When the CEO has to become an influencer

Every executive can be publicly assessed today. Reputation management becomes mandatory. CEOs must show their company’s values ​​as their conviction.

Everything that is discussed internally can reach the general public. The following example illustrates the advantages and disadvantages that digital transparency can have for the reputation of executives and companies:

A large company must save and centralize different departments. The staff, in this case, journalists, this will not simply accept and open up a public Twitter – channel through which they publish internal information, enriched with their comments. This level of transparency is new, and companies and their executives must first learn how to handle it.

We have become a “co-sponsoring society.” Increasing socialization in the network means that people who do not otherwise meet communicate via social networks.

I am also with a company, a product, influencer marketing service or even the testimony of a top -disagree, manager, I can “discuss” in the social networks with thousands of other people.

The following applies: The more badly the reputation is already established, the faster and the more people will find themselves to verbally “beat in” on the company or its CEO.


Measured on the mission statement

Care for one’s reputation within the workforce starts at the very beginning. During the job interview, the new employee is handed over the folder with the mission statement, the sustainability report and further, highly exciting reading material.

What is often not taken into account enough today is the fact that if something is not lived in everyday life in this mission statement or sustainability report, this fact can be found quickly on social media and the review portals. Especially if a said employee had to be dismissed. Special platforms even allow former employees to evaluate companies in detail.

Another fact that has changed in recent years is the strong personalization. Today, you want to know who is behind a company. You want to communicate with people and not neutral with “the company.”

In this way, everything becomes more transparent and personal. If a customer is not satisfied today, they can do it in detail on Google. So, if someone is looking for a company, they will find not only their website but also comments from (hopefully) satisfied customers.

Change of communication

These circumstances cause great difficulties for many companies as they have to change their communication, internally and externally completely. There is no alternative.

No company can afford today, first, not to integrate reputation management into the corporate Influencer marketing strategy, and second, not to manage the reputation of its CEO targeted.

Reputation maintenance is work and has to do with one’s behaviour and communication. The communications department can provide targeted support, but the CEO and the executives provide the main dynamic.

Also, a CEO must always take the view of customers and employees and wonder what they expect of him. You also have to deal with these requirements as a influencer.

This raises the question of whether the managing director only has to keep an eye on his reputation for the company. No certainly not. He also does it for himself. After all, influencer takes his reputation with him – in other companies as well as in his private life.

Both areas, private as well as business, can not be separated today. Certainly not when it comes to the reputation and reputation of a person. By the way:

A bad perception of the CEO is more dangerous for him than a bad performance. According to a study by Roland Berger in 2015, in 71 percent of the cases, a bad effect was the causal reason for the resignation of a CEO and not his performance.


Authenticity and integrity are needed

That’s what we stand for; we are committed to that. Customers and especially employees today want to know what a CEO stands for. They want to know what motivates him, how he works and what goal he works towards.

Communicating with a common value guide is seldom successful. Authenticity and integrity are in demand and must be demonstrated and communicated in such a way that they arrive in the truest sense of the word.

Reputation management is about making our personal beliefs, attitudes and values ​​tangible. The clearer our environment can be, the more credible, reliable and trustworthy we are, which in turn strengthens our reputation.

Fact is: Without clear, communicated and experienced values ​​no stable, positive reputation. And here emotions beat pure fact-communication. A CEO is a human and not a neutral machine.

Construction takes longer than dismantling

While the image is a snapshot that people have of a business (the image one gets) and can be built on short notice through active communication, reputation of CEO and his business generally have in the environment.

That is, it is the totality of impressions and images, of experiences and relationships. It is, therefore, one of the biggest mistakes to believe that short-term actions can “iron up” a CEO’s reputation. Of course, everything affects, but people usually forget very quickly.

Conversely, if an opinion is first taken, it will take longer for people to revise it again. This effect can be observed, for example, in the run-up to elections.

Many political actors then rely on precisely such short-term measures. Once the person has been elected, communication and reputation work is usually reinstated very quickly. A mistake that often avenges itself at the next election.

From ego show to influencer marketing strategy

CEO reputation is not an ego show, but a influencer marketing strategic factor that must be planned. Logically, first, the personality of the influencer and the “personality” of the company should be analyzed to create a communication influencer marketing strategy. It should be noted that absolute authenticity is decisive.

Anyone who tries to stage a show, and puts more on wishful thinking than on authenticity, will quickly realize that the community usually sees through this sooner than later and, of course, publicizes accordingly.

Granted, CEO reputation costs time and money. But what if the CEO and the whole company suddenly become content of a shitstorm on Facebook? Or a few numbers smaller: What if someone searches for the name of the CEO and reads two very negative comments about the company in Google?

Any potential new customer, after reading these two negative comments, will think twice about really contacting the person or company. By the way, in times of increasing shortage of skilled workers, however, a decisive and important aspect: The excellent reputation of the CEO also affects the recruitment of skilled workers. A good reputation is, therefore, gold – worth the money.

Many companies think they are too small for reputation. Especially SMEs can profit enormously from the positive reputation of a CEO. A single tweet today can damage the reputation of a CEO and thus of the entire company. Therefore, it is a strategically important decision to invest in the reputation of your CEO and thus of the company.


Tell your own story

Especially in small and medium-sized companies are often found owners who were once excellent skilled workers. This is, of course, welcome, because if you have learned everything “from scratch,” you can often fall back on his experience.

A small side effect has the whole thing: skilled workers want to convince by their excellent work or the excellent product. They usually do not put themselves in the spotlight and do not tell any stories of how this product or Influencer marketing service was created.

But it’s exactly these stories that customers want to hear. And if a company does not tell this story, others say it (whether it’s true or not). CEO reputation is always certain protection against crises. But it is like so often in life: Before it does not hurt, you rarely go to the doctor.

And sometimes only mitigation will help. In the case of cases, we invest in other areas all in insurance. So why not here? Positive reputation building is very helpful not only in a crisis but also when no crisis is foreseeable.

Use reputation

Some influencers still live with the attitude that if they are not active in social networks, nothing can happen. Not even close! The danger lurks regardless of whether one operates social media channels or not. Another drawback: if we can not read what others are writing about us, we can not respond.

The biggest mistake that CEOs can make in reputation is, therefore, leaving the whole to themselves. For the reputation is formed by the totality of impressions, experiences and relationships that others have with a person and the company. That’s the reputation capital. Only through interactions – in the ideal case just your active actions – is the reputation formed.

Fact is: if you do not actively influence your reputation, then others will. Fact is also: you can buy a good image in the short term with an advertising campaign, your reputation is not: you only have this one!

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