Finsbury Survey: CEOs understand the value of communications but don't maximize its impact

Survey of 102 CEOs Reveals Positive Perceptions and Value of Corporate Communications with Gaps in Actions

NEW YORK, NY – CEOs across the world regard corporate communications activities as a key part of achieving their business goals and realizing their strategic visions, but many do not take actions to maximize the positive impact of their communications. This is one of the principal findings in a new survey commissioned by the global strategic communications firm Finsbury and conducted by the professional learning platform GLG (Gerson Lehrman Group).

Strong Indicators of Perceived Value

The survey polled 102 current and former CEOs from companies big and small from a broad range of industries across the globe, revealing strong indicators of appreciation for the importance of communications:

  • 91 percent of CEOs consider communications to have a significant impact on the abilities of their companies to meet their business goals.
  • 82 percent say their management teams pay close attention to media coverage of their companies.
  • 80 percent believe good relations with the press should be a priority.

However, application is lacking:

  • Only 16 percent of respondents say their companies have a dedicated chief communications officer.
  • Only 33 percent say they meet with reporters five or more times a year.
  • Only 28 percent engage in programs to build and support the reputation of the CEO.

“These survey results show that CEOs have an exceptionally positive perception of the value of communications,” said Michael Gross, CEO of Finsbury. “At the same time, few indicate that they take advantage of sophisticated counsel from senior communications professionals inside or outside their companies. Only a small number work systematically to build strong public profiles as advocates for their companies. Yet while they pay close attention to the way their companies are covered in the press, they shy away from building strong relationships with key media and telling their stories to help achieve their goals. Rather, CEOs appear to be much more comfortable with direct communications to employees and customers, in person and over digital platforms.”

The survey leveraged GLG’s global membership of more than 400,000 professional to reach some of the most accomplished and diverse CEOs to get their direct opinion on the state of corporate communications.

About the Study

The Finsbury CEO Communications Survey was powered by GLG, the world’s leading platform for professional learning; GLG frequently deploys its sophisticated survey capability to garner targeted insights for its clients. The survey consisted of 20-minute online questionnaire conducted June 15-19, 2015. It sampled 102 current and former CEOs of companies across the globe with at least 100 employees.

About Finsbury

Finsbury is a global leader in strategic communications and a trusted adviser to many of the world’s most successful companies. The company has managed some of the most complex, high-profile communications challenges and crises of the last three decades, including some of the largest international M&A transactions, IPOs and other capital raisings, proxy fights, corporate restructurings, and public affairs policy campaigns, as well as major litigation and government investigations. With offices in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East and Asia, Finsbury provides expert counsel and support to clients around the world on interactions with the media, financial markets, employees, customers, governments, and other vital stakeholders.

About GLG

GLG (Gerson Lehrman Group, Inc.) is the world’s leading platform for professional learning. Business leaders, investors, consultants, social entrepreneurs, and other top professionals rely on GLG to learn in short- and long-term engagements from a membership of more than 400,000 experts. Clients partner with GLG to address their most complex strategic challenges, make better business decisions, and advance their careers through conversations, mentorships, small group convenings, surveys, and other interactions—all within a rigorous compliance framework. Global, technology-driven, and nimble, GLG’s approximately 1,000 employees work in 22 offices in 12 countries. For more information visit


Graham Buck
(646) 805-2024