Executive Communications Requires Creativity

Today’s executives need to embrace all of the new communications tools. No longer can they simply communicate. They need to communicate creatively.

“It’s a great time to be an executive communicator, but it’s also a dangerous time,” said Steve Crescenzo, CEO of Crescenzo Communications and a highly sought-after consultant, writer and seminar leader, speaking at the recent Speechwriters and Executive Communicators Conference in Washington, D.C.

“As a leader, your content has to be so good because no one has an attention span anymore,” said Crescenzo. “There is so much content coming at them.”

As the communications person supporting the executive, you have to be a talent scout and a coach. As a talent scout, you will help the executive pick the right tools to use and then coach the executive in using the tools.

For effective communications, Crescenzo said it’s important to master the four Cs:

  • Creative
  • Compelling
  • Concise
  • Conversational

“Our job as communicators is to make the boring interesting,” he noted.

That means eliminating slides that no one can read and knowing what you want to accomplish with a given platform. If you don’t know, the communications will fail. It means avoiding formulaic writing and jargon, buzzwords and platitudes.

A few of Crescenzo’s suggestions for creative content include:

  • Ongoing town halls held quarterly or twice a year.
  • Leadership blogs. He cautions, though, to not make it a glorified letter from the CEO. The executive must be open to negative comments and willing to hear about the challenges and how employees feel. The CEO should also pay attention to comments, even if he or she can’t respond to all of them.
  • Videos or chats with leaders about important issues or company news

The key is to help executives find their voice and understand that “corporate is out and conversational is in,” Crescenzo said.