CEO visibility, or lack of it, is an ongoing PR issue and one that has been frequently mentioned at media industry events. Examples abound of corporate leaders who are tight-lipped during tough times or deliver misleading comments. Many CEOs only make a public appearance when the news is favorable or prefer to network with each other at gatherings such as the annual summer conference in Sun Valley for media and tech leaders.

Instead of covering this topic in our usual manner, we’re borrowing an alternate approach from Calvin Trillin. As an author, humorist and longtime contributor to The New Yorker, Trillin often wrote poems about politicians and current events. Inspired by his rhyming wizardry, we thought this would be an effective style for tackling the CEO dilemma.

CEO (In)visibility

The problem:

CEOs are ultimately accountable
Even when issues seem insurmountable
In the business world there is constant disaster
If not handled well, things get worse much faster

CEOs collect exorbitant pay
But when crises hit most have nothing to say
Or if they do it is after delay
Or they use stand-ins who get in the way

Richard Edelman, a renowned PR pro
Thinks CEO public face-time has hit a new low

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