The CEO is the public face of a company and people have certain expectations whenever they communicate any message with the rest of the world. Although companies rely on their PR department to convey important information, credibility gains a huge upswing when the message comes from the CEO directly. While some CEOs take to Twitter and other social media platforms to get their message across, a good way to connect with the audience, especially the stakeholders is through video communication.
In the last couple of years, more and more people have taken to the audio-video form of media. More than text, when people see a face, talking to them through a screen, they trust it more. The human brain is geared to process visuals faster than text and videos are crucial for establishing trust. A video message from a CEO helps to humanise the organisation and makes them more relatable. It also fosters an emotional connection and helps demonstrate empathy, which is very crucial at this point of time in the world.
According to a leadership development research, only 20% admit that the CEOs share the challenges faced by the organisation. Thus, CEOs who use video communication also send out the message that the organisation is transparent and authentic. Regardless of whether there is a crisis or not, when CEOs talk directly through the screen to their stakeholders, it makes the organisation look resilient and on its feet and everyone is in this together.
According to a Forrester research, one minute of video is the equivalent of 1.8 million words. Videos overall make a greater impact than press releases or blog posts and when the CEO is doing the talking, there’s a wider audience reach simply because of the level of gravitas that’s implied. They also help in strengthening the brand and connecting the face with the name, and more importantly, when the CEO speaks, they are telling their story in their own words.
How to maximise video impact?
Leaders can show that they are strong and capable by opting to do a live streaming session instead of airing a scripted video. Live videos are interactive and offer the audience a chance to ask questions directly. They are also more credible while at the same time, create a close connection between the CEO and the audience, bringing a sort of intimacy to the moment which helps in strengthening the company brand.
It’s not enough to rely on just videos to get the message across. Amplifying them across various social media platforms and channels ensures that visibility is increased. At the same time, given the volatile nature of social media, it’s also good to use a platform that you own, such as your company website, as the base. Encourage your audience to share the video by creating a ready toolkit with hashtags and links or a graphic that they can share in their platforms to multiply the reach of the post.
Points to remember
Not everyone is a natural before the camera, so organisational leaders require media training to engender confidence and ensure that nothing untoward happens. This becomes especially crucial if the CEO is appearing before a live-streaming audience because the situation is unpredictable or volatile. A good communication or PR team can ensure that CEOs are trained so that they can communicate effectively and make sure the message is conveyed appropriately.
It’s also important to be consistent with your messaging. A good way of doing this would be by taking a thematic approach when making the videos. CEOs can use their platform to talk about specific events, industry trends and takes, and create a thought leadership scenario or even talk to other people in the industry so that the audience and the stakeholders know what to expect when they listen to them.
Over the years, a CEO’s role has evolved and redefined to go beyond the scope of their work within the organisation to create an ecosystem where stakeholders trust them and rely on them. Being connected to them through video is a definite step in that direction.