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A huge majority (81  % ) of executives report
that it is important for CEOs to have a visible
public profile for a company...
Insights & Trends 2
Internal, External
and Digital Presence
of the CEO Is
Becoming More and
More Important for
Corporate R...
Insights & Trends 3
Internal, External
and Digital Presence
of the CEO Is
Becoming More and
More Important for
Corporate R...
Insights & Trends 4
Internal, External
and Digital Presence
of the CEO Is
Becoming More and
More Important for
Corporate R...
Leading by
reputation
©2015, Corporate Excellence – Centre for Reputation Leadership
A foundation established by major com...
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Internal, External and Digital Presence of the CEO is becoming more and more important for Corporate Reputation

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The current age of hyper transparency requires more public presence of corporate managers. In today’s business world, some of the most valued behaviours include taking part in events, being accessible to the media and available in social networks, sharing new insights and trends, playing a visible role in society or featuring on the corporate video channel.

This document includes detailed percentages about different aspects that show the interdependence between CEO reputation, company reputation, and market value and it’s based on the research The CEO Reputation Premium: Gaining Advantage in the Engagement Era, carried out by Weber Shandwick, in partnership with KRC Research, who sought to quantify the value of CEO reputation and measure the importance of CEO engagement. They conducted a survey of more than 1 700 executives that worked in companies with revenues of $500 million or more and represented 19 countries around the world.

Besides, it explains what CEO’s attitudes are more valued, what activities CEOs should do and what are the core competences for a CEO to Gain a Good Reputation.

It also talks about the perceptions of the highest executive power depending on gender. However, apart from these small differences, the reputations of male and female CEOs contribute approximately the same levels to the market value of their firms.

It ends up with some suggestions to maximize CEO's public presence and benefit corporate reputation.

Document written by Corporate Excellence – Centre for Reputation Leadership, quoting the research The CEO Reputation Premium: Gaining Advantage in the Engagement Era prepared by Weber Shandwick in collaboration with KRC Research in in 19 countries around the world from surveys of more than 1 700 executives of companies invoicing 500 million USD or more and released on March 2015.

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Internal, External and Digital Presence of the CEO is becoming more and more important for Corporate Reputation

