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Executive Communication Strategies for 2022

February 2, 2022
By Emily Acquisto and Alex Portugal

Executives are investing more time and resources on communications in 2022, but how can they break through to increase personal and brand visibility in meaningful ways? FleishmanHillard’s group of 150 executive visibility counselors work to build reputation with stakeholders through timely and engaging techniques. Here are our predictions for executive visibility trends and setbacks in 2022:

What’s Working:

  • Dynamic multi-format content on LinkedIn: As media increasingly turns to LinkedIn for sources and a pulse on everyday trends, the algorithmic platform is evolving to favor newsletters and diverse creative assets, including polls, documents and videos, giving leaders more ways to engage with key influencers and stakeholders.
  • Content cadence experimentation: The pandemic shifted ways we consume information, putting a new emphasis on post frequency and good timing. Consider posting on Saturdays, when research shows 60% of all LinkedIn members check the site, yet only 20% of users publish content. Creator Mode can also help grow followers and increase reach if content contains the hashtags highlighted in the executive’s profile.
  • Podcasts + Media Councils: In the competitive earned media landscape, podcasts and media councils help cut through clutter with in-depth stories from a third party for added validity. Boost social shares of this content with paid to really reach audiences where they are!

What’s Not Working:

  • External link promotion: Platform algorithms are prioritizing user experience, demanding executive content works harder to standout via quality POVs. New research finds LinkedIn articles, shares and short-form posts with links as the creative asset perform significantly lower than in years past.
  • Executive travel schedules: As the pandemic put a hold on many in-person meetings, the digital-first workplace opened doors to flexible hours and geographic location. While nothing can replace the value of face time, reporters are increasingly trading coffee shops for video calls when building relationships. Maximize opportunities to connect with leaders and hear from them directly on priority messages. 
  • Wavering Social Platforms: Clubhouse was fun while it lasted, but podcasts remain king of soundbites. Executives are looking to established platforms to share their perspectives.

What Might be Possible in 2022: 

  • In-person events: Events remain at the mercy of the pandemic. In-person industry conferences drive sales and exhibits, but hybrid offerings are crucial to encourage participation. Be prepared for in-person events to shift to hybrid or fully virtual.
  • Salon stakeholder dinners: Gathering for casual business conversation is a great culture fit for some, but not for all. Anticipate different forms of in-person gatherings taking its place.
  • TikTok and Twitter: Will executives make their way to TikTok? To be determined, but research shows the number of professionals who watch TikTok content grew 13% in 2021. Similarly, the clutter of Twitter poses increasing challenges, especially when starting a channel from scratch. With so many voices on Twitter fighting for the spotlight, the platform can easily become oversaturated with content which poses a challenge to reach key audiences in a meaningful way.