2005 CEO Survey reveals stakeholder comms up, but blog use low

NEW YORK: Blogs are all the rage, but few CEOs are writing their own or plan to any time soon.

NEW YORK: Blogs are all the rage, but few CEOs are writing their own or plan to any time soon.

Meanwhile, increasing communication with most stakeholders, including customers, staff, and government agencies, continues to be a priority.

The 2005 PRWeek/Burson-Marsteller CEO Survey polled 131 CEOs on their views of the PR functions within their companies, which media outlets they find most powerful, and how they communicate with different key groups.

In interviews with experts and CEOs, one trend that emerged is the effort by CEOs to develop and promote management layers within companies.

"What we are seeing is the CEO's commitment of driving communications through the next layers," said Patrick Ford, chairman of Burson's global corporate and financial practice.

Only about 7% of CEOs surveyed currently blog, and 50% said they do not plan to launch a blog within the next two years. The most common reason cited was a lack of time. But even the CEOs not using blogs are spending more time communicating with all stakeholder groups, with the exception of NGOs.

When asked to whom they turn to manage their companies' corporate reputations, most said their internal PR counsel, followed by the board of directors and external PR counsel.

Traditional media coverage in the business press is still clearly important. When asked where positive coverage of their companies had made the greatest impact, most CEOs responded The Wall Street Journal, followed by The New York Times, Fortune, Fox News, and CNN.

This year's survey does not include some comparative data, as it did in previous years, due to a methodology change implemented after consultation with research company Millward Brown. Leslie Gaines-Ross, chief knowledge and research officer at Burson, has been the agency's architect of the survey, and the feature includes three key themes she has identified.

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