The New Chief Communications Officer

December 1, 2016

[photo by albert chau]
[photo by albert chau]

“Organizational change is exhausting. It’s hard work. People get discouraged,” said Roger Bolton, president, Arthur W. Page Society, at “The New Chief Communications Officer” professional development session on Oct. 23 at the PRSA 2016 International Conference.

Bolton spoke about the Society’s recently released report titled, “The New CCO: Transforming Enterprises in a Changing World,” and outlined the current communications landscape, which consists of geopolitical and demographic shifts, disruptive business models, the changing nature of work and stakeholder activism.

The new model of corporate communications

The factors that make up corporate character and refer to the enterprise’s unique differentiating identity are:

  • Mission
  • Purpose
  • Values
  • Culture
  • Strategy
  • Business model

Bolton then explained the concept of authentic advocacy, or the building of a shared belief, spurring action and instilling confidence, which will then enable advocacy.

“You’ve got to make it part of every manager’s performance review, report to COO and culture change,” Bolton said. “Make it a centerpiece.”

There are five key trends when it comes to the new CCO:

1. Shifting investments, i.e., social media
2. Creation of new job roles
3. New kinds of partnerships
4. New measurements and KPIs
5. Increased focus on integration

“The new CCO has available mountains of data. How do you bring it down to a way that stakeholders understand?” Bolton asked. “Systems can be learned, but how do you be responsive to stakeholder needs? How do you engage?”

Renée Ruggeri
Renée Ruggeri is the editorial assistant for PRSA’s publications. Originally from Warwick, N.Y., she has bachelor’s degrees in English and journalism from the University of Richmond and a certificate in publishing from New York University.


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