  1. 1. A huge majority (81  % ) of executives report that it is important for CEOs to have a visible public profile for a company to be highly regarded. Visible CEOs are more able to increase and improve the reputation of their company. Thus, they have to be present in the internal sphere with employees, in the external field with customers and shareholders, and in the digital realm with the society as a whole. All this is shown in the research The CEO Reputation Premium: Gaining Advantage in the Engagement Era, carried out by Weber Shandwick, in partnership with KRC Research, who sought to quantify the value of CEO reputation and measure the importance of CEO engagement. They conducted a survey of more than 1 700 executives that worked in companies with revenues of $500 million or more and represented 19 countries around the world. The research shows that 45 % of a company’s reputation and 44 % of a company’s market value is attributable to the reputation of the CEO. According to the report, the link between CEO and corporate reputation is far from fading, and half of the executives expect that CEO reputation will matter more to company reputation in the next few years. CEO engagement demands an active approach CEOs are increasingly required to be present actively (to watch and listen) rather than in a passive way (been seen and heard) and need to be able to build meaningful relationships with their audiences in all the different fields in which they participate: events, networks, media, forums, etc. Participation is specially valued at events outside CEO’s industry, as well as winning awards or taking responsibilities in external organizations. Regarding the social sphere, publicly taking positions on issues that affect society at large is something that Thecurrentageofhypertransparencyrequiresmorepublicpresenceofcorporatemanagers. In today’s business world, some of the most valued behaviours include taking part in events, being accessible to the media and available in social networks, sharing new insights and trends, playing a visible role in society or featuring on the corporate video channel. Strategy Documents I68/2015 Internal, External and Digital Presence of the CEO Is Becoming More and More Important for Corporate Reputation Reputation Insights & Trends Document written by Corporate Excellence – Centre for Reputation Leadership, quoting the research The CEO Reputation Premium: Gaining Advantage in the Engagement Era prepared by Weber Shandwick in collaboration with KRC Research in in 19 countries around the world from surveys of more than 1 700 executives of companies invoicing 500 million USD or more and released on March 2015.
  2. 2. Insights & Trends 2 Internal, External and Digital Presence of the CEO Is Becoming More and More Important for Corporate Reputation CEOs have to do. Highly regarded CEOs have a higher social media participation rate than the average CEO (24 % vs. 15 % , respectively), and are approximately three times as likely as CEOs with weak reputations to participate in social media (24  % vs. 7  % , respectively). Besides, winning awards and recognition both for the company or self also improves corporate reputation. The research shows that engagement activities need tobestrategicallyplannedandthoughtfullymanaged Important activities for CEOs to do Executives reported significant benefits that accrue from ‘ including attracting investors (87 %), positive media attention (83  %), and crisis protection (83 %). Strong CEO reputation also attracts (77 %) and retains (70 %) employees. In this regard, it is clear that the CEO’s reputation boosts and projects the reputation of the firm when it acts in favour of the company’s stakeholders. Company reputations are shaped by a variety of factors, with quality of products and services identified as the most important factor by 66 % of global executives. The least influential reputation driver is how the company is discussed in social media (40 % ). In between, we can find financial performance (57  % ), innovation (48  % ) and the internal dimension —workplace and working atmosphere— (42  % ). Further relevant factors to fully leverage all the upsides. When executives were asked whether CEO visibility positively or negatively impacts corporate reputation, an equal number said it improves reputation (41 %), or can either improve or harm reputation (41  %). Only 10 % of the respondents think that CEO visibility hurts a company’s reputation, but when it comes to taking a public stand on policy or political issues, executives are more likely to think that it is inappropriate for CEOs to take a public position than it is important (48 % vs. 36 %, respectively). are company industry (50  % ), company leader reputation (49  % ), what news media says about the company (45  % ), senior management team reputation (44  % ), awards and honours (39  % ), political or regulatory relationships (35  % ), country of headquarters (33 % ) and what is said about company in social media (32 % ). This data presents some variations depending on the industry. Consumer, technology, finance and healthcare companies are more driven by financial performance and the quality of their products and services. Corporate responsibility efforts and senior management team reputation are among the main drivers of reputation for healthcare companies; while finance companies are influenced by the media; finally, technology and science/engineering companies are driven by innovation. “CEOs or Managing Directors need to be able to build meaningful relationships with their key stakeholders” Figure 1: External visibility activities that are important for CEO´s to do Source: The CEO reputation Premium Speaks at industry or trade conference 76% Be accessible to the news media 71% Be visible on the company website 68% Share new insights and trends with the public 67% Be active in local community 64% Be visible on the corporate video channel 63% Speak at leadership events not specific to industry 60% Hold positions of leadership outside de company 53% Publicly take positions on issues that affect society at large 52% Participate in social media 43% Publicly take positions on policy and political issues 36%
