Weber Shandwick, in partnership with KRC Research, has released CEO Activism: Inside Comms & Marketing, the third report issued in the 2018 annual CEO Activism poll conducted by Weber Shandwick in partnership with KRC Research. CEO Activism in 2018: The Purposeful CEO focused on American consumer opinions about CEO activism, and CEO Activism in 2018: The Tech Effect focused on the perspectives of technology professionals in seven global markets. The latest research is a survey of communications and marketing executives in the US, UK and China and finds that CEO activism is squarely on the corporate agenda and reaps reputational rewards.
Half of communications and marketing executives (53 per cent) report their companies spend time discussing whether their CEO should speak out. Even more (59 per cent) report an increase in time spent discussing it compared to years past. Nearly half of communications and marketing executives report their CEO is prepared to speak out on issues.
Of those whose CEO has spoken out on hotly debated current issues, 67 per cent report the activism had a positive impact on company reputation. Only seven per cent report the reputational impact was negative. Even communications and marketing executives whose CEO has been publicly silent see potential positive impact on reputation: Half of those whose CEO has not spoken out on an issue (51 per cent) say their company’s reputation would have a moderate to big advantage if their CEO were to do so.
CEO Activism: Inside Comms and Marketing provides guiding principles when preparing for activism and deciding whether they should engage in current issues. View the report findings here and the infographic here.