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From the CEO's Desk: How to Talk About Your Brand Values in Good Times – and Bad

Countless 2023 surveys show that consumers expect to hear from CEOs on emerging trends and issues impacting culture and society, which means more communications and marketing teams are shaking up their media mix – turning away from earned media efforts to focus more on owned content that better controls brand narrative while offering a window into workplace culture.

But adopting new channel strategies and taking steps toward better business transparency are just starter steps for modern brand planning. The real work comes when it's time to decide what to say and how to say it—and backing up those cogent words with thoughtful actions is something that requires real expertise and savvy.

Not sure where to start? Hire a communications strategist who can show you how to talk about your brand values in good times – and bad. And in the meantime, check out our top three tips for preparing human-centric messages and showing the work when it really, REALLY matters.

1) Develop a strategic communications matrix that helps you anticipate scenarios—crises included—where you'd be at the center of a meaningful response, or might be called upon to enter the conversation as part of a group. Plan and prepare well before a situation's right in front of you.

people standing next to a smiling face drawn on the sidewalk

2) Examine your value and values. What do you stand for? Know what matters to you most and make plans to spotlight what you cherish or champion. That means creating always-on messages to showcase your values in good times, and delivering value to your communities when they're facing hardship. Think now about the core services, assistance or information you could provide to become truly helpful in times of need.

3) Prove your dedication time and again. Today it's not enough to say you support something with a social media post or a press release. In fact, doing that alone can backfire. The public wants to see your receipts, so regularly showcasing how you're contributing to causes, addressing issues and supporting communities closest to your brand is critically important year-round. If you're only doing it reactively in a crisis, it's a sign that you may want to re-evaluate more than just your communications strategy.


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