The Rise of Communications Chiefs

(Bild: Shutterstock)

(Bild: Shutterstock)

Most heads of communication have been able to widen their powers over the past few years. They have an ever stronger influence on how the chief executives decide, the results of a study show.

The results are based on a survey of a comprehensive survey of leading chief communications officers (CCOs) and are an extension of the «CCO Compass», which the HarbourClub developed in cooperation with gfs.bern polling institute over the past one-and-a-half years.

The study is taking stock of the value of input by CCOs in Switzerland and their concept of communication.

Digitization Affects Communications Strategies

No less than 83 percent of CCOs said that their personal influence on the communication of reputation has increased over the past three years. Not a single CCO said to have lost in influence.

The figures show just how much the importance of communication on strategy, brand, products, perception and culture has grown in the era of digital change.

CEOs Rely Heavily on CCOs

The study also shows that the level of trust that CEOs have in their CCOs is an indicator of success. The increase in importance however doesn't stop at the door of the CEO: 93 percent of the CCOs perform their advice not just to the benefit of the top management, but also for other areas of their companies.

Of the CCOs surveyed, four out of ten give the potential of the digital technology a top mark; the average being a remarkable 8.6 points out of 10.

Despite having understood the opportunities on offer by the digitization, companies seem not have adopted to the new communicative demands yet. A mere 20 percent of the companies surveyed have a strategy of how they aim to cope with the change in communication demands.

A further 40 percent are working on such a strategy, while 30 percent have no dialogue strategy at all.

New Channels Demand Attention of CCOs

The fight to get noticed has increased in line with the number of new communication channels on offer. Of the CCOs surveyed, 58 percent invest «substantially more» on making visually, emotionally and in general easier to understand.

Further results of the «CCO Compass» of the HarbourClub will be published later this year.

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