Public relations twins, Nicole and Suzie DeFosset, were recently duped or hoaxed in Sasha Baron Cohen’s new movie Bruno with a not so astute performance making public relations professionals cringe across the country. This come back to the age old question, is any and all publicity good for a company? The twins run their own PR firm in LA, do you think their appearance will hurt or grow their business? How do the twins make the public relations industry as a whole look? I know I certainly would not be jumping to hire them to represent and promote my company.

Fortunately at our Bruno and PR twin-less company meeting a few weeks ago, a major reoccurring theme that we repeatedly found ourselves coming back to was the importance of having the right people working for the company. It is no joke that with tighter budgets this year due to sales down, companies are relying more than ever on the integrity and strength of their corporate image. The right people working at your company and their interactions with the public promoting a strong company image should be your most prized assets and the lifeblood of your business in these tough economic times.

Jim Collins introduces the idea of “the right people” in his earlier book Good to Great: Why Some Companies Take the Leap…And Others Never Do and also returns to it in his later book How the Mighty Fall: And How Some Companies Never Give In that primarily guided our discussions in our meeting.

Collins uses these six characteristics to describe the right people who should be working at your company to further drive business and enhance the reputation of the company…

  • Fit the company’s core values: Do you hire employees hoping that they will change and adhere to the company values, or do they already possess these values? Netflix exemplifies this stating “real company values are the behaviors and skills we particularly value in fellow employees”
  • Do not need to be tightly managed
  • Understand that they do not have jobs but rather responsibilities
  • Fulfill their commitments
  • Are passionate about the company and its work
  • Display window and mirror maturity: they can reflect on their past accomplishments and setbacks, and learn from their successes and mistakes

Do you have the right people radiating positive PR for your company, rather than dull and unprofessional individuals that are hindering or ‘duping’ your company image?