When and How to Speak Up: How Companies Can Communicate Their Corporate Purpose

By Daryl Brewster, CEO, CECP
Jan 15, 2021 9:45 AM ET

Few of today’s CEOs earned their jobs because they were socially responsible and spoke out on hot topics. Yet now more than ever, key stakeholders want to know where companies and CEOs stand on critical social issues. Speaking out is a 21st-century requirement for the leaders of major companies. Chief Executives for Corporate Purpose (CECP) encourages companies to identify issues that matter most to them, speak out when appropriate, and take action to make a tangible impact.

Data confirm a shift in expectations: the 2021 Edelman Trust Barometer finds that 86% of the general population expect CEOs to speak publicly on social issues and 68% feel that CEOs should step in when government does not fix societal problems. Business is not only the most trusted institution, but it is also the only institution seen as both ethical and competent. CECP’s CEO Investor Forum report, The Return on Purpose, finds that companies associated with high corporate purpose outperform the market on common measures of financial performance, valuation, and value creation.

CECP counsels that it is in the best interests of leading CEOs and companies to support a safe, inclusive, and well-run society. CEOs who don’t speak out are essentially agreeing to the status quo. Building on the work of Chatterji and Toffel, and experience with its 220+ companies, CECP has developed a framework through which CEOs and their teams can assess why, when, and how to take positions on social issues, identifying six questions for CEOs and their teams to consider.

Read the rest of the article on CECP's Insights Blog: https://cecp.me/35H3BM8