Personnel Is Public Relations


CNN’s interim leadership team announced sweeping line-up changes Monday morning that align with the network’s historic brand promise of straight news and seem to reward hard-working team players with merit based promotion.

After a rocky year under the leadership of Connecticut native Chris Licht Monday’s announcement can only be viewed as a win for those journalists inside CNN who have been complaining of low morale, distant leadership, and questionable standards.

From a public relations point of view the announcements speak volumes:

  • The headshots of the new prime time lineup feature four women and one man
  • Other changes announced Monday also signal a commitment to diversity
  • Nearly everyone promoted is a long-time reporter or contributor who it can fairly be said have worked their way up the CNN ladder
  • Other veterans of CNN were rewarded for their dedication to the company, including Christiane Amanpour, who notably spoke out publicly and privately following the controversial town hall show with Donald Trump earlier this year

Often public relations is about listening to what the public is telling you and giving the public what it is asking for. It’s that simple. It’s the same when it comes to personnel. What do the people who actually do the work think about the direction of the company? Listen to what they have to say and follow their lead. In a public facing company like CNN, personnel changes are unavoidably linked to the company’s public reputation.

It appears CNN’s interim leadership team has listened well on both scores and it would not be surprising if the word “interim” is dropped from their current titles soon.

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