PARIS: Edelman has launched a service to help clients position their top executives in a relevant and credible way.
The global executive positioning offering, led by Paris-based Justin Blake, has been in development since last November.
Blake is serving as global lead of executive positioning. He was previously MD of Edelman's corporate and public affairs division in New York since September 2008. Edelman will not hire new staffers to work on the service, but will draw from its executives in various practices.
“We're bringing together the global expertise of multiple individuals across Edelman, who, for example, have gone to [the World Economic Forum in] Davos for years, who have been reporters for the Financial Times or Wall Street Journal, who have written speeches for seven of the Fortune 10, and who have counseled CEOs, political leaders, NGO heads, and university presidents,” explained Blake.
He said Edelman will also advise executives “to transcend their own organizational messaging and speak to industry-wide and sometimes societal topics to be more broadly relevant.”
“There's no canned approach to this, so what we do in our work is really focus on the people themselves,” he explained. “This type of work fails if it doesn't account for the specific orientation and skills of the executive delivering the platforms and messages.”
The 2012 version of the Edelman Trust Barometer found that only 38% of respondents found CEOs credible, down from 50% in the prior year, so “there is clearly a need to improve how top executives are speaking to the audiences that matter most,” said Blake. He added that the firm has conducted executive positioning work for a long time, but it hadn't formalized the service until now.
Edelman launched a CEO transition offering last November.