The CCO as Pacesetter: What It Means, Why It Matters, How to Get There

The CCO as Pacesetter:
What It Means, Why It Matters, How to Get There

This is our most exhaustive research project on the evolving role of the CCO. Over 18 months, we talked with more than 200 senior communications leaders around the world and conducted a survey of 170 more. The results are undeniable: The CCO is at the nexus of enterprise transformation, producing new demands and requirements that, when met, elevate the function to be more essential and strategic than ever before.

We start with the ubiquitous disruptive forces at work, causing CEOs to focus on transformation of everything from the business model to corporate identity to organizational structure. Many CCOs are stepping up to help, and our research showed they are focusing on four dimensions of leadership.

The first is CommTech, a new approach to how we engage stakeholders and move from shaping their perceptions to influencing desired behaviors and outcomes. Derived from MarTech, CommTech requires new tools, teaming structures, roles, processes and skills, all of which are described.

The other three dimensions relate to the Corporate Character aspect of the Page Model. The first is brand stewardship. Though historically the domain of marketing, two-thirds of CCOs now own the corporate brand. This is because corporate brand is about the experience that all stakeholders have with the enterprise through every touchpoint. The second is corporate culture, which many enterprises are transforming as they strive to compete in a rapidly disrupted business environment. Third is societal value creation. Employees and even investors increasingly expect that companies address societal challenges and take stands on those issues.

To make this work more actionable and relevant for Page members and their teams, we’ve created Progression Paths. These offer concrete guidance on how to drive transformation in ways that are now essential to CCO leadership.



Related reports

The CEO View:
Communications at the Center of the Enterprise

The CEO View: Communications at the Center of the Enterprise

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?

The CCO as Builder of Digital Engagement Systems

The CCO as Builder of Digital Engagement Systems

This paper focuses on helping Page Society members implement one of the three core dimensions of the contemporary framework for the new CCO role described in The New CCO: Transforming Enterprises in a Changing World: that of strategic enterprise leadership and engineering of "Digital Engagement Systems" to create enterprise-wide competitive advantage.

Latest from Page

This is why we exist: Coronavirus and the CCO - Kati Everett, Novant Health

Given the enormous impact of Coronavirus on companies, we are shifting gears for the next few episodes. Page has been convening its members to share knowledge and best practices in these uncharted territories. We will be bringing you insights from a few of our members with a first-hand look at how they are helping their organizations grapple with these circumstances.  In our first episode in this series, Kati Everett, the CCO at Novant Health, shares with us how her team is helping the people at the front lines of this battle, at a time when their business priorities have shifted entirely. The role of the communications team has never been more central to the organization when having the latest information saves lives. She ends by sharing advice for CCOs navigating this crisis, keeping in mind that there will be a time when we are post-crisis.

Hindsight is 2020: Echoes of the Dawn of PR – Rob Flaherty, Ketchum

History may not always repeat itself but it sure can rhyme. As the world grapples with populism, income inequality and a revolt by a disenfranchised working class, we can see now how the 1920s, with similar circumstances, brought about a progressive movement and spawned the field of public relations. On this episode, Rob Flaherty, chairman of Ketchum, shares his thoughts on how the world we live in today must heed important lessons from a century ago. His big two calls for today’s CCOs – step up to the evolving role of business in society, and commit to CommTech as a central aspect of the future of our profession.

The New Paradigm
of Corporate Citizenship
2020 Page International Exchange
February 12-14, Abu Dhabi

2020 Page International Exchange

Our second annual Page International Exchange brought together Page and Page Up leaders and invited guests from across the globe to examine the future of the Communications function. Attendees exchanged knowledge, shared and learned from leading experts and each other on topics impacting our members and their teams – with this year’s conference focused on corporate citizenship. There were also plenty of opportunities for networking and conversation, both hallmarks of Page events. Throughout, we explored our conference theme: The New Paradigm of Corporate Citizenship. Leaders of all kinds and around the world are insisting that corporations must focus more on their broader role in the world. Stakeholders increasingly expect businesses to create not only customer and shareholder value but societal value as well. These demands come not just from civil society activists. Customers factor them into purchase decisions, and employees consider them when deciding where to work. And, increasingly, investors are focused on corporate purpose and basing investment decisions on a company’s ability to produce sustainable value over the long-term. These are central themes of the 2019 Page report, The CCO as Pacesetter. In Abu Dhabi we dove into this new world with a wealth of thought leaders, case studies and discussions on the implications for corporations, their stakeholders, and their CCOs.

Honoring Harold Burson, 1921-2020

To commemorate Harold Burson following his passing at age 98, we are republishing a past podcast featuring Harold’s conversation with Becky Edwards, now CCO of Schneider Electric, at the 2018 Page Spring Seminar. Harold explains why he’s bullish on the future of the communications, his roundabout path into the profession, and how the digital era has and will continue to reshape it.