Insights
Does Every Company Needs A Spokesperson?

In newspapers, TV or magazines, very often we notice senior corporate executives or persons-in-charge delivering speeches or taking interviews on public occasions: this makes them spokespersons speaking on behalf of the company. The spokespersons of many large organizations have received media training, so that they are able to act competently when either handling external media enquires or internal communication with employees, and confidently turn complicated corporate information into accurate and clear key messages. Through this they help to deliver a positive image of the company.

 

Some people think that a spokesperson is mostly needed at the time of crisis. The fact is, spokespersons are very important for every company, regardless of whether it is for internal communication, corporate activity, or media interview. The company needs to choose the right person respective of their fields of expertise to give speeches or receive interviews for the different topics of interest. For instance, Allan Zeman, the Chairman of Board of Directors of Ocean Park Hong Kong, will give public speeches, receive interviews and give response on broad, strategic subjects such as Ocean Park's direction of development; yet for topics such as games and technologies, the Technical Director will take charge of the work.

 

Spokespersons must meet several basic requirements. Firstly, they need to be acquainted with the company's operations and directions so as to clearly express the agreed key messages. Secondly, an agile mind is important to tackle any unexpected direction of questioning. Finally, the spokespersons must have strong affinity, so as to make themselves more likeable to the public, thus enhancing company awareness and image. You only need to think of the familiar and outstanding spokespersons that include Barack Obama, Steve Jobs, Hong Kong's Stephan Chan and China mainland's Ma Yun.

 

Apart from all these basic qualities, a spokesperson's on-the-job training and prior PR preparations are also of great importance. A PR approach needs to grasp the background info of the target audience and the industry, and set the tone, the point of view and the content of the speech in accordance with different occasions and subjects. In addition a close awareness of the industry is key, as well as the political context, and latest social trends to ensure full preparation for any speech. Preparation approach needs to be thought through. Once before a press conference, a reporter caught photos of the spokesperson at an exhaustive Q&A rehearsal – the photo got widely spread with relish.
 

Considering all of the above, the spokesperson plays a crucial role - an outstanding spokesperson can significantly contribute to a company's image. The most important part for PR is the preparation for a customized speech for the spokesperson; only in this way will the company messages be properly and effectively delivered to the public through the media.

 

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