CEOs as Communicators-in Chief? IABC Says “Yes”

logo_iabcA recent report by the IABC  Research Foundation has sparked a lot of blogs and tweets from speechwriters and presentation coaches. The report  indicates that more and more corporate CEOs understand the vital importance of their role as communicator in chief.

If true, this trend is a dramatic change from 25 years ago: In 1988 an IABC (International Association of Business Communicators) study found that only 17 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs took an active role in communications functions or considered it an important aspect of their job.

The most recent study, A View from the Top: Corporate Communication from the Perspective of Senior Executives, is based on interviews with 20 senior executives from large companies around the world. Those executives  identified communication as one of their biggest challenges. It’s clear they also understood the importance of communication from the top.  As Barbara Gibson put it, in a review in Communications World, “The CEOs… demonstrated a keen understanding that their own role includes that of chief communicator. They know that their success depends on their ability to communicate with all their audiences.”

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