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Get Social: A Mandate for New CEOs

by Leslie Gaines-Ross
published in MIT Sloan Management Review, 2013 
Ref SMR54325

Leadership Succession: How to Avoid a Crisis‘No matter what happened, they knew that I was listening and that they had an audience and someone to talk to in the company and they could do it instantly. So it was hugely powerful…I can tell you that our brand reputation has risen dramatically, and I think our use of social media is one of the big reasons why.’

Mark Reuss took over General Motors in North America in 2009 at a difficult time for the company and, as he explains above, his use of social media to communicate with his employees made a huge difference during his first 100 days.

In this article, based on interviews with a number of new CEOs in various industries, Leslie Gaines-Ross argues that social media is becoming an indispensable staff communication tool.

‘Having counselled new CEOs,’ writes Gaines-Ross, ‘I can confirm that far too many CEOs see social media as another marketing tool without recognising its value as a highly potent way to lead. Social media is invaluable because it is a two-way medium that allows a CEO to engage large numbers very quickly while employing many of the characteristics of one-on-one conversations.’

Gaines-Ross argues that a new CEO who ignores social media does so at ‘considerable peril’.

Purchase the full article now

About the authors

Leslie Gaines-Ross is a Chief Reputation Strategist at Weber Shandwick and author of CEO Capital: A Guide to Building CEO Reputation and Company Success (2003, Wiley)


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