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CEOs Of SMEs To Become Social CEO

Written by: Brigitte Kaps, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

CEOs of family businesses: don’t hide, start practising “Sociablity” and become a social CEO


This article addresses to CEOs of SMEs and family owned companies. In particular, because they are faced with the especially difficult challenge of communicating effectively in an age of disruption without a huge corporate communications team in the background.

The good news: social media has not changed everything. The values on which family businesses and many SMEs rely on are still the same. If you want to ensure success not only in the next quarter but in the next decade, you must inevitably think long-term and sustainable. That was true 10, 50 and 100 years ago - and it still is.


What is new and constantly growing, however, is the claim that SMEs are expected to communicate transparently, interactively, and openly. All this with a special focus on the top management level. SME CEOs today must also find the right balance between long-term values and short-term success. They should communicate what is happening in a timely, honest, and transparent manner.


And all this is in times driven by technological disruption, economic fears, and a lot of general uncertainty. Social media deals with conventional forms of communication differently. Newsletters and media reports alone can no longer do enough for a company to be perceived as a modern SME with a strong corporate brand.


Traditional ways of communication knew only one direction. The boss himself ‒ speaks, everyone else listens. However, social media, which increasingly dominates public discourse in business and everyday life, functions differently. In addition to authentic statements, interaction is particularly important. Interaction requires that you listen when the others have something to say.


What has always been true in personal conversations also applies to companies today. The role of the CEO is becoming more important as he or she not only leads the company, but also plays a key role in strengthening the image and brand as a voice and face to the outside world. New demands also mean new profile requirements.


A high degree of leadership qualities and the achievement of stable profits are no longer enough. Leaders must also have technology knowledge and distinctive communication skills and emotional intelligence referred to as "sociability". To practice "sociability" does not mean to give up competencies as a manager and decision-maker. It simply means facing up to the demands of communication in the age of digitalisation.


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Brigitte Kaps, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Brigitte Kaps is the founder and CEO of Executive PR.ch & Rent a PR.ch. She holds a Master of Advanced Studies in Business Communications and a degree in communications science She has almost 20 years of international experience in management positions with leading foreign banks (ABN Amro, GE, RBS). Before becoming self-employed in 2015, she was responsible for corporate communications at Cembra Money Bank (formerly GE Money Bank) in her capacity as a member of the Executive Board.

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