The role a CEO plays in the reputation of a business is important, but for a CEO, communication is not always a clear and easy path to follow. Here lies a paradox that needs to be resolved. On the one hand, a CEO needs to project a positive and energetic image of the direction the business is taking, but can’t become too detached from reality, as it might otherwise cause confusion among employees and stakeholders. On the other hand, admitting that goals are not being reached can cause pessimism and get people to lose trust in the organisation. There is a fine balance that needs to be struck. If the CEO isn't transparent about the current state of the business and the challenges ahead, then who will be?
So should CEOs focus on the challenges and projects that didn't go as planned, or should they stay very positive in their communication? The answer is both. It's about carving out an angle on a topic that provides answers to problems, showing the resilience of the business while not ignoring issues.
Now, communication is a broad notion; it can be directed internally, it can be addressed to shareholders and also, perhaps the trickiest of all, addressed to partners and sales. Why do I say 'sales is the trickiest'? Because the point of your message to a crowd of prospects, leads, and potential new partners isn't about what you believe, but what your audience believes. You need to put yourself in their shoes, consider their struggles and concerns, and manage to provide solutions that fit their needs.
Before your CEO gets to bring a message to an audience, your business needs to spot the right opportunities. By using the data of a Weber Schandwick report, we've highlighted the best occasions to do exactly that. Read more about it in our guide on 'Should your CEO be included in your communication?' Fill in the form and download it below.