August 23, 2018
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‘PR in the c-suite’ speech

I was honored to address the annual meeting of the Canadian Public Relations Society in Ottawa on ‘PR in the c-suite: harnessing the disruptive power of social media for leadership communication.’ Here is how the organizers described my speech in their event promotion:

Communication technology has always been used for good and for ill, but when it is applied by leaders who understand public relations — or propaganda, its ‘evil twin’ — social media is now probably the most formidable force both for ethical persuasion and mass manipulation.  

Especially when something goes wrong for an organization in the public domain, all eyes go online looking for the leader. But often CEOs are absent from social media and among those who are online, there are many who don’t know how to communicate with the public.  

What we are seeing today is one PR disaster after another playing out on social media, with the character and capability of CEO communication proving decisive in deciding whether reputations are ruined or brands are built at these spectacular moments of truth.

Success in the c-suite has always been the holiest of grails for the public relations industry, but Bob Pickard of Signal Leadership Communication Inc. — one of Canada’s best known corporate communicators with a 20 year record building PR businesses overseas — believes that our industry is not yet realizing its potential when it comes to the public communication of top executives on social media.  

Bob, who has counselled and coached hundreds of senior leaders around the world, will explain the challenges of access and attitude for CEO communication and share the latest ideas and insights about what he will argue is increasingly one of the most important segments of the public relations consulting business.  

The deck can be accessed here.










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