mitigation
- Brand reputation
- Competitor activity in the market
These are a few areas when highlighted and measured, as a part of your communications programs enhance the executives’ experience with you. Now, this does not mean that your executives don’t care about the many other important areas related to communications and your job function, or the programs you create and implement. Executives only have so much time in a day, and they’re focused on specific indicators that move the business toward profitability and a more favorable reputation in the eyes of the public. If you only have a brief window of opportunity with your executives, then you want to be prepared to make their experience with you as relevant and valuable as possible. Organize the information that’s a part of their world and bring it to the table. You will see your relationships with executives grow to new levels of trust and respect.
What valuable information do you think about and share with your executives to enhance their experience?