How Do Journalists Evaluate Your CEO in Media Interviews?

What are the most important factors considered when a journalist evaluates a CEO during a media interview?

According to study results shared by our partners around the world in the Public Relations Global Network — PRGN — it all depends where the interview is happening.

A survey of journalists around the world showed that overall, most journalists rank the CEO’s knowledge of the company and its market as the top factor, followed by the CEO’s personality, the CEO’s track record/performance and third-party opinions regarding the CEO.prgn 4

However, in individual countries across Europe, the rank of those critical factors can vary significantly. For example:

  • In Italy, journalists ranked the CEO’s personality just as important as the CEO’s knowledge of the company and its market, and the CEO’s educational background is also an important factor;
  • In France, while knowledge of the company was the top choice, the CEO’s education and personal life are also important factors in the journalist’s assessment;
  • In Denmark, the most important assessment factor is the CEO’s personality (100 percent) and third-party opinions also play an important role; and
  • In Germany, Finland and Hungary, the CEO’s personality was the top factor, followed by the CEO’s knowledge of the company and market.

So, how can a PR professional best help a CEO prepare for a media interview? The PRGN study suggests that the best ways to determine which assessment factors are most important for your CEO’s next media interview are:

  • Review recent stories the journalist has developed on other CEOs to see what factors played key roles in the story and what kind of information was used.
  • Before the interview, try to identify what the reporter already knows about the CEO and what sources they have already contacted. And if appropriate, send the reporter some other sources/materials that may help as background.
  • Secure counsel from a local PR agency in that particular market, and if possible, one that has worked with the reporter before, so you get the benefit of expertise in local journalistic approach, preferences and customs. (Through PRGN, Bianchi PR has access to local PR experts in 50 key markets around the world that can assist.)

For more insight into how reporters around the world prepare for CEO interviews and how you can enhance interview outcomes with localized PR counsel, visit: (

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