Monday, April 30, 2007

The next CEO's communications

This spring, many of our clients and colleagues await the naming of new leaders for their organizations, prompted by the retirements of their current CEOs. While the search committees deliberate, savvy communicators are planning now for the special needs of the next CEO -- and appropriate farewell communications for the departing leader. We recommend the following 'wardrobe' of options for the next CEO:
- Message development and a first-year communications plan that identifies the new leader's key audiences, messages, and opportunities.
- Presentation training, targeted to specifically address the audiences the new CEO is most likely to face, from staff members to donors to grantees. Ideally, the training focuses on specific presentations.
- Media interview training, with emphasis on the specific tough questions and opportunities the organization faces.
- Speechwriting services and a session that outlines how the speechwriting process will work, going forward.
- Portrait photography, as well as candid portraits of the new leader in action for use on your website, news releases and publications.

For departing leaders, consider special publications that summarize and make sense of the organization's accomplishments during her leadership; websites, publications and other outreach to important donors and partners; and "legacy" interviews with the reporters who cover your organization. Creating communications plans -- whether your CEO's coming or going -- help guide these important transitions, and let you and your CEO make the most of them.

Check out our sister blog, The Eloquent Woman, for more on giving great speeches and presentations and become a fan of The Eloquent Woman on Facebook.

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