  3. 3. Insights & Trends 3 Internal, External and Digital Presence of the CEO Is Becoming More and More Important for Corporate Reputation Core competences for a CEO to gain a good reputation According to the research, 69 % of the executives think that having a clear vision for the company is the most important skill to earn a good company reputation. Respondents described highly regarded CEOs as having a global business outlook (58 % ), being honest and ethical (55 % ) and decisive (55 % ), being a good communicator internally (54  % ), inspirational and motivational to others (51  % ) and having a customer-focused vision (51  % ). Participants also valued features such as caring that the company is a good place to work and being a good communicator externally (50 % in both cases). Perceptions of the highest executive power, depending on gender The survey shows that CEO’s reputation increases in 2 points corporate reputation when the chief executive officer is a man; however, it also shows that the company market value is 4 points higher for executives with female CEOs. In any case, apart from these small differences, the reputations of male and female CEOs contribute approximately the same levels to the market value of their firms. Regarding the different public platforms where it is necessary to strengthen positive perceptions towards the company by its key stakeholders, female CEOs are more willing to talk with the media (9 more points) and feel more comfortable doing so (+6 % ); they are also perceived as being more open and accessible (+5  % ); and participating more in social media (+5  % ). Data also suggests that female CEOs show slightly better communication and interpersonal skills, with so few women in the C-suite, it may be harder for the ones at the top to stay out of the spotlight so they have to reinforce these capacities and skills. Conclusion: guidelines to manage CEO reputation The report presented by Weber Shandwick and KRC Research contains useful tips and suggestions to maximize CEO’s public presence and benefit corporate reputation: “A clear vision for the company is one of the most valued skills to earn a good company reputation”» Figure 2: CEO reputation matters Source: The CEO Reputation Premium Global executives attribute The interdependence between CEO reputation, company reputation, and market value demonstrates that leadership is a resource worth investing in and cultivating of their company´s reputation to the reputation of their CEO. on average 45% Global executives attribute of their company´s market value to the reputation of their CEO. on average 44% of global executives expect that CEO reputation will matter more to company reputation in the next few years 50% 87% attracts investors 83% generates positive media attention 83% afford crisis protection 77% attracts new employees 70% retains current employees In addition to enhancing market value, a strong CEO reputation...
  4. 4. Insights & Trends 4 Internal, External and Digital Presence of the CEO Is Becoming More and More Important for Corporate Reputation 1. Assess the CEO’s reputational premium. Considering its impact on the reputation of the company and market value. At this point, it is important to determine your top executive’s strengths. 2. Develop the CEO’s “equity” statement. This defines what the CEO authentically and distinctively stands for and how that connects to the larger business goals of the company. It has to reflect his or her beliefs within the firm. 3. Identify and develop the CEO’s story on behalf of the company. Once the equity statement has been determined and developed, the CEO’s vision can be embedded in a compelling story that delineates the greater purpose behind the company. 4. Be an industry advocate. Industry is a leading driver of corporate reputation today, which means a successful CEO will help improving industry reputation by speaking at industry events and holding positions of leadership in industry organisations. 5. Leverage the bench. In developing a CEO’s platform, story, and communications plan, it is important to consider how other senior executives fit into the picture and can help validate the corporate narrative. 6. Bulk up on media training. Being accessible to the news media is one of the most important things a CEO can do to be externally visible. But the opportunity lies not just in being open to engaging with the news media, but in being adept at doing so, especially when your company is in the spotlight. 7. Evaluate CEO’s stance on public policy. CEOs should be cautious in taking any position. Also, it is essential that the causes are aligned with the corporate goals and the opinions of customers, employees and local communities. 8. Decide which venue is right for the CEO. First, it is necessary to understand which kind of activity is the best channel for communicating the CEO’s message. 9. Develop a solid social strategy. Share your story and listen to the needs and demands of your stakeholders; choose the right platform, minimise risk and control the conversation. 10. Keep reputation drivers at the top of your to-do list. Know your company’s strengths and weaknesses and have a measurement plan in place to track their performance. Include reputation drivers and metrics in your leadership dashboard. 11. Bolster CEO reputation among your own employees. Build trust by communicating plans for the company to show that the CEO understands the organisation’s best interests and is working to do the right thing for the company. 12. Don’t view CEO humility as a weakness. It is more and more considered as a desirable quality for CEOs. It is also a trait that the global media has tuned into after the crisis caused by excessive egos.
  5. 5. Leading by reputation ©2015, Corporate Excellence – Centre for Reputation Leadership A foundation established by major companies aiming to excel in the management of intangible assets and facilitate promotion of strong brands with a good reputation and a capacity to compete on the global markets. Our objective is to become the driving force, which would lead and consolidate professional reputation management as a strategic asset, fundamental for building value of companies around the world. Disclaimer This document is a property of Corporate Excellence – Centre for Reputation Leadership developed with an objective to share business knowledge about management of reputation, brand, communication, public affairs and non-financial metrics. This document is a property of Corporate Excellence – Centre for Reputation Leadership developed with an objective to share business knowledge about management of reputation, brand, communication, public affairs and non-financial metrics.

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