Reputation in the Communications Suite

October 27, 2010

Reputation in the Communications Suite

   We just published our new research (The Rising CCO) on CCOs — corporate communications officers around the world. We survey them every year with partner Spencer Stuart. This is our third wave and there are always interesting findings since 12 months certainly changes things quite a bit.
Here are some interesting findings that you were not called out in the press release.

  • We asked CCOs which function they expect to increase most dramatically in importance in the next 12 months. The number one function is corporate reputation. This function has increased since we first asked this question.
  • CCOs’ visit to the board is increasing as well, perhaps underscoring the importance of issues that CCOs and their CEOs face and its importance to the reputation of the company. In 2010, the median number of invitations to the board meeting was 14, a little more than once a month. This beats the median of 11 times in 2008.
  • We asked about the presence of social media threats and how prepared CCOs feel today.  Most admired company CCOs and less admired company CCO both say that they’ve experienced these kinds of online threats in the past year (39% vs. 36%, respectively).  What I found most interesting was that the most admired company CCOs were considerably more likely to say they were prepared to deal with online threats compared to their less admired company CCOs (44% vs. 23%).  This large gap certainly says that communications officers working in companies lower on the totem pole of reputation esteem should get their houses in order when it comes to reputation defense.  The reputation attacks are only going to increase, not decrease.  North American CCOs are more likely than their peers in Europe and Asia Pacific to say they are prepared.

Hope you find these findings interesting like I do. Reputation, whether for the company or the brand, is increasingly critical to the bottom line and to public opinion. Glad that CCOs agree.

Hope to report more in my next blog. But take a look for yourself.

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Leslie Gaines-Ross
Leslie Gaines-Ross

As Weber Shandwick’s Chief Reputation Strategist, I focus on the ever changing world of reputation. For the past 25 years, I have relentlessly observed, researched and commented on the rise and fall of corporate and CEO reputations.

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