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LLYC Study Reveals U.S. Public Expectations for CEOs


  • LLYC’s recent “CEO Activism Report” shows that U.S. CEOs are increasingly expected to drive social change.
  • The study highlights the need for strategic communications to build stronger stakeholder relationships.

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#Brands–The recent “CEO Activism Report,” developed by marketing and communications firm LLYC, analyzed over 8.7 billion digital messages from across the United States to show CEOs how they can participate, position themselves, and communicate strategically as leaders of social change.

“Now more than ever, the pressure is on for U.S. companies and their CEOs to lead by example and generate lasting impacts within their businesses and beyond – in other words, become Activist CEOs,” commented J.F. Munoz, CEO of the United States for LLYC. “More and more executives are joining this new dynamic and playing a role in impactful social decisions.”

Several key findings emerged following LLYC’s proprietary Data Analytics Suite (DAS) analysis:

  1. Audiences want more from CEOs. In 2022, 81% of profiles believed CEOs should be leading conversations and engaging in topics regarding public policies. However, only 11% of mentions were positive regarding trust in CEOs, and 70% of all mentions were neutral (meaning they came from news articles). This shows that despite the role people would like to see them play, many CEOs still allow third parties to position them instead of controlling their own narratives.
  2. Strategic communication is key. Authentic messages help build trust among the public. CEOs must communicate with an ever-widening spectrum of internal and external stakeholders, and they must do so in a way that is accountable, transparent, and humane. Ideally, these messages also make it clear why a given issue is truly relevant to both the CEO and their company. Authentic communications like these help strengthen stakeholder relationships and improve CEO – and company – reputations.
  3. Consistency will nurture your reputation. Today, CEOs and other business leaders are expected to be public figures, and they are more visible than ever before. This creates an opportunity for a CEO and their company to mutually reinforce their values, building greater trust and stronger relationships with their stakeholders. On the other hand, any discrepancy between a company’s or CEO’s speech and actions can negatively affect their reputation and finances – and this is true for both the brand and its leadership.

“Now more than ever, you can’t differentiate the brand and its values from its leaders and what they represent,” said Munoz, “This means CEOs need to raise their voices to bring real change.”

The report unpacks conversations from Jan. 1 to Aug. 15, 2022, on current social issues to help understand how businesses and their leaders can partake in these discussions and make a profound impact for social good. It provides a unique perspective on the opportunity CEOs have to drive social change within their organizations and across their communities, as well as the potential influence these executives could have in society.

About LLYC

LLYC is a global communications, digital marketing, and public affairs consulting firm with U.S. offices in New York, Miami, and Washington, D.C. and over 1,000 professionals in 12 countries. With over 25 years of expertise, we advise companies that range from startups and unicorns to the biggest Fortune 500 firms.

We help clients make data-driven choices that ensure their company’s reputation, trust, and credibility. Whether working on a campaign that will truly connect with people, completing an M&A operation, or carrying out any other communications project or strategy, LLYC’s innovative and creative approach to storytelling, extensive experience, and exclusive insights help clients make their visions into reality.


Sandra Ramos, Director

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