Comms champions - the early stage leaders who are acing it
Early stage leaders are their own corporate communications department. On top of founding a company, they are talking to customers, investors, analysts, media and employees, while also running their social media, doing their own demos and writing their own keynotes. Once a company scales and starts to hire, they'll procure a marketing lead first, and then slowly, with growth, a communicator or two. With all that pressure, it's hard to get the tone right. Here are some early stage leaders who are acing it.
Virgile Raingeard is the founder and of Figures, a company that provides benchmarked compensation data to startups and scaleups so they can get their pay equity and transparency right from the outset. It's his thesis that compensation policies are broken and Figures will help companies fix them. Not only is Virgile active on LinkedIn (7k+ followers) and Twitter, he's out there doing interviews and podcasts. Please take a look at his Go big or go home UK launch video or the Netherlands launch video. (Also, if you're looking for compensation and pay equity stats, the Figures blog is a rich source!)
What I appreciate about Virgile's leadership communications style
He doesn't shy away from humour. This is hard to get right because it's often culture specific, but since Virgile is laughing at himself, the videos really work. Also, Virgile walks the talk - all salaries at Figures are transparent, so his team know what he is paid. This kind of authenticity is priceless. Weiter so, Virgile.
Dr Annika von Mutius and Dr Larissa Leitner
Annika and Larissa are co-founders of Empion, an automated headhunter that ensures a strong cultural fit between applicants and employers that recently raised pre-seed financing. Both are active on social media, doing podcasts and interviews. They are also getting excellent coverage in German media. Since Empion is still small, Annika and Larissa are their own marketing and communications departments, and they are both talents. In addition, the Empion blog is full of insights for applicants and topics around work that are relevant to everyone.
What I appreciate about Annika and Larissa's leadership communications style
Enthusiasm! They passionately believe in their company's mission to increase happiness at work and this radiates in everything they say and do. I have met Annika in person and Larissa on the phone only but it's impressive how they speak with one mind. This consistency is incredibly convincing, and I'm sure they will convince more customers, investors and future employees that they are a superstar co-founding team.
Mike is the CEO and founder of Soundbite.ai, a communications platform for short-form communications - soundbites, podcasts and video. Soundbite's thesis is that companies need to move beyond speaking at employees (for example, by email) towards shared experiences. With work ever more remote and distributed, the human to human connection of audio has a new role to play. The Soundbite website is peppered with lots of great short podcasts, including customer testimonials. Like Empion, they are at pre-seed stage.
What I appreciate about Mike's leadership communications style
It's short. His LinkedIn posts are crisp and to the point. As a communications leader, he often posts on comms topics. Soundbite's software supports remote workers, and the company itself is completely remote. Mike says he is a recovering work-traveloholic and he includes occasional posts about taking mental health days and celebrating family time. A recent Axios post that quoted Mike states that miscommunication leads to workplace stress - he's building a company that helps fix that and modelling how to put the important things in life first.
If you like this post, please see the first in the series: Comms champions - the leaders who are acing it
Charlotte believes that in the attention economy, strategy and story need to be symbiotic.