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Sociability of World's Largest Company CEOs Has Nearly Doubled - from 36% in 2010 to 66% in 2012, According to New Weber



 Sociability of World's Largest Company CEOs Has Nearly Doubled - from 36% in
         2010 to 66% in 2012, According to New Weber Shandwick Study

- Study Finds Corporate Websites and Video Utilized Most, Social Network Usage
Flat -

- Beware Fake CEO Social Media Accounts -

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, Jan. 15, 2013

NEW YORK, Jan. 15, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In a new study released today, global
public relations firm Weber Shandwick found that the online sociability of the
world's largest company CEOs rose dramatically over the past two years. In
2012, 66 percent of CEOs of the world's top 50 companies engaged online
compared to 36 percent in 2010 when Weber Shandwick first conducted one of the
earliest analyses of CEO social engagement, Socializing Your CEO: From
(Un)Social to Social.

"Traditionally, CEOs have built reputations through means other than social
media," said Leslie Gaines-Ross, Weber Shandwick's chief reputation
strategist. "However, this year's CEO sociability audit provides evidence that
chief executives are decidedly testing the social waters. By increasing their
communications online, CEOs are showing they are listening to customers, are
curious how their products are being received, care about attracting the best
talent, understand the need to better humanize themselves and are more in-tune
with where their stakeholders are."

% CEOs engaging through company website, video
and social networks (2010 vs. 2012)
                       2010        2012
Company Website        32%         50%
Video                  18%         40%
Social Networks        16%         18%

CEO Sociability starts at Home 
The two-year growth spurt from 2010 to 2012 that we found in CEO sociability
comes directly from CEOs' heightened visibility on their company websites (32
percent to 50 percent) and on video (18 percent to 40 percent). The 50 percent
of CEOs who are visible on their company websites most often appear on their
company homepages and About Us pages (e.g., letters, pictures or video) and
have a greater presence than just the executive's name.  Using the company
website to add context about the CEO is a first step in socializing the CEO
and is the pinnacle of sociability in some global markets.

Video is the Social CEO Hotspot
More than ever before, CEOs are using video to promote their company
narratives and connect. An underutilized tool in 2010, video was used by only
18 percent of CEOs. Today, the rate of video usage has more than doubled, with
40 percent of CEOs now appearing in corporate videos. Growth in video is
nearly evenly divided between CEOs appearing in videos on company websites and
on corporate YouTube channels. Video can be repackaged on corporate news blogs
or website pages, enabling the company to gain additional leverage from
existing assets.

Social Networking Growth is Flat 
Despite the large gains in CEO sociability on company websites and in video
usage  since 2010, CEOs have barely budged in their use of social networks
(from 16 percent in 2010 to 18 percent in 2012). Chris Perry, president of
Weber Shandwick's Digital practice, commented, "The slow growth in CEO usage
of social networks demonstrates that either CEOs are worried about taking a
risk or are unsure about the return-on-investment by going online. We should
recognize, however, that they may be more comfortable now just being social
listeners, social observers and big data gatherers rather than social
engagers. That said, our findings suggest an increasing percentage of CEOs now
understand social media is also an essential avenue for corporate
communications." 

% CEOs who have a ...or are visible on... (2010 vs. 2012)
                                          2010    2012
Biography on company website              77%     72%
Website video/Company YouTube channel     18%     40%
Company homepage/About US page            28%     34%
Company Careers page                      n/a     8%
Blog                                      0%      0%
Social networks (net)                     16%     18%
Facebook                                  4%      10%
LinkedIn                                  4%      6%
Twitter                                   8%      2%
Google+                                   n/a     2%
Pinterest                                 n/a     0%
Other regional social network             0%      0%

Level of CEO Sociability Varies by Region – U.S. CEOs Lead Global Peers 
U.S. CEOs surpass those headquartered in Europe and APAC in sociability,
although Europeans demonstrate the greatest increase in online engagement
between 2010 and 2012 (from 12 percent to 67 percent). CEOs in APAC are less
social in 2012 than they were in 2010, and are also less social than those in
the U.S. and Europe. U.S. CEOs are the most likely to be on social networks
(40 percent) while European CEOs are the most likely to be on YouTube (38
percent). No CEOs in our study from either APAC or Latin America have social
network accounts.

