The same rules applies when addressing CEO’s.
Example – I once attended a Board Meeting in which the HR Director when asked, replied that staff turnover was 2% down on last year’s 26%. Everyone then carried on with the proceedings. In my role as Devil’s advocate, I then asked" How much is the 24% in TRUE costs?"(True Costs – Variable & Fixed, Direct & Indirect costs). When he stated the figure the CEO exploded.
When you communicate with CEO’s always relate your examples to COSTS. That’s how they get interested.
Show them and tell them what the costs are of inadequate communication, poor reputation & skewed stakeholder perceptions, and then they will become interested. Show them what you are going to do about it in an innovative way and they may even become excited.
Also read my post Workplace Misunderstandings costs Billions
This brings me to another bone of contention and luckily a question that few CEO’s have posed at their PR & Communication Managers – How much are you spending on Stakeholder Relations and specifically how much are you spending on each stakeholder? What is your ROI?
Read my post – How much are you spending on Stakeholder Relations?
Remember that you want to get their interest, but at the same time you want to be prepared for questions they may raise.