With the subject of bad bosses - from Harvey Weinstein to Travis Kalanick - dominating the headlines in 2017, it was fitting that one of the first EACD events of 2018 asked how communicators should manage their CEO’s personal brand on social platforms, along with the personal brands of other employees. To answer these questions, I invited Tomaso Giusti, senior solution consultant at Linkedin, and Marco D’Angelo, business development and marketing director at BonelliErede, to take part in this EACD regional event at the offices of LinkedIn in Milan on January 24.
It’s not only social CEOs that need to be managed: as we discussed in the event, companies that encourage their employees to be active presences on social media are more able to attract top talent.
Companies active on social media are 58% more likely to attract top talent, heard participants at the EACD regional event on Personal Branding for Leaders at @LinkedIn in Milan. Thank you for your insights @tomasogiusti Marco D'Angelo of #BonelliErede and @twitmarcomagli pic.twitter.com/POSzLWvY7L
— EACD (@eacdonline) January 26, 2018
However, two stand-out points raised in the event focussed on the sensitive matter of managing your CEOs presence online.
Firstly, social CEOs cannot be packaged like brands. Like us, they have a human voice, which is far more complex than a brand. Human voice should be part of the personal branding strategy and execution. So, be authentic! Be human!
— Lanzetta Eugenio (@eungenio) January 24, 2018
Secondly, companies should be cautious of being overly identified with their CEO’s personal branding. What happens when a CEO leaves? The conversation at this event offered a new perspective: it is the role of communicators to manage the transition between CEOs and to turn it into an opportunity. The turnover can be a way to leverage the positive personal branding of the former CEO, to start building on the successor’s own brand, and to broaden the stakeholder audience. However, a business willing to be successful with a personal branding platform must include other key voices among the top executives. Also, it should encourage employees to be the company’s voice in the market.
Marco Magli is EACD regional coordinator for Italy. Previously, he was head of media, crisis and external realtions at Avio Aero, a GE Aviation business.