Building a Firm’s Communication Capital (part 2)

Speaking at Sorensen

Clear communication builds a firm’s communication capital (Photo credit: Waldo Jaquith)

CEO play an important role in successfully creating and managing the company’s online reputation. “As the face of the company, CEOs embody and express the company’s reputation, so it’s important they play an active role in defining and maintaining it,” says Don Sorensen, president of Big Blue Robot LLC, a recognized authority on online reputation management. Here are 12 things suggested by Sorensen that CEOs need to do and be involved with when managing the company’s corporate reputation:

1. Be very visible and vocal.
Sorensen first advises that CEO’s be very visible and vocal. “As the topmost representative of the business, a CEO’s name often becomes synonymous with the company’s. Being visible and vocal reinforces the connection and builds leadership,” advises Sorensen.

2. Use social media.
CEO’s involvement in social media helps with online reputation management and builds relationships with employees, partners, prospects, media, and others.

3. Become an industry leader.
Sorensen then suggests that CEO’s “publish or perish,” noting that the saying applies to executive and corporate reputations as much as academic ones. “Regularly publishing high-quality content about your industry, like innovations, research, and predictions, builds both the CEO’s and the company’s thought leadership and authority,” says Sorensen.

4. Be friendly and approachable.
Sorensen points out that CEOs are the human side of the business, suggesting the more open and friendly CEO’s are, the more approachable the company as a whole seems. It also helps attract better talent and publicity.

5. Maintain a strong executive reputation.
“Because the CEO’s reputation is tied so closely to the company’s, keeping a strong executive reputation is a must,” expresses Sorensen. “Your good name and the business’s good name build and reinforce each other.”

6. Encourage transparency and integrity.
The article then explains that openness and honesty are two critical factors influencing how a company is perceived, noting they especially affect a reputation as a trustworthy, credible business.

7. Champion the company values and vision.
“As the highest executive officer of the company, a big part of the CEO’s job is promoting and communicating the company values and vision,” adds Sorensen. “Embracing them is the most effective way to show what the business stands for.”

8. Foster improved communication.
Fostering improved communication is next on the recommended list. Better communication all around contributes to many benefits. Increased customer exposure to messaging is important, while improving internal communications builds a strong, loyal team.

9. Ask for feedback.
Sorensen advises that the company’s direction should be constantly evaluated and adjusted to make sure it delivers the most benefit, suggesting that asking for and acting on feedback helps maintain a good corporate image and executive reputation.

10. Turn employees into brand ambassadors.
The article recommends turning employees into brand ambassadors, pointing out that the CEO can only do so much to communicate the company’s values and boost the corporate reputation. Helping employees embrace the vision can substantially improve the business’s reputation and its bottom line.

11. Promote good governance and leadership.
“Actions speak louder than words, especially when they come from the highest level. Avoid unethical behaviors and strive to be the kind of leader you want your executive team, directors, and managers to be,” recommends Sorensen. “Your example and the resulting trickle-down effect will work wonders for everyone’s reputation and satisfaction.”

12. Always be innovating and generating ideas.
Sorensen concludes by saying, “CEOs who get too comfortable and who don’t keep up with changing times tend to have the shortest tenures. By always thinking ahead and being willing to adapt, you keep your job and build a robust company reputation.”

Source: Don Sorensen, Big Blue Robot LLC

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