3 Things You Should Know About Executive Quotes

If you’re a senior PR person, chances are you spend far too much time crafting quotes or interview language for senior executives.

It was the bane of my existence when I ran corp comm at big public companies. It wasn’t just the nature of the businesses in which I worked; we could have been announcing the invention of time travel, but drafting the quotes attributed to our CEOs always got the most attention.

Everyone had an opinion, so a committee would weigh in with language reflecting marketing strategy, customer concerns, and legal requirements.

Then came the leaders themselves, who were often utterly detached from the reality in which the quotes would be judged, let alone the process that developed them. Sometimes they’d insist on using particular words that they remembered or liked using, like declarations from internal presentations.

It almost always meant that quotes got longer, and more meandering.

I know, you’re probably shaking your head, especially if you just lived through another quarterly earnings announcement.

There’s no way a gaggle of execs would presume to, say, write legal briefs, or rearrange the numbers and columns on your company’s balance sheet. Yet there’s this accepted wisdom that anyone can do anything they want to an executive quote, and that everyone is equally qualified to do so.

Well, I can confidently tell you that most quotes stink; worse, they’re actually counter-productive to your communications goals.

Here are 3 things you, and your internal stakeholders, should know about executive quotes…

Read the entire essay at Linkedin