CEO communication

Successful CEO communication has an immense impact on corporate culture and image and, therefore, an organisation’s success, especially during times of change and disruptive transformation.

Alone at the top – between the board of directors, investors and management team.

In most cases, a CEO already works with an internal communications team that produces target group-oriented, SEO-optimised and AI-based content for you.

We act as your trusted sparring partner, advising you on how you can implement these corporate communication topics most effectively with the appropriate emotionality and empathy. We take a detailed look at your challenges, weaknesses, strengths and personal goals.

CEO communication in the digital transformation

The disruptive nature of digital transformation has an impact on the structure, strategy and culture of companies. The successful implementation of a transformation is linked to the success of authentic, targeted CEO communication.

A CEO is the voice and face of a company and has the power to build and strengthen a corporate brand and manage both the transformation of the company and its reputation in the event of a crisis through the targeted choice of words and empathetic and authentic communication.

CEOs should react in times of transformation by focusing on the fundamentals and purpose of their company, i.e. the essentials: Storytelling.

Storytelling has the remarkable ability to connect people and inspire them to act. So if your organisation needs to undergo a structural, cultural or other significant change, CEO stories not only help to communicate why this change is necessary, but also what the future of the organisation will look like in concrete terms. Storytelling is the foundation for compelling communications.

Our CEO communications consultancy is explicitly focused on the personal needs and challenges of a CEO.

We work behind the scenes, offer advice and support and help CEOs to master challenges communicatively. We help you to deal with negative emotions and remain calm in difficult circumstances and stressful situations. We show you how to react and communicate empathetically in order to strengthen your position and thus your personal brand.

We are always available to you as a dialogue partner. Our trusted role is that of a dedicated counsellor and listener, offering practical communication solutions for every area of your career.

CEO Communication Challenges of a CEO

CEOs are essential in creating companies with strong brands that enjoy positive recognition. They are the voice and the face of a company.

A CEO’s communications strategy is business-critical and growing in importance.

Successful, visionary CEOs tend to have exceptional facilitation, communication, and technology skills.

External communications material is scrutinised by numerous stakeholders: customers, business analysts, the media, citizens, employees, shareholders (if a listed company), government representatives, etc.

These stakeholders expect CEOs to discuss other topics besides business-related issues, for example, corporate social responsibility and corporate political activism. This is known as growing CEO activism.

CEOs are also Chief Reputation Officers and brand managers!

Effective CEO communication is critical for a company. It is the supreme discipline of corporate communications since the CEO is the company’s voice and face. The prominence of a CEO has an amplifying effect on a company’s image. CEO communication, therefore, requires a great deal of sensitivity, empathy and strong communication skills. It requires the ability to communicate effectively and strategically.

Communicating strategically means that a CEO consistently reinforces essential messages with their communication. Effective communication means that all stakeholders understand it and that it has a positive impact on a company’s brand.

CEO communication is essential at all times. Be it in good times or in times of concern, crisis and conflict, communication is vital.

Speaking for a company depends on the CEO’s personality. A CEO must be able to talk about what the business does in a way that connects and engages with employees. (Storytelling)

A CEO became the CEO for a reason. Employees believe in who they are and what they stand for. Even in the most challenging circumstances, CEOs must have confidence in their character when talking to people. Communicating is essential at all times, but it is vital in times of crisis, conflict, and concern.

CEO communication is important externally (customers, investors, the public) and internally (employees, teams, supervisory board, business partners), building the company’s culture.

A company culture is built from the top down. This requires a clear CEO communication strategy consisting of:

  • a CEO’s clear vision and mission with a long-term perspective.
  • openness, honesty and transparency.
  • Constant dialogues between CEOs and employees will build trust. Having culture talks with senior leaders will strengthen confidence. Find the right balance in communicating just enough. Talking too much can lead stakeholders to question what else a CEO is doing. Not talking enough leaves a silence that stakeholders will fill for themselves. Rumors are counterproductive for building a solid company culture.
  • uniform and consistent CEO communication across all channels, such as town hall meetings, public speaking engagements, social media channels, newsletters and blogs.

The CEO should facilitate discussions through humility, vulnerability and openness while utilizing the brainpower in the room, allowing senior leadership to weigh in on conversations. (Source: Forbes)

CEO activism increases

CEOs no longer act solely as managing directors but address social issues by communicating on social media channels or at speaker events. CEO activism is playing an increasing role in brand building. It can be an effective tool for companies to demonstrate their commitment to social responsibility, engage stakeholders and drive positive societal change. However, it also requires careful consideration of the potential risks and implications for the company’s stakeholders and business operations.

CEOs take public stances on social, political and environmental issues. Consumers increasingly expect companies to take a stand on environmental and social issues. CEO activism can help shape a company’s brand image by demonstrating its commitment to values beyond profit.

  • Visibility and influence: when CEOs speak out on important issues, their words and opinions can reach a broad audience and carry weight. Depending on how well the CEO is known, this can help stimulate public discourse on important topics.
  • Attracting the right talent: employees want to work for companies that share their values and take a stand on important, ESG-focused issues.
  • Attracting investors: investors increasingly consider environmental, social and governance (ESG) factors when making investment decisions. CEO activism can signal to investors that a company is committed to responsible business practices, which can positively impact its financial performance.

Social CEO: The rise of digitalisation and the proliferation of channels and platforms
have enabled stakeholder groups to be more active and engaged. They ask for active dialogue – especially on social media. This can be a challenge and an excellent opportunity for CEOs to connect.

Interpersonal relations between CEOs and journalists
can influence the content of journalists’ reports about their company. Top executives can actively influence their company’s reputation by engaging with journalists. We guide you and provide media training.

Authentic and straightforward internal communications are increasingly important to build and maintain loyalty. Successful CEOs are usually very straightforward in how they communicate. They can listen, provide feedback and ask for it in return. We advise you on the implementation.

Most CEOs are also under increasing pressure from the Executive Board to deliver results.

Successful CEOs adhere to a ‘no surprises’ communications rule with their board members by practising open and transparent communication.

We provide you with confidential advice on overcoming communication challenges.