How do CEOs view communications?

Have CEOs' expectations of their CCOs changed given the rapidly changing nature of our enterprises and the circumstances in which they operate?

What are CEOs priorities, and in what ways are they looking to their CCO for leadership?

These are just a few of the questions that the Arthur W. Page Society sought to answer when they interviewed 24 CEOs. The results are shared in a downloadable report, The CEO View, Communications at the Center of the Enterprise

The full report outlines three dimensions of the CCO:

  1. The Foundational CCO - The strategic advisor role is paramount. 
  2. The CCO as integrator - The enterprise must act in a way that is consistent with its brand and communicates actions consistently. 
  3. The CCO as builder of digital engagement systems - While not the builder them selves, CEOs see CCOs as providing strategy and goals for systems, rather than the operation of it. 

Here are are a few of the key takeaways from the rest. 

  • CEOs now require (not expect) Chief Communication Officers to be knowledgable about the business - from strategy to operations - so that they can provide strategic input. In a previous report, this was an expectation. Now it's a requirement. 
     
  • A core function of a CCO is to always and continuously monitor how customers, employees and the media are talking about the enterprise and be able to engage in these conversations in real-time. Prior, this was only expected during crisis situations. 
     
  • CSR strategies must be communicated to demonstrate the impact being had on the economy, the environment and local communities. The importance of social value is critical to CEOs. 
     
  • Communications is officially a central part of the corporate strategy. Especially in large corporations, the CCO is seen as a key leader and plays a critical role with other C-Suite members. 
     
  • The growth and scope of social media has shifted the impact employees can have as ambassadors. CEOs now realize that employees are confronted with communication challenges in their non-work spaces. Essentially, the line between internal and external is blurred. 

Depending on the level of your interest, there's both an executive summary and a full report. But if you're a communicator and work with your C-suite leaders, this is both a great ready and provides you questions to take to them about the growth in the role of communications.