These are the biggest challenges to effective executive comms, Ragan survey says

We asked communicators what obstacles are impeding their leadership communications strategies. Here’s what they said.

Most communicators surveyed in Ragan’s 2022 Communications Benchmark Report said that getting access to executives, working with charismatic execs, and getting them to use social media were their top obstacles to effective exec comms.

Access to executives remains the biggest exec comms obstacle for all respondents (30%), though that number decreased considerably among members of Ragan’s Communications Leadership Council (16%), indicating that the higher concentration of senior roles among council members makes executives more accessible to them.

A quarter of all respondents each cited uncharismatic executives and hesitance among the C-suite to use social media as their biggest obstacles. These issues indicate that executives could use more media training on how to deliver a message that audiences find engaging. In both instances, comms should empower executives to communicate in their authentic voice, armed with key messaging points and phrases that empower execs to post autonomously.

If the training isn’t changing executive behavior, it may be time to reconsider who your messenger should be.

These answers underscore a general lack of coordination between executive teams and communications teams. “Executive teams need to pull in communications sooner rather than later,” said one respondent.

“Communications is much more than writing,” said another. “More often than not it’s operational in nature and requires cross departmental coordination to execute.”

“Some execs aren’t able to focus their comms priorities and often integrate ad-hoc tactics that have nothing to do with the strategic plan,” another respondent added.

These insights are just a small fraction of the key findings from the fourth annual Communications Benchmark Report, an exclusive study for Ragan’s Communications Leadership Council, that reveals a range of sentiments and best-laid plans during a very dynamic time.

Download a copy of Ragan’s fourth annual Communications Benchmark Report executive summary here. To obtain a full copy of Ragan’s 2022 Communications Benchmark Report, become a member of the Communications Leadership Council. Click here for more details.


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