Direct and Paraphrase Quotes: Its Importance in CEO Media Visibility

Ghanaian Banking
Ghanaian Banking


Does it matter to be visible as a CEO? Certainly yes. Consumers effectively relate to leaders that can be seen and be felt than to follow a non-visible brand’s leader. Business leaders constitute the face of a company’s brand and remains critical to corporate reputation and values. 

For instance, thoughts on CEO visibility posit that 44% of a company’s market value is linked to the reputation of the CEO. That is to say, CEO’s identity drives the strategy, vision, position, financial performance, CSR, product and services, and all relations associated with the brand. Further, according to journalists, CEO is a news story currency whose value can make or unmake a company’s 100-year-old name. Strategic communication departments should position CEOs as a force in industry thinkers, influencers, trendsetters and subsequently the flagship of a company’s culture and values. To achieve these values for a CEO, depends on how the media quotes a CEO’s voice.

CEO promotion is no longer about presentation but how visibility essentials such as authenticity, strategic company disclosures and thought-provoking leadership positions are weaved around the CEOs voice in order to qualify for a preferable direct quote scale instead of a paraphrase voice. The stronger the direct quote scale of a CEO’s voice the more it builds on market trust, firm value, and improves on consumer attachment to the brand.  

Unfortunately, less attention continues to be paid to the critical role of CEOs voice quotes. It is for this reason that this study on Ghanaian banks’ CEOs voice media visibility is conducted.

The Study

23 Ghanaian banks were analysed for the level of direct and indirect voice quotes associated with the banking CEOs. The period of analysis was from January to December, 2021.  Total news stories analysed for this study were 590 news stories across Online, Print, Radio and TV news platforms. A total banking issues of 21,497 constituting the study units were analysed.

News content analysis methodology was employed with inter-coder reliability at 85%. In this study, CEOs were paraphrased more than directly quoted. The study results also showed that banking companies paid more attention to corporate visibility as compared to their CEOs visibility. See diagrams below:


Ghanaian Banking Sector Media
Ghanaian Banking Sector Media
The Study Take Away

Corporate visibility should be linked to CEO’s voice visibility as a way of garnering market and public confidence in the corporate brand.

In terms of CEO promotion strategy, attention should be paid to CEO specific content. For, if the CEO promotion is done well, it reduces journalists’ editorial costs and subsequently increases chances of editorial coverage.

The emphasis should not be placed on a mere visibility but the CEO’s voice must be strategically crafted, positioned and directed to achieve a positive and memorable impact on customers.

A CEO’s voice media visibility that fails to induce a brand’s mental recall of brand trust, strong performance and reputational value among customers could lead to poor returns on strategic communication investments. In summary, CEO’s direct and paraphrase quotes remain important in the corporate communication strategy suites.  

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