Leveraging The Leader's Voice
Part One – Find The Voice
Spokespeople are assets
At Priority Consultants, this is part of our Asset Discovery process – a structured discussion with clients to identify material in the client’s marketing portfolio that can be repurposed or angled to support the media outreach campaigns. This could include past blog posts and podcasts, white papers, brochures, speeches, and even proprietary research. Identifying spokespeople is all part of this process.
On the grand scheme, a corporate voice is another means to deliver a message and we review our spokespeople in this context:
- Are they already recognised as authoritative voices?
- Have they authored key opinion-leadership pieces?
- Are they seen as visionaries or “steady and capable hands”
- Are they charismatic to excite an audience of their peers, or do they bring “war stories” of experience that will captivate the viewers of a business broadcast?
- Will they be good for live studio interviews or shall we stick to them as a byline?
English vs local languages
All important questions to identify the strengths of the client’s senior spokespeople before we take them out there into the media world. While there are significant differences in our media landscape across Southeast Asia, the most important is of course, language and the highest impact media all demand world-class English speakers – think CNN, Bloomberg, CNBC and regional Channel News Asia.
Technical and trade media may be more flexible while main national dailies are typically local language so these are opportunities for our in-country team leaders to take the lead. After language, comes technical competence and here the technical support team may come into action and typically, without the fluency of the sales training background, they are the voices which require lots of support from both content and delivery standpoints.
In media training, we share our perspective that setting up interviews is rather like a blind date. We may pitch the spokesperson for the ability to enthral a geek editor, or educate a trade publication on what is keeping their readers awake at night or the deep know-how on the regional and national landscape. Broadcast interviews require fluency and the ability to pivot and most of all, some info-tainment value – after all, anchors everywhere do not want their viewers to zone out. In assessing and analysing our spokespeople, we know what support is needed to make them shine and building leaders is all part of our mission.
Stay with us for Part 2 – Matching the voice to the medium.