A few decades ago, public relations was just public relations. However, in recent years, I’ve watched it expand to include a full portfolio of internal communication, social media, and the countless types of external transmissions companies make nowadays.
Naturally, this means the chief communication officer (CCO) has taken on a significantly more prominent leadership role within modern companies. As a strategic adviser to the CEO, the board, and the entire management team, today’s CCO is involved in everything from branding (both corporate and personal) to public corporate positioning.
Why has so much changed so quickly? In my view, three main factors are responsible for this evolution:
- Globalization: Because of the global integration of capital markets, business is now a far more complicated endeavor than it was in the past. Compared to a decade ago, there’s a much wider range of things to consider when it comes to creating a PR strategy.
- Communication channels: Twenty years ago, there were far fewer communication channels, and the ones that did exist were far more pedestrian. Today, there’s a seemingly endless source of them, and each requires a distinct style, voice, and overall strategy.
- Communication speed: In the past, it was common for brand messages to be slowly crafted and honed over time. Today, however, speed is key. Companies are expected to communicate frequently and instantaneously via various digital channels.
Given this impressive increase in complexity, it’s no longer enough for a CCO to just be a good communications professional. He or she must also be bold, strategic, worldly, and business-savvy.
All modern CCOs must have:
Intellectual agility. Top CCOs need to possess strong intellectual curiosity, be willing to immerse themselves in a wide range of unfamiliar subjects,...
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