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Communications Still Underappreciated in C-Suite, Survey Finds

November 11, 2016


Communications executives are getting time with their CEOs, but they usually don’t feel heard, says a new survey by APCO Worldwide.

Eighty-nine percent of chief corporate communicators surveyed said they have direct access to the CEO, and 75 percent indicated that their CEO understands the value of their company’s reputation. But only 52 percent of respondents report directly to the CEO, and just 26 percent said their opinions always matter when critical business decisions are being made. Twenty-nine percent of top communicators said they are a business adviser to their CEO.

Forty-seven percent said communications are integrated throughout their organizations, and 62 percent agreed that social media has made communications more relevant. A third of respondents reported that communications budgets are tighter than those of other departments, or more likely to see cuts. Only 20 percent said communications are viewed across the C-suite as important for the bottom line, while 61 percent said communications are important to other company functions.

When asked how to elevate the importance of communications in the C-suite, those surveyed recommended always showing value and return on investment through measurements; knowing the business and its priorities; becoming an expert on the competition; educating the C-suite on the value of reputation; developing a finance and accounting acumen, as well as relationships with C-suite executives; having a voice, being confident and pushing back; and telling the truth. — Greg Beaubien

For more on the evolving role of the CCO, read PRSA's recap here.


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