The Press business section yesterday had two articles about prominent local companies, Spartan and Perrigo. They did not mention PR at all, but I was thinking about how much PR played a role in both cases.
With regard to Spartan, the story is about the success of their stock under a new CEO. Good story. But how much of the credit goes not only to the CEO, but to the Investor Relations (PR) efforts of Spartan staff or a PR agency? Certainly stocks move on the basis of confidence in management and corporate performance, which is under the influence of a CEO. But how does that message and reputation get to investors, analysts, and media? Spartan has a good investor relations section on its Web site maintained by Jeanne Norcross. The general public does not understand this aspect of PR.
As for Perrigo, here's a company in mostly rural Allegan kickin' some business butt overseas. Here too, the CEO is appropriately the lead in the story. But was PR playing a role here too? Could be Perrigo PR staff is quietly at work behind the scenes, or a major firm with offices in Shanghai and other global hubs helps the generic drug producer. But clearly, there has to be relationship building with foreign governments, manufacturers, distributors and the end market. Who is running that show? Perrigo also has a nice Web site with sections for various publics. Here again, there's a well-managed PR effort for the company that lots of folks don't equate with PR.
Such is the nature of our business to work hard and gain satisfaction when the CEO gets good press.