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socialceos

socialceos

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Published by: Mashable on Oct 13, 2010
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08/09/2012

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SOCIALIZING
YOURCEO:
FROm (UN)SOCIAL TO SOCIAL
 
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This poor standing of CEOs is not just amatter of bruised egos. Improving CEOreputation is inextricably linked to improvedcompany reputation. Thus, as CEO reputa-tions improve, so do the reputations of theircompanies. As
New York Times
columnistand renowned author Thomas Friedmanwrote, “In this kind of world, leadership atevery level of government and businessmatters more than ever.”Most CEOs are acutely aware that their of-ces provide unique platforms from which tocommunicate not just internally, butexternally as well.No other businessleader can soreliably provideinformationabout a compa-ny’s prospects orpromote corpo-rate citizenry in away that will solikely be listenedto and actedupon by investors,employees, customers, regulators, mediaand others. According to Alan Miller, chair-man and CEO of Universal Health Services,“Stakeholders want to hear from businessleaders— in particular CEOs— on a regularbasis. They want to know what we’re think-ing, and not just about our own company,but about the larger industry we represent,the communities we serve, and the worldwe live in. We have a unique vantage pointin that we represent the broadest setof constituencies.”CEOs are aware of their differentiated “nar-rator” role. But this doesn’t mean that theyare taking full advantage of that opportunityor quite realize how anxious stakehold-ers are to hear from them— for example,previous Weber Shandwick research foundthat during the nancial crisis, 71% of U.S.employees wanted more communicationsfrom the top. In a world of 24/7 media,hyperlinks and 12-hour news cycles, nobetter spokesperson exists than the CEO.With 500 million people around the worldon Facebook and many people being rstintroduced to CEOs on YouTube, CEOsmust become more comfortable with all themedia options now available if they wish tobe heard and share points of view. Now isthe time for CEOs to take greater responsi-bility for openly and effectively communicat-ing if they wanttheir companies tobe listened to.Weber Shandwickis well known forits thought leader-ship services onCEO and corpo-rate reputationand how CEOsbest communicateinternally and ex-ternally. Over thepast several years,our rm’s researchhas highlighted the increasing importanceof executive communications in determining
T
he reputation of theCEO is in trouble.
 Amere 14% of Americanexecutives hold a positiveview of chief executives,according to a 2009 poll byWeber Shandwick with KRCResearch. Surely, the imageof CEOs among the generalpublic is even worse. 
What CEOs say or don’t say hastaken on added signicance. CEOsmust more actively narrate theircompany stories with an “inline”approach that taps into both onlineand oine channels. Leaders mustpurposely manage their corporateand social reputations.
 
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how companies and other institutions are perceived.More than eight in 10 global senior executives reportthat effective communications is critical to protectingreputation during a crisis. What CEOs say and don’tsay has taken on added signicance as businesscontinues to make news and drive word of mouth.The proliferation of new media channels, coupledwith the need for CEOs and other business leadersto make their companies relevant in an anti-businessclimate, prompted Weber Shandwick to take a deeplook at how leading global CEOs are engagingexternal stakeholders online and ofine. This studyexplores whether CEOs are taking advantage of thenewer social channels of communication or primarilysticking to the more traditional playbook of yearspast. We plan to use the learning as a benchmark fortrending CEOs’ socialization progress in the futureand as key global business events unfold.
“Stakeholders want to hear from business leaders— in particular CEOs— on aregular basis. They want to know what we’re thinking, and not just about ourown company, but about the larger industry we represent, the communitieswe serve, and the world we live in. We have a unique vantage point in that werepresent the broadest set of constituencies.”
1.
Identify best practices of your competition and best-in-class communicators. Then establish and stretch your owncomfort zone.
2.
Start with the fundamentals (e.g., videos or photos online).Inventory and aggregate existing CEO communications forrepurposing online.
3.
Learn story sharing. Craft a narrative that captures theattention of target audiences.
4.
Develop a C-suite social media strategy. Strategicallyselect social media outlets that t the company’s overallcommunications strategy.
5.
Simulate or test drive social media participation.Understand what you’re getting into before you go live.
6.
Accept the fact that Getting Social needs to be part of yourcorporate reputation management program.
Tweet-sized Tips for Getting Social

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