NEW YORK: Although more than half of Fortune 1000 CEOs understand the public role of their jobs, a significant number of them view the media with great skepticism, according to a new survey by Jericho Communications.
The findings, which were based on the answers of 208 CEOs, represented a mixed assessment of the perception that the recent wave of business scandals has ushered in an age of transparency.
Sixty-four percent of chief executives said that a CEO must "be the ambassador to public goodwill." Just more than half of that number said that a "CEO must view the media as the enemy."
A combined 61% said that a leader can best avoid controversy by "limiting exposure to the media" and through "secrecy and tighter control of information."
The results appear to demonstrate that the PR industry has its work cut out for itself.
"In our industry, we have to know and accept as part of the playing field that we're not where we want to be yet," said Eric Yaverbaum, president of Jericho Communications and author of Leadership Secrets of the World's Most Successful CEOs. "An awful lot of emphasis has to be put on getting the CEO to see the value of communicating with the press."
Only 2% of the CEOs said they need to separate themselves from the identity of the company to do their jobs well.