CEO Activism: What We Have Learned So Far in 2017

I wanted to share this piece I wrote for Harvard Business Review on what we have learned about CEO and corporate activism so far. We’ve been consistently monitoring the dynamic of CEOs speaking out on some of the hot button issues of the day. In addition to the market research we have done, we analyzed corporate and CEO responses to each of the contentious issues in 2017, whether it was the travel ban, climate change withdrawal, Charlottesville, etc. It is important for companies to understand the patterns in how companies are responding in order to determine if they want to walk that tightrope or not. Here it is. Enjoy. The post CEO Activism: What We Have Learned So Far in 2017 appeared first on ReputationXchange.

Reconciling Hate

Well, I was relieved to see that the word “hate” had fewer mentions than “love” when I searched on Google. That might change over the next few days as people try to reconcile what happened in Charlottesville yesterday.  In our Civility in America study with Powell Tate and KRC Research, one of the key findings was that all this mounting incivility leads to intimidation and threats and violent behavior. Nearly 9 in 10 Americans said so. That’s nearly everyone. People know that the tenor in America is going in the wrong direction. When constructing the questionnaire, it never occurred to us that we should add “death” to the list of repercussions of incivility. Alas, the reputation of America continues to slide due to news like yesterday’s clashes, protests and injuries and I am appalled and saddened. When we conduct our next survey on civility in America sometime at the end of Continue reading "Reconciling Hate"

What CEOs Can Talk About when Activated

In our survey on CEO activism this year, we were curious as to which topics Americans thought appropriate for CEOs to talk about. Not every topic is ripe for CEO activism. The findings were interesting and track with what is most probably on people’s minds. Overall Americans are most likely to say CEOs and business leaders should talk about job and skills training (70%), equal pay (67%), healthcare coverage (62%) and maternity or paternity leave (61%). These subjects are all clearly business-related, and as we saw in the 2016 U.S. presidential election, job security is paramount to many. Jobs is the number one topic for most Americans. Americans are more divided on gender equality, with 48% saying leaders should publicly address this issue, while other issues — those that are arguably politically charged — are not deemed by the average American as public-platform issues: race relations (37%), climate change Continue reading "What CEOs Can Talk About when Activated"

CEO Activism in Millennials’ Eyes

As you know if you follow me, I am particularly intrigued by this newest strain of CEO visibility and engagement which has emerged and is rapidly evolving – CEO activism. We at Weber Shandwick along with KRC Research have been examining this phenomenon for some time now and producing original research on the topic. We just released our second survey among 1,021 Americans on their opinions on CEO activism which are especially interesting since they provide new insights on the Millennial generation. The newest survey demonstrates that overall sentiment about CEO activism has not changed much since we did our earlier survey one year ago. BUT Millennials, the most coveted demographic segment by employers and companies looking to sell more products/services are the generation that are most in favor of CEOs being proactive on hot-button societal issues. In size, Millennials have now surpassed Boomers so I’d say that their opinions Continue reading "CEO Activism in Millennials’ Eyes"

CEO Activism in Millennials’ Eyes

As you know if you follow me, I am particularly intrigued by this newest strain of CEO visibility and engagement which has emerged and is rapidly evolving – CEO activism. We at Weber Shandwick along with KRC Research have been examining this phenomenon for some time now and producing original research on the topic. We just released our second survey among 1,021 Americans on their opinions on CEO activism which are especially interesting since they provide new insights on the Millennial generation. The newest survey demonstrates that overall sentiment about CEO activism has not changed much since we did our earlier survey one year ago. BUT Millennials, the most coveted demographic segment by employers and companies looking to sell more products/services are the generation that are most in favor of CEOs being proactive on hot-button societal issues. In size, Millennials have now surpassed Boomers so I’d say that their opinions Continue reading "CEO Activism in Millennials’ Eyes"

CEO Activism in Millennials’ Eyes

As you know if you follow me, I am particularly intrigued by this newest strain of CEO visibility and engagement which has emerged and is rapidly evolving – CEO activism. We at Weber Shandwick along with KRC Research have been examining this phenomenon for some time now and producing original research on the topic. We just released our second survey among 1,021 Americans on their opinions on CEO activism which are especially interesting since they provide new insights on the Millennial generation. The newest survey demonstrates that overall sentiment about CEO activism has not changed much since we did our earlier survey one year ago. BUT Millennials, the most coveted demographic segment by employers and companies looking to sell more products/services are the generation that are most in favor of CEOs being proactive on hot-button societal issues. In size, Millennials have now surpassed Boomers so I’d say that their opinions Continue reading "CEO Activism in Millennials’ Eyes"

A radical kind of brand activism

There is always time for a first when it comes to CEO Activism. First we had the CEOs in opposition to the anti LGBT laws in 2016. Then we had CEOs against the Trump ban on immigration. Then we had the advertisers pulling ads from Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor, a favorite station of the president’s. And most recently some CEOs protested against the climate change withdrawal from the Paris Accord. All of these are part of an evolution of how business is being held accountable to corporate values and standing up for principles that are the foundation of corporate behavior. Then this week we saw the Reebok “flow chart” which criticizes President Trump’s comment about what great shape French President Macron’s wife is in during the presidential visit to Paris and Reebok jumps on this ill-advised statement to say that they take offense. After all Reebok is  all about the women’s fitness Continue reading "A radical kind of brand activism"