The first quarter 2021 has ended, results are in and quarterly reports are starting to be written. One of the most important parts of the report is the CEO message. It is one of the most read parts of the report and provides a unique communication opportunity for the CEO to reach a wide audience each quarter. We have put together some of our top tips to help you produce a great CEO message for your first report of the year.
- The CEO message should be at the start of the report, usually after the highlights on page 2 or 3 of the report.
- Communicate the organization’s strengths, successes and potential. Start with the key message, investors may only read the first paragraph or two. If there is a major issue to address, address it up front and shape the narrative around that issue. (Ie, Don’t avoid or bury the elephant in the room at the end).
- Stick to around three key messages that you want to communicate.
- Focus on the future, as well as explaining the past. The rest of the report is looking at the past.
- The CEO needs to be involved in designing the message. That way its easier to be personable, authentic and transparent and write in the way you want your company to be viewed. Show which issues the CEO is most interested in. If Jamie Dimon from JP Morgan can be involved in writing his CEO message, so should most Mexican CEOs.
- Add strategic insights that aren’t given in the rest of the report and demonstrate the CEO’s vision.
- Don’t get caught up in the macro-economic situation – investors and analysts have other sources for this. They want to hear about your business and the issues affecting your sector.
- Don’t use jargon or get too technical. Be concise and keep sentences short to make your point clear.
- Don’t avoid negative issues – address them and show what you are doing to allay your stakeholders’ concerns. Show what kind of commitment the CEO brings to both positive and negative issues to build trust with your stakeholders.
- Keep the message to no more than one page in length. The trend both in Mexico and around the globe is to give a concise message, with many companies now opting for a CEO quote of approximately half to one page (200-600 words).
Here are some examples of recent CEO messages from global companies:
As always, if you would like further advice on composing your CEO message, please get in touch and Miranda IR would be happy to help.
Contacts at Miranda Partners