How CEOs Should Communicate Strategy Via Public Relations
Rolled up their sleeves, put on an open but serious facial expression, the messages brief and official: This is how CEOs are on the social web today. Although this is a new step in corporate communication, it often has nothing to do with the demands of networks.
The fear of an Internet misstep still dominates many communication departments. You definitely want to keep the management on the safe ground so as not to risk that.
The result: terse content that does not convey much of the personality and usually offers no added value. A message from the CEO could be very interesting for users, interested parties, and media contacts.
However, the time has come for a new way of strategic communication for CEOs on the web.
Reveal Something Instead Of Hiding Out Content
Many Corporate employees cringe at the thought of the CEO's best way of communicating content, such as strategic considerations in moving images on the Internet.
But the times for memorized content that went through countless approval loops are over. Nobody wants to read or hear that anymore. They don't take it seriously anymore. It is time for press officers to advise their CEOs properly and leverage the weight of their role in online and offline communication.
"It is important that CEOs no longer keep company strategies so secretive," Ditlev Engel, former CEO of Vestas, told the Wall Street Journal. "It should be made transparent what is good, what is not so good, and where it is going - the internet can bring people around the world closer to the company."
More Clout for Messages Through A Social CEO
A study by Weber Shandwick on the social CEO shows that companies whose CEO shows a good presence on the Internet can score points with their own employees, customers, and investors.
This study also shows that 32% perceive CEO comments in social networks as more credible by executives than CEO quotes in offline media (24%).
When communicating strategic statements on the social web. However, the given environmental conditions must be considered:
Rolling up your sleeves is good, but only if the "tackle mentality" associated with it comes across honestly. For this purpose, the "executive hat" should be left in the closet, and the "This is how I am as a person" approach should be used.
Communication shouldn't be boring and top-down but rather inspiring. The CEO should describe progress and describe new opportunities - in a way that signals their importance.
The Internet also listens to a charismatic CEO when contexts are explained and the validity of notable decisions is presented. This should go hand in hand with openness and a call for dialogue.
An investment in social media training can help here. Besides, the value should be placed on a multimedia-competent team that is familiar with current trends. They should be mentally flexible enough to produce multimedia press content and design concepts for online communication that the CEO can present the most unexpected context.