When you hear the name “Steve Jobs”, “Warren Buffett” or “Bill Gates”, chances are you will immediately associate them with brands such as Apple, Berkshire Hathaway or Microsoft.

That’s because successful CEOs often become the “face” of the company and inseparable from the organisation they lead – for better or worse.

As a CEO, part of your job is to represent the interests of your organisation with key stakeholders, including media, shareholders and regulators.

The way you respond when something goes wrong, or how you communicate during a radio interview can have a direct impact on the reputation of your organisation, on morale among your staff, on how regulators respond and on how clients react. It can also impact your share price.

This is why CEO profiling can play an important role in helping an organisation deliver on its strategic objectives. But it must be done in a way that leverages the CEO’s professional and personal strengths and his or her vision for the company, while minimising potential negatives.

Building credibility

Building credibility for a CEO is a vital element to building confidence and managing the reputation of a business with key stakeholders, and smart leaders know and understand the power of proactive positioning.

Creating a lasting and positive reputation requires a profile that goes further than your immediate network, and building credibility will require open and often communication from the CEO to get the message to the people and influencers who matter the most. And the best way to do this is through the media.

The media are a powerful and influential platform to elevate a leader’s profile. As trust amongst business leaders continues to diminish, consumers are increasingly turning to the more authoritative sections of the media e as a trusted source for the truth.

Communication via traditional media serves as an authoritative positioning agent for message delivery and can provide the level of trusted credibility few other platforms can offer. CEOs should leverage this platform to communicate corporate performance and company narrative to key stakeholders to build trust and raise the company’s profile.

Social media

Social media is also an essential component to building trust and credibility, and for a leader, effective use of social media is a first-hand sign of transparency.

More than ever before, consumers are wanting to see company’s reasoning behind business decisions, thought leadership action, and inside looks at the company.

A recent Hootsuite survey showed 34 percent of listed company CEOs in Australia and New Zealand have no social media presence at all, and only 10 percent are active on social media.

This is probably because your CEO is busy running the business, but with 79 per cent of the country’s population active on social media- meaning your customers, employees, potential clients and shareholders- having your CEO present and active on social media puts you one step ahead.

Accessible, two-way platforms such as LinkedIn give company leaders greater ability to impart positive messages about their company and achievements, share insights on trends and have a voice on current issues impacting the industry, and importantly, reflect company values and demonstrate transparency.