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 critical information, credibility gains a considerable upswing when the news comes from the CEO directly. While some CEOs take to Twitter and other social media platforms to get their message across, an excellent 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. The human brain is geared to process visuals faster than text, and videos are crucial for establishing trust. More than text, when people see a face, talking to them through a screen, they trust it more. 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 crucial at this point in the world.
According to leadership development research, only 20% admit that the CEOs share the challenges faced by the organisation. Thus, video communication CEOs also communicate the message that the organisation is transparent and authentic. 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 Forrester research, one minute of video is the equivalent of 1.8 million words. Videos overall make a more significant impact than press releases or blog posts. They also help strengthen the brand and connect the face with the name, and more importantly, when the CEO speaks, they are telling their story in their own words. When the CEO is talking, there’s a broader audience reach simply because of the level of gravitas implied.
How to maximize video impact?
Leaders can show they are strong and capable by doing a live-streaming session instead of airing a scripted video. Live videos are interactive and allow the audience to ask questions directly. They are also more credible while simultaneously creating a close connection between the CEO and the audience, bringing a sort of intimacy to the moment, which helps strengthen the company brand.
It’s not enough to rely on videos to communicate the message. Amplifying them across various social media platforms and channels increases visibility. At the same time, given the volatile nature of social media, it’s also good to use a platform 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 they can share on their platforms to multiply the post’s reach.
Points to remember
A good communication or PR team can ensure that CEOs are trained to communicate effectively and ensure the message is conveyed appropriately. 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 appears before a live-streaming audience because the situation is unpredictable or volatile.
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 bears, 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 and rely on them. Being connected to them through video is a definite step in that direction.