Video: How to encourage your leaders to be virtually visible

I had a conversation with a client the other day who used the phrase virtually visible in relation to her leaders.

We were talking about COVID-19 comms (obviously, aren’t we all?!), and it struck me as an incredibly suitable way to describe the situation we’re in.

I’ve captured my thoughts around leadership communication via video. You can watch it in the same amount of time it will take you to make and drink a cup of tea.

So in the first of my ten minute tea break videos (let me know if you’d like me to do more), to support you through COVID-19 and beyond, here’s my take on leadership communication.

I’ve packed this video with advice and guidance to help you. Do let me know what you think, you’re welcome to comment below or find me on Twitter @AllthingsIC.

How to encourage leaders to be virtually visible

In the video I discuss the importance of our leaders being visible, credible and trusted.

Things you could consider include:

  • Leaders “stopping by” virtual team meetings to say hello and answer questions
  • Leaders hosting Ask Me Anything events
  • Hosting Town Halls virtually.

There is a difference between checking up and checking in with people.

Update: I spotted this great example from Jamie Angus at PDSA, they are using Microsoft Teams:


How can you encourage your people managers, local leadership and senior leaders to focus on their people?

How can you help them display empathy? Language choice has a big role to play here.

We need to get our leaders comfortable being uncomfortable (see the video for more thoughts on this).

Visible leaders

I’ve written on my blog about the need for leaders to be visible for years. During my talk at PRWeek’s Strategic Internal Communications Conference in December 2019, I talked about the integrity gap between what leaders say and do when it comes to being visible.

This image from my presentation sums it up…


Further reading about leadership communication via All Things IC

Further reading about COVID-19 via All Things IC

Book a Consultation Call with me

Don’t forget I can support you via Consultation Calls. So if you would like to know more about leadership communication or run an idea or challenge you’re facing past me, book time for you and I to work together.

I offer a range of options from 30 minutes to half-day sessions. My popular Power Hours are also available.

Thank you for stopping by


First published on the All Things IC blog 23 March 2020.



  1. Aideen says:

    Hi Rachel,

    Thanks for this video, really great ideas and advise.

    Quick question: How are you adding subtitles to your videos from home? I’m wft and don’t have my usual editing software available to me. Researching how I can add subtitles without this tool,

    Thank you,
    Aideen (Ireland)

  2. Hi Aideen, I didn’t add them for this one, but I’ve used in the past for transcription and subtitling services. You upload the file to them and they send it back with the Closed Captions (or whatever you’ve chosen) file.

  3. Anna says:

    Hi Rachel,
    I’m struggling to get the SLT visible and communicating in a timely manner. I’ve submitted ideas which mirror a lot of your suggestions, however they are not picked up. Colleagues are crying out for regular updates and to see the leadership team as we are all now working remotely, but I can’t seem to influence these decisions as best as I would like. How can I improve my influencing skills? They are making small steps, but it’s reached a point where proper action needs to be taken to avoid loosing more employee engagement. Thank you and hope you can help.

  4. Hi Anna, thanks for your query. I have two suggestions. 1) I would gather the comments from colleagues and share them with leaders, help them see the impact of them not being visible by using the direct words from your employees. 2) Do you know what the barriers are? Often it’s because they’re not comfortable in an informal style or without a script. What is stopping them from being visible and communicating in a timely manner? In order to influence and negotiate, I encourage you to gather your evidence first and use that to inform your discussions. I hope that helps, do come back if you get stuck, Rachel.

  5. […] leadership going strong. Give guidance and support to senior leaders- there are lots of tips about How to encourage your leaders to be virtually visible for example.  Much of this will help build longer term trust and it is a time for leaders to show […]

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