I’m humbled to be a #WeLeadComms honoree. Thanks to everyone who shared your love and support.
#WeLeadComms is an initiative Mike Klein started in March of 2021 to recognize the idea of “communication leadership”—the role of courage and initiative—as a driver of the work being done by communication professionals all over the world.
Now, let’s do some comms together.
LinkedIn is the channel of choice for CEOs engaging the public. But what are all those would-be “thought leaders” talking about on the platform? And are they successful? How should execs show up on LinkedIn? Wonder no more.
Kekst CNC’s CEO LinkedIn Tracker looks at prominent CEOs across the U.K., U.S., Germany, and Sweden. They evaluated 4,494 leaders’ posts in all of 2022 and present several ways to enhance executive profiles on LinkedIn.
Here are high-level takeaways that address questions about how to act, what to post, and how to approach editorial planning on the platform.
Personal stories and reflections drive greater engagement. Leaders should create their own voice on the platform, so they can be an effective corporate representative and an inspirational leader.
Sharing D&I stories beyond “awareness days” engages audiences. Map topics the leader is passionate about to what’s happening in the business.
Sustainability pretty much falls flat unless you link it to your business. (It’s the least-engaged topic.) Connect sustainability to innovation and achievements at the company.
Use images and don’t be afraid of long posts. (100% of the least-engaged posts were under 320 characters.) Use image carousels to gain favor with the algorithm.
Some other fascinating findings:
Information sharing doesn’t get traction. 100% of the least-engaged posts were simple re-shares of links. You need to add personal insights.
The majority (77%) of CEOs post about personal topics (see graphic above), which include writing about public appearances, office visits, personal travel, major global events, career and personal milestones, reflections, and awards.
100% of the most-engaged CEOs come from the finance and tech industries. Follow CEOs in that space to see how they do it.
Bottom line: If you want to elevate your exec’s presence on LinkedIn this year, Kekst CNC’s report is essential research.
Speaking of execs speaking in public…
38% of Americans say companies speak out too much on social issues (up 6 points from July 2022), according to a new report from Stagwell Inc.
Other key findings include:
Trending down: 37% of respondents say companies speak out the right amount (down 3 points from 2022), while 25% say they don’t speak out enough (down 3 points).
68% say that when companies voice their opinion on a social issue it’s a marketing ploy (up 12 points from 2022).
59% (up 5 points) say there is more risk than reward (41%) to a CEO speaking out on social issues.
Mister Editorial’s savvy readers know I have some thoughts—and a useful framework—on this topic. Indeed, it’s the fifth-most popular article I’ve published in the past three years.
✈️ Preparing an executive for a trip requires over-preparing. Pro tip: don’t forget your exec is human and needs downtime. (Pro Rhetoric)
🏆 Are recognition programs actually worth the time and effort? (Deloitte)
🏫 Introducing Staffbase Campus, an on-demand learning platform designed for employee comms pros. Collect all badges and certifications. (Staffbase)
📏 A paper in Public Relations Review says measurement and evaluation (M&E) in PR hasn’t changed in more than 50 years. “When M&E collectively is part of communication practice, evidence shows that reports continue to focus on outputs and algorithm-generated fake impact scores, rather than genuine outcomes and impact.”
—Noam Chomsky on the linguistic limitations of A.I.
The buzz around artificial intelligence (A.I.) will abate as the novelty wears off and the technology sneaks into our everyday experiences. I encourage comms pros to keep tabs on the evolution (and dangers and shortcomings) and dabble in the tech.
Here are some recent articles on the topic.
I’ve reported on the flawed ways Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai discusses bad news at his company, including telling employees to pay attention to the media to understand why the company needs to layoff employees.
Recently Pichai addressed employee concerns about how Google talks about layoffs and cost cutting measures. According to CNBC:
In responding to questions and comments submitted by employees, Pichai read one that said, “double speak is disrespectful and frustrating,” and “bad things happen, no need to make every bad thing sound like a miracle.”
Pichai said in response: “I agree with the sentiment here. The feedback is valid.”
“We should always strive to be as straightforward as possible,” Pichai said. “I think it’s important to understand at our scale, pretty much all communication are public in nature. You’re speaking to the world and there are many, many stakeholders and so at times, nuance is important and words can have a material impact and I think sometimes you see that reflected in some of the communications.”
I guess there could be worse town hall experiences.
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Disclaimer: Besides running Mister Editorial, I am the editor-in-chief of Digital Publications at Lam Research. The views in this newsletter are my own.
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