Social CEOs

December 04, 2010

Social CEOs

Since we at Weber Shandwick did that analysis on socializing CEOs and how to turn CEOs from (UN)social to social, I’ve been fascinated by the increasing examples that are popping up. In the December issue of HBR, there is a very good piece on Best Buy CEO’s Brian Dunn and his experience in the digital space. The article starts out with an attention-getting example of how someone hijacked his Twitter handle and wrote “I’ve been having a lot of great sex lately, and here’s why.” The link attached to it was for a Viaga-like pill. (Lesson Learned: Regularly change your password)
Dunn explains his sticking with social media and the many benefits. Here are a few reasons he enjoys being a social CEO.

  • Provides the opportunity to interact directly with customers and employees
  • Provides insights into trends and news
  • It is not just a trend or fad that will fade away
  • Lets people know what the CEO is thinking about (from store visits or customers he meets)

Then he says it all: “I like how posting about these things allows us all to be humanized a little bit.”  Being social, even for a limited amount of time or on one platform such as Facebook, gives CEOs or other executives some personality and humanity.

Like everything new, it is easier to find reasons not to. But there are many reasons to join the digital conversation, if only to  insure that you and your company are in the conversation and where your customers are hanging out. I agree it is not for every CEO but wade in and give it a try.

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of corporate and CEO reputations.

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