Business Communicators Beware: CEOs Increasingly Are Expected to Comment on Social, Political Issues

Earlier this year I blogged with regard to a New York Times interview with McDonald’s CEO Chris Kempczinski, calling attention to the discussion of corporate positioning on social and political issues. Interestingly, the Times has done a deeper dive on this subject in a Nov. 28 article headlined “Red Brands and Blue Brands: Is hyper-partisanship coming for corporate America?” It’s a worthwhile read, particularly for business communicators. If one hasn’t already established criteria and thresholds for when corporate leaders should speak out, it presents a strong argument for doing so. The article also makes it clear that oftentimes there will be consequences for the substance of a corporation’s position on any given issue. Forewarned is forearmed, as the saying goes, and the article is appropriately cautionary. Kudos to reporter David Gelles for his work.