We Are Delighted to Report That CEO Communications Have Become Significantly More Candid and Conversational in an Effort to Better Serve You — NOT

by Scott Baradell | PR and Pop Culture

We Are Delighted to Report That CEO Communications Have Become Significantly More Candid and Conversational in an Effort to Better Serve You — NOT

Steve Crescenzo, whom Shel Holtz calls “the ultimate critic of crummy CEO and president columns,” now thinks CEO communication has turned a corner:

It may be my imagination, but I think CEO Columns-R-Us may be going out of business. I’m seeing more and more CEO columns — both in print and online — that are willing to deal with real issues. I’m seeing CEOs tackle bad news head-on. I’ve actually seen a couple of CEO blogs that are conversational — rather than “corporate” — in tone.

Right — a couple. Hey, we’d like to think the author of the Corporate Hallucinations blog is not merely hallucinating, so we did a quick tour to find some CEO communications on the Web.

First, our methodology: We entered the term “CEO letter” in Google, and pulled excerpts from the first five letters that came back in the search results.

Here are those excerpts —

1. FEI Company.

While 2004 was a year of great accomplishments for FEI Company, we believe it is just a milestone in our growth as a leader in tools for nanotechnology. We are at the dawn of the nanotechnology era, and we are excited about our expanding array of opportunities in this globally competitive arena … FEI’s industry-leading tools are advancing nanotechnology across a range of markets. We are focused on the opportunities that come with our leadership, for the benefit of the industry and our shareholders.

2. Genworth Financial.

At Genworth Financial, one of our core values is performance. But to us, it’s more than just performance. It’s performance with integrity … While each of us as individuals make ethical decisions, we share a collective responsibility to infuse integrity in all aspects of our business. That’s why our reputation for honest and reliable business conduct is tested and proven in each transaction we make … I encourage you to take a moment to review our integrity policy. Should you have any questions, please contact our Ombudsperson at 1-888-251-4332.

3. Perficient.

Welcome to Perficient, the leading independent information technology consulting firm in the central United States. At Perficient, we run our business by three simple rules:
(1) deliver world-class solutions for our clients, (2)provide great careers for our colleagues, and (3) build meaningful value for our shareholders. These principles (and a lot of hard work) have enabled Perficient to scale in just six years from startup to a $110 million revenue market leader … The best news is we’re just getting started.

4. Winstead.

Our commitment to having the best people and to providing the best service is not only our promise to our clients – it is a promise we make to ourselves … For the past 30 years, we have defined our success by our ability to impact the success of our clients. Our clients will always be a top priority. We value the professionalism, experience and knowledge that each Winstead team member brings to the firm, and we pride ourselves in maintaining a reputation that is collegial, team-oriented and, most importantly, results-driven.

5. AAR.

At AAR, our goal is to be your preferred aerospace/aviation logistics and value-added products and services provider. To meet this goal, every member of our team is dedicated to the principle of applying creative thinking to your everyday support requirements. We constantly challenge ourselves to develop new capabilities, along with innovative products and programs that can help you improve performance and increase profitability. We are confident that by working together with AAR your goals of operational excellence and cost efficiency can become a reality.

OK, that’s the first five. Do you want to see five more?

We’ve been writing CEO letters for 13 years, so we know how hard it is to escape the easy trap of overused corporate language. And while a small number of CEOs are breaking out and taking more chances (this guy has always done it best), there is much more work to be done.

As for you, Steve: Go back to hallucinating. Do they have a 12-step program for that? 🙂

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