Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Why Should Your CEO be a public figure?

Have you noticed that some CEOs talk to you and some hide?

It doesn’t matter why they do that. Because you and I will come to our own conclusions. Whether those conclusions are right or wrong doesn’t matter. If they are our conclusions we will believe they are right. If you are hiding – it must be for a reason.

So, why should the CEO of your organization be a public figure?

Because we trust more what we see. Look what Lee Iacocca did for Chrysler. Do you have any idea who is head of Chrysler today? Or GM or Ford? Bet you know who heads Microsoft or Dell.

The more we see the CEO the more likely we trust you and your organization.

So how can you make the CEO more public – and likeable?

Publish the name, bio and photo of your CEO on your website.

Provide contact information for the CEO on your website. The CEO doesn’t need to answer personally. Just provide the contact information and procedures on how to handle the correspondence.

The CEO should talk to staff regularly and, depending on the size of the company, in person, by email, video, teleconference or blog.

Ensure all staff knows the name of the CEO and authorize them to give out the name. (Yes I have called very big companies where the front line staff told me they are not allowed to give out that information.)

The CEO should be well trained in how to talk to the media. And the CEO should talk to the media whenever they call. The CEO should never respond with “No Comment”. The CEO should issue news releases regularly.

The CEO should speak at industry events as a speaker, panelist or topic expert.

Most importantly a good CEO should talk to customers – often.

The CEO should answer calls or correspondence from customers - both happy and unhappy. The CEO should periodically initiate conversation with customers.

Just imagine the power of customers exclaiming, “Wow the CEO talked to me”.

George Torok
Host of Business in Motion

How to make your CEO a better public speaker?
Visit Speech Coach for Executives

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