Amith Prabhu: What are CCOs doing to transform enterprises?

21 Mar,2016

By Amith Prabhu

 

I have avoided writing about the public relations of Sri Sri Ravishankar and Vijay Mallya. May be, we save it for another day. Today’s column is about the new Chief Communications Officer (CCO) that we will increasingly see in 2016.

 

For those of you who are uninitiated, the  Arthur W Page Society is one of the most premium associations of communications leaders. Last week, it brought out a 53-page report on The New CCO – Transforming Enterprises in the Changing World. I want to focus on some aspects from the executive summary. The entire report is available on the website of the society. I’m sharing some excerpts:

 

The CCO of today is at a critical inflection point. The environment in which enterprises operate is fraught with emergent challenges: new competitors reinventing traditional business models; changing demographic, regulatory, and sociopolitical conditions; new modes of work; and an ongoing paradigm shift in how individuals communicate with one another and engage more actively with organizations.

 

In The New CCO, the Page Society proposes a contemporary framework of the CCO role based on three core dimensions:

 

The Foundational CCO: The CCO is a strategic leader and counselor to the enterprise, capable of leading and advising with a broad stakeholder view in mind.

 

The CCO as Integrator: CCOs are breaking silos and emerging as leaders of and participants in cross-functional collaboration, both within the enterprise and across the C-Suite.

 

The CCO as Builder of Digital Engagement Systems: The CCO has an emerging opportunity to devise sophisticated enterprise-wide digital systems for managing engagement with stakeholders at all levels, internally and externally. This includes establishing an ability to engage constituents as individuals, primarily through the application of insights derived from data.

 

The research revealed five patterns of how the communication function itself is changing. First, Resources are being directed to owned publishing platforms. Second, Integration is becoming key with a greater emphasis on coordinating with C suite contemporaries for better stakeholder engagement. Third, Employees with new skill sets and responsibilities are being added. Fourth, External partnerships are becoming the new normal to build on capabilities. Lastly, Metrics to measure are evolving to include customer loyalty, employee engagement among other things.

 

The report concludes with a Page Model for the new CCO and proposes a call to action which every CCO and CCO aspirant should read and gain inspiration from.  These are indeed interesting times for custodians of reputation and leaders of communications. Go, read the report today!

 

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