85% of CEOs trumpet rising influence of PR

NEW YORK: More than 85% of the nation’s chief executive officers believe that public relations will become more important in the next five years, according to a new study by PRWeek.

NEW YORK: More than 85% of the nation’s chief executive officers believe that public relations will become more important in the next five years, according to a new study by PRWeek.

NEW YORK: More than 85% of the nation’s chief executive officers

believe that public relations will become more important in the next

five years, according to a new study by PRWeek.



The PRWeek/Burson-Marsteller CEO Report 1999 - which polled 269 CEOs

from multi-billion dollar Fortune 500 companies to small- and

medium-size businesses with revenues of less than dollars 1 billion -

also revealed that 85.5% of CEOs believe that effective management of

corporate reputation affects stock performance. And in the largest

companies (those with revenues in excess of dollars 5 billion), nine out

of every 10 CEOs correlate a company’s reputation to the bottom line,

while 100% agree that PR will increasingly become more important.



CEOs are also taking the lead in hiring their top PR personnel, with 85%

of respondents now hand-picking their heads of corporate

communications.



The CEOs were also asked about the Internet and what impact it has in

managing corporate reputation. Not surprisingly, 65% of the CEOs from

smaller companies (under dollars 1 billion) believe the Internet has an

important role, while only 54% of CEOs from the larger ones (over

dollars 5 billion) believe in the importance of new media in reputation

management.



The CEO respondents were also asked to name their peers who most and

least skillfully managed the reputation of their companies over the last

12 months. The executives, who cast their votes prior to the recent

Microsoft court ruling, paradoxically cited Microsoft chief Bill Gates

as the CEO who did both the best and worst job at managing his company’s

image (see story, p.3).



’The anti-trust trial has damaged Microsoft’s reputation but not its

financial performance or market position, and CEOs envy both,’ said

PRWeek editor-in-chief Adam Leyland. ’Plus, several CEOs mentioned his

establishment of a billion-dollar charity trust and his appearances on

popular daytime shows.’



- Full Report and Analysis, p25.



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