Quick Study: CEOs Bear Responsibility; Customer Relations Is Dysfunctional; Social Media Invades

CEOs Take The Heat

According to a new survey released by Weber Shandwick and KRC Research, CEOs carry the lion's share of blame when their company's reputation is damaged in a crisis. The study, which surveyed 950 global business executives in 11 countries, found that nearly 60% of blame is directly attributed to a CEO after a crisis strikes. In addition, it identified the following key triggers for reputation failure. If you catch these problems early, you can reduce the blame factor:

* 72% cited financial irregularities;

* 68% cited unethical behavior;

* 64% cited executive misconduct;

* 62% cited security breaches; and

* 60% cited environmental violations and product recalls.

The findings also suggest that global business executives underestimate the severity of significant reputation threats:

* Approximately 33% place CEO compensation, online attacks or rumors and top executive departures low on the list of triggers.

These findings reiterate the communication suite's role in protecting corporate reputation against attacks. This can be done through aggressive CSR efforts, careful monitoring of CEO and financial conduct, and open lines of communications with C-suite executives to stay abreast of all goings-on, be they positive or negative.

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