Fake Social Network Profiles on the Rise 
A startling issue that surfaced more frequently this year compared to 2010 is
the abundance of fake social network accounts. Approximately one-third of top
CEOs had their names attached to fake social media accounts. Weber Shandwick
found accounts that contained inaccurate or false information about CEOs or
companies, and in some cases, multiple accounts all claiming to be the same
CEO. This does not mean they did not have a verifiable social media account
but they often had several bogus ones set up in their names.

Guide to Social CEO Engagement 
Weber Shandwick recommends that companies and their executives adopt several
social strategies to optimize their online storytelling, engage with customers
and attract the best talent. As the world increasingly becomes more connected,
CEOs must embrace technology and use it to navigate the seas of change coming
their way as digital, social and mobile rapidly converge.

  o Develop a social strategy and take the conversation online. CEOs are part
    of the online conversation whether they choose to engage or not. They do
    not have to go all-out socially, but having some social presence is
    beneficial. A truly effective social strategy would fully integrate social
    into its executive corporate communications processes.
  o Start small. Quality of engagement is more important than quantity of
    social accounts. CEOs might simply start with a LinkedIn page, private
    Twitter or Facebook page.
  o Give the company a human face. Something as simple as a picture makes the
    CEO a more familiar, human figure and a CEO message on the homepage has
    the potential to spread executive communications to a wider audience.
    Remember that CEO sociability it is more about enhancing CEO credibility
    than celebrity.
  o Encourage CEO social listening. CEOs should be encouraged to use social
    media by listening, watching and gathering business intelligence. Social
    media is an excellent way to gain confidence and real time data on
    customers, competitors, the industry and other stakeholders.
  o Continue to take advantage of video. Video offers CEOs a big leap forward
    in getting social. Video humanizes executives and unlike most traditional
    communications, allows CEOs to show emotion. Repurposing CEO
    communications is ideal for video.
  o Monitor your CEO's Wikipedia page. CEOs are more widely represented on
    Wikipedia than any other platform, although we did not include it as a
    measure of sociability. CEOs and communications teams should be at least
    aware of what is being said and if there is misleading or incorrect
    information, follow the strict guidelines for requesting content changes
    from Wikipedia editors.
  o Phony CEO social network profiles are abundant – be vigilant. It's not
    always easy to tell the real from the fake social network profiles. Be on
    the lookout.

For more detailed information, please view our infographic and executive
summary here.

About the Study 
Weber Shandwick researched the publicly visible activities of CEOs in the
world's largest 50 companies, according to the Fortune Global 500 rankings (15
CEOs in the U.S., 21 in Europe, 11 in Asia Pacific and 3 in Latin America). In
compiling our research, we accessed, among others, Factiva, search engines,
company websites, YouTube channels, external-facing blogs, Wikipedia and
social networks. We compared results to our 2010 findings in Socializing Your
CEO: From (Un)Social to Social.

About Weber Shandwick 
Weber Shandwick is a leading global public relations firm with offices in 81
countries around the world. The firm has won numerous awards for innovative
approaches and creative campaigns including being named both The Holmes
Report's 2012 Global Agency of the Year and the "Most Creative PR Firm in the
World," based on the agency's first-place finish in its "Creative Index," as
well as PR News' 2012 Digital PR Firm of the Year. Major practice areas
include consumer marketing, healthcare, technology, public affairs, financial
services, corporate and crisis management. The firm has deep, award-winning
expertise in social media and digital marketing that helps drive engagement.
Weber Shandwick is part of the Interpublic Group (NYSE: IPG). For more
information, visit http://www.webershandwick.com.

Contact:
Jennifer Norton                Rachel Manfredo

Weber Shandwick                Weber Shandwick

212.445.8314                   212.445.8171

jnorton@webershandwick.com     rmanfredo@webershandwick.com

SOURCE Weber Shandwick

Website: http://www.webershandwick.com
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