15 March 2016 Page Society Releases Report on the Future of the Chief Communications Officer

NEW YORK – March 16, 2016 – The Arthur W. Page Society unveiled a new research report today describing how the Chief Communications Officer (CCO) of the future will help enterprises build trust and reputation in a challenging and rapidly changing environment.

The New CCO: Transforming Enterprises in a Changing World culminates two years of research with leading CCOs and business executives, led by Jon Iwata, senior vice president of marketing and communications, IBM, and Sean O'Neill, chief corporate relations officer, Heineken.

"The digital revolution is redefining the environment in which today's enterprises operate, creating both risks and opportunities for brand and reputation," Iwata said. "And emerging technologies are transforming how every company operates, markets and yes, communicates and engages with all stakeholders.

"CCOs can lead the digital revolution for their enterprises by building digital engagement systems that leverage data insight to tailor experiences to the individual – whether customers, employees, influencers or the community – and help foster more meaningful relationships with them. This shift has been predicted for decades, and now it's here – but it's just the beginning of why CCOs must change."

The new CCO must also have the corresponding ability to coordinate, integrate and lead stakeholder engagement across the enterprise. "The CCO deals with a greater number of issues and stakeholders than ever before," O'Neill added. "Digital technology is providing a stronger, broader platform from which stakeholders can put their view to the enterprise and beyond. Understanding, prioritizing and engaging with these views will be central to the CCO's ability to provide strategic counsel, align across functional areas and help shape the direction and decisions of the enterprise. It is a key leadership role."

The New CCO identifies three distinct and essential roles for the CCO:

  1. The Foundational CCO: Operating and advising with a broad stakeholder view in mind, thereby being a strategic leader and counselor to the enterprise. This is the conventionally understood role of the CCO but is more critical today than ever before.
  2. The CCO as Integrator: Leading cross-functional collaboration within the enterprise and across the C-Suite, thereby involving the entire enterprise in building corporate character and stakeholder advocacy.
  3. The CCO as Builder of Digital Engagement Systems: Developing sophisticated, enterprise-wide digital systems and processes for managing engagement with all stakeholders.

The report also examines the emerging skills and competencies that CCOs and other communicators will need, and offers recommendations on how to meet the challenges of today's business environment.

For the first time ever, the Page Society has issued a digital whitepaper of this report that augments a summary with social, video and other interactive features. The Society has also launched a new publication on Medium called The New CCO, which will continue to offer new thinking and dialogue on this topic.

VIDEO: Introduction by Page Society Chairman Dave Samson

DOWNLOAD: Report & Executive Summary

VIEW: Digital Whitepaper

VIDEO: Key Findings of The New CCO


About the Arthur W. Page Society

The Arthur W. Page Society is a professional association for senior public relations and corporate communications executives who seek to enrich and strengthen their profession. Membership consists primarily of chief communications officers (CCOs) of Fortune 500 corporations, the CEOs of the world's largest public relations agencies, and leading academics from top business and communications schools. With 649 members in 21 countries, the Page Society enables members to develop professional relationships with the most knowledgeable, influential and innovative global leaders in enterprise communications. Members also participate in producing thought leadership that is shaping the understanding of the value and role of corporate communications, and are able to take advantage of professional development opportunities for their staff. The Page Society is dedicated to strengthening the enterprise leadership role of the CCO. For more information please visit www.awpagesociety.com.