Are Your CEO’s Social Media Posts Going to Hurt or Help the Next Media Interview?

CEOs are increasingly using social media to reach key audiences. And those social posts may be coloring the outcome of your CEO’s next media interview, according to survey results from our partners in the Public Relations Global Network — PRGN (

But reporters’ practices around the world vary somewhat due to geographic and cultural differences.

According to a survey of reporters across Europe and North America conducted by Bianchi Public Relations’ partners in PRGN, when preparing to interview a CEO:

• North American reporters who turn to social media for research most often refer to LinkedIn (80 percent), followed by Twitter (70 percent) and Facebook (64 percent) when getting background on CEOs; and
• European reporters tend to do research on social media prior to CEO interviews to a lesser degree, referring to LinkedIn or Xing 54 percent of the time, Twitter 50 percent and Facebook 41 percent.

Among European countries, reporters’ social media research preferences for CEO interview preparation can differ from country to country. For example, according to the PRGN study:
• In Italy, far fewer journalists use social media for research for a CEO interview, with only 33 percent using the top choice of Facebook;
• In Belgium, business networks like LinkedIn and Xing are used by 80 percent of journalists; and
• In Finland, Twitter is the top choice by far with 73 percent of journalists.

To help you use social media to enhance and optimize your CEO’s media interview outcomes, here are five tips:

1) Research the journalist’s social media posts to understand the platforms she/he uses most often. This will give you an indication which platforms will likely top her/his research source list.
2) Review your CEO’s most recent posts on social media channels to see what specific messages the reporter is most likely to see, and share your findings with your CEO.
3) Identify any commonality in themes and interests between the reporter’s and your CEO’s posts – and point those out in any pre-interview briefing materials to both participants.
4) Encourage the CEO to connect with, and follow, the reporter’s social media channels prior to, and after, the interview.
5) Work with a PR firm that has a local presence and social media expertise in the market where the reporter works, in order to employ crucial cultural and local perspective (PRGN has offices in 50 key markets around the world run by local PR experts).

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