Are Journalists Researching Your CEO’s Social Media Channels before an Interview?

What your CEO is posting on social media may impact the outcome of the CEO’s next media interview, according to study results from our partners in the Public Relations Global Network — PRGN. — ( Which social media platforms the journalists will turn to and how often they are used, though, can vary significantly, depending upon geography.


For example, when preparing to interview a CEO:

  • North American journalists who use social media for research turn to LinkedIn most often (80 percent), followed by Twitter (70 percent) and Facebook (64 percent).
  • European reporters who use social media for CEO research generally follow the same order but to a lesser degree, with LinkedIn/Xing at 54 percent, Twitter at 50 percent and Facebook at 41 percent.

Among European countries, however, journalistic research practices for CEO interview preparation relative to social media use vary widely. For example, according to the PRGN survey:

  • In Belgium, business networks like LinkedIn and Xing are used by 80 percent of journalists, while
  • In Finland, Twitter is the top choice by far with 73 percent of journalists, and
  • In Italy, far fewer journalists use social media for research for a CEO interview, with only 33 percent using the top choice of Facebook.

Here are five social media-related ways you can help enhance your CEO’s media interview opportunities:

  • Research the journalist’s social media outlets to understand the platforms she/he uses most. This will give you a clue to which platforms will likely top her/his research source list.
  • Review your CEO’s recent posts on social media channels to see the specific messages the reporter will likely see. Share your findings with your CEO.
  • Identify any common themes or interests between your CEO’s and the reporter’s posts – and point those out in any pre-interview briefing materials.
  • Encourage the CEO to follow the reporter’s social media channels prior to, and following, the interview.
  • Work with a PR agency that has a local presence and social media expertise in the market where the reporter works in order to secure important cultural and local perspective (PRGN has offices in 50 key markets around the world run by local PR experts.)

For more insight on how journalists around the world prepare for CEO interviews, visit

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