Only 1 in 5 CEOs report satisfaction with their strategies in 2020, According to Study by (X)

SAN DIEGO; Nov. 23, 2020 — COVID-19 made 2020 the year of the strategy pivot, and independent San Diego State University survey research commissioned by (X) shows how enterprise leaders are evaluating their pivots and providing lessons for improved strategy performance in 2021.

Data collected from more than 100 U.S. CEOs and other corner suite leaders from a cross-section of industries showed how they feel about their enterprise strategy execution:

  • Only 22% of C-level executives felt their enterprises were doing a good job with their strategic initiatives.
  • The majority (66%) said that the biggest obstacle to successful strategy execution was a lack of employee engagement, even though 79% said that employee engagement was a big driver of their internal communication program. 
  • More than half reported that strong communication strategies played a role in their enterprise’s success in 2020. However, 39% reported their internal communication was also strained by COVID-19. 
  • The degree to which strong communication helped enterprises succeed in 2020 correlated significantly with whether an enterprise used consultants: 68% of CEOs who reported using consultants attributed strong communication to their success compared to 50% who don’t use consultants. 

 “Strategy is crafted by few and implemented by many. Getting and keeping employees more engaged through supporting communication could go a long way in helping the 78% of CEOs who aren’t feeling good about their strategic initiatives,” said (W)right On Communications CEO Grant Wright. “This is why we partnered with Excelerate to create (X), a solution to help organizations wring more shareholder ROI out of their initiatives. Senior leaders know strategy implementation and internal and external communication need to be tightly linked, but our research also revealed some gaps, fragmentation and resource issues, with COVID-19 also creating a strain.”

The survey was conducted by the Broom Center at San Diego State University’s School of Journalism and Media Studies and sponsored by (X), an enterprise strategy execution and communication consultancy formed by partners (W)right On Communications and Excelerate. 

“Execution of key strategies is always difficult,” said Jana De Anda, president of Excelerate. “The realities businesses faced in 2020 drove even more complexity in getting key initiatives to the finish line. And with the majority of CEOs reporting that their employee engagement is such a big obstacle to their success, it illustrates the importance of connecting strategic planning and implementation with excellent internal communication just as much as external.”

(X) leaders Julie Wright and Jana De Anda are presenting the survey’s findings in a webinar on Dec. 3 from noon to 1 p.m. PST. The webinar will go deeper into the survey results and share tips on how enterprises can better align strategy and communication to more successfully achieve strategic goals. 

Register for the “Pivoting in 2021: Pitfalls to Avoid” webinar at

About the Study

SDSU’s survey, conducted from Oct. 6 to Oct. 27, examined the strategic planning and implementation and communication practices of enterprises during the COVID-19 pandemic. Talking to leaders at the highest level, CEOs (87%) made up a majority of the 136 respondents.  These leaders direct companies with annual revenue between $50M to $250M (54%) and more than $250M (46%). The survey gauged CEOs’ communication alignment with their business strategy. The data suggests best practices for upcoming communication strategy for Q1 of 2021. 

About (X) 

Combining the considerable capabilities and reputations of (W)right On Communications and Excelerate, (X) is a joint venture service offering that better connects strategic planning and operational implementation with integrated strategic communications for faster and more impactful results. From offices in San Diego, Los Angeles, Portland and Vancouver, BC and with client partners coast to coast, (X) streamlines multiple agency engagements thereby reducing costs and decreasing redundancy while strengthening outcomes at a faster rate that is essential for organizations to successfully navigate unprecedented change and new opportunities.

For more, see or email

Forbes Names (W)right On Communications to 2021 Best PR Agencies List

SAN DIEGO; Oct. 30, 2020 —  (W)right On Communications, Inc. a leading public relations agency headquartered in California, has been named to Forbes’ Best PR Agencies of 2021 list.

From among about 12,000 PR firms across the nation of which 5,000 were nominated, (W)right On was named among the Top 200. Of these, (W)right On is one of only 20 firms based in California that was rated with five of five stars according to Forbes research and analysis.

“It’s an honor receiving this national recognition, particularly since it’s driven by what client partners say about us”, said Grant Wright, CEO of (W)right On Communications. “PR takes a lot of strategy, experience and creativity to execute well, and credit goes to Julie for never wavering from the high standards she set when founding the agency 23 years ago, the terrific (W)right On team members for their savvy, progressive nature and relentless effort to achieve results, and our wonderful client partners it’s a privilege to support.”

Forbes partnered with market research firm Statista for its inaugural ranking of America’s Best PR Agencies 2021. To develop the list, Statista surveyed more than 12,700 experts and 20,500 customers who made the nominations. Participants were asked to indicate how likely they were to nominate a particular agency on a scale of zero (very unlikely) to 10 (very likely). Statista then narrowed the list to the Top 200 and gave those that received at least the median score a four-star rating and those that exceeded the median score a five-star rating.

With a mission to elevate the agency experience for its team members, client partners and industry, (W)right On Communications delivers world-class results from a team of award-winning communicators. The agency’s investment in comprehensive capabilities including data collection and analysis, certification by the International Association for Measurement and Evaluation of Communications (AMEC), and remaining on the industry forefront of integrated PR and marketing approaches has helped it successfully navigate the ever-evolving world of information and influence. Coupled with its steadfast commitment to operating in accordance with its Core Values, this approach has led to a growing list of diversified client partners in technology, hospitality, healthcare, education, cleantech, food and entertainment, life science, energy, manufacturing, government and not-for-profit sectors among others.

About (W)right On Communications

Founded in 1998 with client partners coast to coast, (W)right On Communications is an award-winning integrated strategic communications firm with offices in San Diego, Los Angeles and Vancouver, B.C. With a mission to elevate the agency experience for its client partners, employees and the industry plus a focus on creative and measurable results, (W)right On Communications serves organizations in complex and unpredictable business environments working with business innovators, hospitality and tourism leaders and the not-for-profit and public sector. (W)right On is also a parent company of subsidiary brand (X) that seamlessly blends strategic planning, analysis and implementation with unparalleled strategic communications for exceptional results.