Siddhartha Mukherjee: Covid-19 disruption offers Opportunities for CXO-CCO Love Affair!

30 Apr,2020

By Siddhartha Mukherjee


I doubt if there are any official public records for us Brand & Communications professionals which demonstrate a CXO’s dependency on their Chief Communications Officer (CCO) and PR/Earned Media Agency. There is a dearth (or complete absence, if I may say) of basic news reports and articles where a CXO has openly confirmed and announced his love or dependency for the CCO and the PR/Earned Media industry.


To achieve their business objectives, CXOs depend on CCO skills and PR/Earned Media Tools to the fullest. Much more than 50% of a Brand’s PR/Earned Media visibility is based on the CXO quotes. But then why this?  Has anyone even asked the CXOs why they don’t say “I Do” publicly. Well, we all know the reasons, isn’t it?


Instead, let’s talk of something motivating and focus on why to strengthen and how to build public records.


Why Covid-19 disruption is an opportunity to strengthen CXO – CCO relationship:

 :: Demand Creation, Sustenance & Rise in Corporate “Risks” attracting huge Management time. Management pushing for Proactive & Credible Communication

:: Fall of ATL/Advertising Effectiveness becoming steeper

:: Customers (B2C) are not the only TG; Govt, Employees, Investors, Community, Traders, Other Influencers need simultaneous promise delivery and perception management

:: Multiple TG need messaging seeped with Emotional Quotient (EQ). Earned Media offers formats, flexibility of time and cost effectiveness to create and build EQ

:: For real effectiveness, Messaging, its Frequency & creation of Innovative Target Audience Touchpoints have to be of extraordinary levels. Best efficiency possible only through PR & Earned Media.

:: To keep the business numbers chugging, CEOs have to depend on a lubricant that can be achieved only through the most cost-effective brand communication matrix of Earned, Owned and Shared Media Communications.


All the above are some of the many reasons why the CCO should be the GO-TO-DESK during the current disruptive times for the CXO.


How can this relationship be announced and made official:

Block 1- Demonstrate data/Build MiS:

:: If you think of it, CXOs process the KRAs given to them in terms of Data – which further gives way to the MiS matrix. Hence, any help or value addition towards his KRAs will also therefore be through the language of Data

:: A CCO needs thorough understanding of every single KRA of the CXO and translate that into data

:: This needs investment of time, discipline and most importantly, the knowledge of the Art & Science of showcasing CXO efforts in Data language


Block 2 – Documentation Touchpoints:

:: Media News Reports: Journalist fraternity need to start providing space for editorial writeups which establish the role of PR/Earned Media in CXO’s life. One can start with trade journals.

:: Education Institutes: Business & Media Schools should start publishing papers which highlight brand success stories using Earned Media tools and how it helped CXO objectives.

:: PRCAI & CCO Groups can authenticate: Industry body can do a lot in this. Periodic reports can be created and published on how PR Agencies and Clients worked together using PR & Earned Media.


It is a time of prepare, strengthen and announce the CXO-CCO love affair! And mind you, post Covid-19, this love affair should only get stronger and better.


If done well, it will be one of the best “PR needs PR” initiatives that I have been campaigning for since 2008.


Siddhartha Mukherjee is a senior marketing services research professional. He was until last year Business Head at Eikona and has spent a fair time in the PR industry. This column will appear every other Thursday.


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