How does your CEO compare?

December 12, 2016

By: Betsy Borrelli

How do CEOs communicate compared to their peers? Our own Betsy Borrelli describes our just released Q3 report.

As CEOs increase their public profile, how do they communicate compared to their peers and CEOs in other sectors? What are they – or what could they be – talking about beyond earnings to positively impact stakeholder relationships and business goals?

To find out, we’ve been actively studying the visibility, public statements, topics and communications vehicles of 30 influential U.S. CEOs. We’ve just released our Q3 2016 report.

Did you know that technology CEOs speak about the widest variety of topics?  That finance CEOs are becoming a lot more active in communications? That healthcare CEOs speak the least? That there’s a lot more thought leadership being communicated in the manufacturing industry compared to other sectors? This was also the first quarter this year where CEO social media communication surpassed traditional media coverage.

Key findings from the Q3 2016 report include:

  • CEOs are beginning to comment on a wider variety of topics. In past quarters, earnings were the number one topic in every sector. It only remains the top topic of the healthcare sector.
  • For the first time this year, manufacturing CEOs have passed technology CEOs in terms of communications volume. This is due to the growing trend of technology and thought leadership in the manufacturing industry on topics such as autonomous vehicles and women in the workplace.
  • For the first time this year, social media surpassed traditional media as the primary media type with a 23 percent increase in CEO social conversation. This is largely driven by the tech and manufacturing sectors.
  • Social media remains the primary platform for a wider variety of topics including CSR and thought leadership discussions. Traditional media is more traditionally focused on earnings and products but is beginning to see expansion into more non-traditional topics and industry trends.

This report is an ongoing initiative of FleishmanHillard to identify dominant language, messaging, positioning and best practices to collect valuable insights that can be used to inform communications strategy and identify trends and opportunities for CEOs. The report provides a quarterly update on the overall conversation by CEOs as well as a breakdown across individual CEOs across five business sectors: Technology, Financial Services, Healthcare, Manufacturing, and Consumer Goods and Services.

Click here to access the report.

Betsy Borrelli is senior vice president and partner of New York’s Reputation Management practice. You can reach her at elizabeth.borrelli@fleishman.com for more information.