Word of mouth research: Majority of CEOs cite WOM as the fastest growing source of impact on business reputation

Word of mouth and social media represent keys to success for a large number of CEOs, according to the 2008 CEO Survey by PRWeek and Burson-Marsteller.

Mark J. Penn, President of Burson-Marsteller said of the survey, "CEOs should understand that many of their stakeholders are active users of social media and it can be an extremely effective means for communicating a message. I would argue that companies that are not engaging in social media are taking a bigger risk than the companies that are."

Key findings:

  • 60% of CEOs report word of mouth influence has increased in the past three years, making it the fasted growing perceived source of impact on a business’ overall reputation
  • 42% of CEOs personally participate in social media
  • Nearly 1 in 3 CEOs believe social media tools can be an effective way to communicate with stakeholders

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