How Is Your Company Being Perceived?

Using the media: Dan Amos and “Say-to-Pay”

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Image is huge. Especially now in a sinking economy, when companies are under media microscopes, being examined for bonuses, junkets and perceived abuse of government bailouts.

Whether criticism in every case is fair really is a moot point. It’s all about impressions. Some of the most vocal critics are roaming the halls of Congress, yet both political parties continue their time-honored practice of luxurious junkets at the expense of lobbyists, campaign donations and, yes, even taxpayer dollars.
It’s all about how you and your business are perceived, especially through the prism of the news media. Congress already has a dismal rating in the polls. Recent comments from New York’s senior senator might be one of the many reasons for the record lows federal lawmakers have achieved. Theirs is not an example you and your business should follow.

Image frequently is tied to compensation and AFLAC CEO Dan Amos and his board months ago (May, 2008) took an historic step: shareholders voted on his compensation. Amos is paid nearly $15 million annually. More than 90% of shareholders voted in favor. Amos says stockholders wanted this prerogative and he agreed. The company had an outside consultant research a projected salary range. That, in turn, was brought to the annual shareholders’ meeting and put to a vote. (Click on video below.)

Dan Amos projects warmth and a positive and proactive image. His body language speaks volumes, all of it good. He’s been AFLAC’s CEO for 19 years. His attitude and demeanor undoubtedly are major reasons for his longevity at the top.

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