The cult of CEO is big business

The cult of CEO is big business

Ketchum and EUPRERA present the results of the European Chief Communication Officers Survey (ECCOS) 2013. A survey of some of Europe's top heads of communication has revealed how strong the cult of the business CEO is becoming. With company news, successes and failure now so frequently attributed to specific individuals, the image of business leaders has become vital in terms of corporate reputation.

Nine out of ten corporate communication experts throughout Europe say their CEO's capacity to deal with the media and other critical audiences has become interwoven with the overall success and reputation of their corporations.

Explaining the headline results of this survey Professor Ansgar Zerfass (Leipzig University), leader of the international research team, said:

"The reputation of business leaders at large organisations is now so important. CEOs can make and break corporate brands. Gone are the days of figureheads gliding effortlessly behind the scenes. Today leaked career moves and public failure can infect a brand severely and quickly. In many cases the brand of the CEO has become shorthand for the brand of the organisation."

The days of a distant, barely invisible corporate authority is gone, explains David Gallagher, CEO Europe of Ketchum:

"The public are more interested in the individual who leads a company. They are interested in CEO personalities. The personalization of company stories is demanding CEOs be the brand."

About Ketchum

Ketchum is a leading global communications firm with operations in more than 70 countries across six continents. The winner of 11 Cannes Lions and an unprecedented three consecutive PRWeek Campaign of the Year Awards, Ketchum partners with clients to deliver strategic programming, game-changing creative and measurable results that build brands and reputations. For more information on Ketchum, a part of Diversified Agency Services, a division of Omnicom Group Inc., visit www.ketchum.com

About the survey

This is one of the topline results of the European Chief Communication Officers Survey (ECCOS) published by Ketchum, a leading international communication consultancy. The study analyzes the views of 579 heads of communications in corporations based across 39 European countries and employs 43 qualitative interviews with chief communication officers of global companies headquartered in Europe. The research was conducted by a research team of leading academics from five European universities, coordinated by the European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA) and supported by Ketchum.

About European Public Relations Education and Research Association (EUPRERA)

The European Public Relations Education and Research Association is an autonomous organization with members from more than 30 countries that aims at stimulating and promoting the knowledge and practice of communication management in Europe. Researchers working in the field of strategic communication, public relations and corporate communications collaborate within EUPRERA and organize cross-national projects, study programs and annual conferences. www.euprera.org

Partnering for advancing the profession

EUPRERA and Ketchum cooperate in the fields of research and thought leadership by supporting the annual European Communication Monitor and additional projects like this study. www.communicationmonitor.eu

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