If you’re an executive with big aspirations for your professional reputation, you might be feeling a little lost with how to get started.
There are plenty of ways to start growing your influence: you can go it alone, you can hire a ghostwriter, or you can work with a PR agency.
Depending on your aspirations, plans, and ways of working, each method has its merits. We’ve written this article to give you a more detailed view of your choices and (we hope) make the decision a little easier.
We’ll break down the merits and challenges that come with each option and share a comparison table at the end.
Ready to do it?
Working with a PR agency for reputation development
Your company may well be working with a PR agency already, so you should be pretty clued up about what it’s like to work with one.
You have a team of PRs on your account, handling a variety of comms. That could be gaining news coverage, writing content, or sourcing media opportunities.
They’re a huge benefit for raising a company’s reputation and they can provide similar services for individuals.
- Dedicated media buying and outreach teams.
- Growth in ‘earned’ channels (news and other media).
- Wide-ranging and long-established relationships with journalists and advertisers.
- There are layers of management that keep you away from having a direct line of feedback and input on your work. Lots of business ‘translation’ work required.
- Not all PR agencies offer a ghostwriting service and those that do almost certainly outsource the work to a freelancer/third party.
- You’re likely being charged a premium for outsourced work. Every agency does it.
If you’re looking to get on national news ASAP, work with a PR agency. (No guarantees, but they’re better placed to make it happen than a ghostwriter or you on your own.) Just be aware that you’re likely going to be paying a premium for a generalised skillset and divided attention.
Working with a ghostwriter for personal PR
Ghostwriters are specialists in their fields. Not only are they excellent at writing quality content for digital channels, they’re also experienced in adopting different voices and personalities.
As a result, working with a ghostwriter means you, effectively, have a second voice—a perfect mimic that can speak for you accurately and excitingly.
You get to work with a highly skilled, vastly experienced writer who’s well-versed in learning about new clients and industries and quickly creating great content that feels like a perfect fit.
- Best-in-class writing ability, with a deep understanding of the nuances of different mediums and platforms.
- A close working relationship, in which you have a clear line of contact and creative direction.
- Peace of mind that your digital footprint is being managed responsibly and with expertise.
- As specialists in their field, ghostwriters are less equipped to perform some of the tasks a PR agency might (e.g. connecting you with journalists)
- You need to feel that your ghostwriter is trustworthy and will do a good job of representing you.
- Ghostwriters may have less availability than agencies, as their services are often in demand.
Working with a ghostwriter gets you closer to the work, and the work closer to you. This is the best choice if you’re focused on making a lasting impact and growing your reputation sustainably, as ghostwriters have the experience and track record to make it achievable.
There are some drawbacks, largely around availability and resources, but the positives are persuasive. And, yes, it’s worth noting that we have some bias here.
There’s always the chance that the ghostwriter you choose turns out to be the wrong one for you. This is totally understandable, but shouldn’t put you off—the right writer is out there for you. They’re probably part of CEO Ghostwriter, now that you mention it.
Doing your own content writing
The beautiful thing about growing your presence online is that the only person who can stop you is yourself. You’re entirely within your rights and ability to start sharing content on social media and in longer-form writing.
This is the beauty of digital spaces—anybody can start sharing their thoughts online. It’s also the big problem, as there’s no shortage of rubbish content out there that people are only too happy to scroll past.
Some executives can do it all themselves, but they’re few and far between—in our experience. We always love working with executives who have experience in writing content consistently, as they have an understanding of their audience as well as an appreciation for the complexity of this work!
- You can start straight away, with little financial investment.
- You get the truest representation of your thoughts and experience.
- The sense of progress and achievement will feel all the sweeter, knowing that you did it yourself.
- It’s going to eat into a lot of your time.
- You might not enjoy it and you might not be able to write in a way that does justice to your views and experiences.
- As is the case with all of these options, there’s no guarantee of success. That being said, professional PRs and writers are better equipped (and experienced) to make it possible.
The DIY option is valid but, for whatever you save financially, you’ll pay for in time (and, quite possibly, stress).
Going it alone and starting your personal PR with a DIY approach can be a great way to test the waters and get a few quick wins. Long-term, it really depends on your skill, time, and commitment. That’s when it starts getting tricky, as you have a lot of demands on your time as it is.
It’s got its merits, but it isn’t always a great fit.
Comparing the options, benefits, and use cases
For media opportunities and connections
Choose a PR agency.
For easy collaboration and the highest quality work
Choose a ghostwriter.
For affordability and creative direction
Choose to DIY.
Final thoughts and your next steps
Ultimately, it depends on your needs and aspirations. (Yes, it’s the boring nuanced answer!)
A ghostwriter will use their specialist skills and expertise to build your profile online and on ‘owned’ channels (e.g. your social media, website, or newsletter).
A PR agency will help to raise your profile in ‘earned’ channels. If they offer a ghostwriting service, it’s almost certain that they’re outsourcing to a freelance writer—and marking up their services at a higher rate.
And doing it yourself can be rewarding but time-consuming, with no guarantee of quality or success.
If you feel like a ghostwriter is the right choice for you, then send us a message! And if you think the other options sound better but you have some more questions, feel free to reach out to us too.