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The Rising CCO III

The Rising CCO III

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Published by Weber Shandwick
Corporate and brand reputations face greater risk from online threats today. According to The Rising CCO III, an annual survey conducted by global executive search firm Spencer Stuart and global public relations firm Weber Shandwick, 34 percent of global chief corporate communications officers (CCOs) report that their companies experienced a social-media based reputation threat during the past 12 months. Yet, just as many -- 33 percent -- say they are not prepared for managing these types of online reputational threats.
Corporate and brand reputations face greater risk from online threats today. According to The Rising CCO III, an annual survey conducted by global executive search firm Spencer Stuart and global public relations firm Weber Shandwick, 34 percent of global chief corporate communications officers (CCOs) report that their companies experienced a social-media based reputation threat during the past 12 months. Yet, just as many -- 33 percent -- say they are not prepared for managing these types of online reputational threats.

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Published by: Weber Shandwick on Jun 21, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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1© 2010
The Rising CCO III
During the past two years, companies havehad to reassure a vast and expanding portolioo stakeholders o their ability to operatesmoothly and successully through the mostdifcult economic period in decades. Thesimultaneous explosion o new media venuesthat allow companies to more eectivelyand instantaneously communicate with theirconstituents also permits emerging businessissues to become headline news overnight,leaving little to no time to prepare or aresponse. More than ever, companies are acedwith an overwhelming array o management,fnancial and communications challenges.Through all o this, the Chie CommunicationsOfcer (CCO) has had to become even moreadept at navigating the complex landscape o communications challenges and opportunitiesthat threaten company reputation. SpencerStuart and Weber Shandwick have beenmonitoring the evolving role o the CCO since2007 by partnering on a comprehensive andquantitative survey o global CCOs.
The Rising CCO 
, now in its third year, examinesthe roles, responsibilities and opinions o CCOsin the world’s largest companies.
NEED FOR CRISIS & ISSUES MANAGEMENTESCALATES
•
Crisis/issues management has soared duringthe past three years as a critical experience fortomorrow’s successful CCO. It is considered nearlytwice as important in 2010 as it was in 2007.
Corporations act, brandsdon’t. Reputationmatters. Corporationsneed to have a voice andpresence in times of crisisin order to maintain clientcondence, trust, andgood reputation. 
– Fortune Global 500 CCO
  C  C  O
  T  H  E
  R  I  S  I  N  G
•
An Internet search of “crisis management”from January through August 2010 generatedmore than 92 million results compared to 2.4million in all of 2007, underscoring the growingimportance of the function.
“Whether management says so or not,amid crisis, management is expectingcorporate communications to beproactive internally to coordinatekey stakeholders and develop andimplement a communications plan.”– Fortune Global 500 CCO
% Global CCOs citing Crisis Managementas CCO Prerequisite
33%48%61%201020082007
 
2© 2010
The Rising CCO III
MEDIA COVERAGE FAVORABILITY TAKESON MORE SIGNIFICANCE
The reaction from the media has consistentlybeen at the top of the CCO’s list of effectiveness measures in our ongoing research.In 2010, media favorability rose even higheras a barometer of communications success,from 75% in 2007 and 74% in 2008 to 84% in2010. In times of relentless bad news and oftenvenomous online commentary, organizationsare exceptionally hungry for their positivestories to be covered by respectable andresponsible journalists.
EMPLOYEE OPINION SURPASSES CEOOPINION AS TOP COMMUNICATIONSEFFECTIVENESS MEASURE
CCOs increasingly report that employeesatisfaction/engagement metrics are theireffectiveness yardsticks, growing by 33% from2007 to 2010. Employee engagement is alsoexpected to be a top challenge/issue by CCOsin the upcoming year. These ndings maynot be surprising given reported employerexpectations of worker attrition and the need toretain skilled talent upon economic recovery.For the rst time since our tracking began, theCEO’s “gut feel” is not the top measure forevaluating communications programs. Thisyear saw a marked drop in the number of CCOs reporting that the CEO’s reaction totheir work is important in judging effectiveness.Most likely this reects the CEO’s pre-occupation with business results during thetumultuous economic period combined withtrust in the CCO’s ability to expertly managecommunications.
SOCIAL MEDIA CONTINUES TO RISE ONCCO AGENDAS
A growing number of CCOs believe that socialmedia experience is critical for CCO “starsof tomorrow,” ranking it as the third mostimportant experience behind business/nancialand crisis/issues management.Social media/blogging is expected to be thecommunications tool that will increase mostdramatically in importance over the course of the next year.CCOs cite social media/blogging as the mostfrequently added function to their departmentsduring the past year.
“How to effectively use social mediato build consumer interest is the mostcritical corporate communicationschallenge in the year ahead.”– Fortune Global 500 CCO
74%84%75%
Top 3 Effectiveness Measures
61%73%70%74%81%60%201020082007
CEO Gut FeelEmployeeSatisfactionMediaCoverageFavorability
 
20082010
40
%
35
%
54
%
31
%
41
%
28
%
RISING IMPORTANCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
New/social media experience among themost important qualifications fortomorrow’s corporate communicatorsSocial media/blogging the fastestgrowing communications resource fornext yearSocial media/blogging the top function/responsibility added to department inpast 12 months
Asked on an open-ended basis about themost critical challenges facing corporatecommunications in the year ahead, CCOs mostfrequently mentioned social or online media.
 
3© 2010
The Rising CCO III
ONLINE THREATS TO REPUTATION SHOULD ESCALATE SOCIAL MEDIA IMPERATIVE
Approximately one-third of global CCOs (34%) report that their companies experienced a social media-based reputation threat during the past 12 months. Yet, just as many - 33% - say they are not preparedfor managing these types of online reputational threats.Interestingly, CCOs of threatened companies are no more likely to believe they are well-prepared to dealwith such a threat than their counterparts whose companies were not threatened. In fact, nearly one-quarter of them (23%) say they are not prepared. Either they have not learned their lesson or realize thecomplexities and unknowns of managing reputation in social media.
CCOs Whose CompaniesExperienced ThreatPrepared for asocial media threat(4-5)Neither prepared/unprepared (2)Not prepared for asocial media threat(1-2)
35%33%42%23%31%36%
CCOs Who Companies Didnot Experience a Threat
SOCIAL MEDIA ROI IS UNPROVEN
Communications departments are not taking advantage of social network metrics. When CCOsare asked about the importance of communications effectiveness measures, only 14% saythe number of Facebook or other social network users who “like” their company or join theircompany’s network groups is important. Even fewer, 10%, report that the number of people whofollow their company on Twitter is important.
 
The critical communications issues from the downturnmade corporate communications very valuable...and verybusy with less folks to do the work.– Fortune Global 500 CCO
PREPAREDNESS FOR A SOCIAL MEDIA THREAT

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