Chief Communications Officers Face Social Media Threats


According to the annual Rising CCO III survey conducted by executive search firm Spencer Stuart and Weber Shandwick, 34% of global chief communications officers said their companies experienced a social media based reputation threat in the past 12 months. But 33% said they are not prepared to manage these types of threats. Other findings include:

• 54% of participants cited new/social media experience among the most important qualifications for tomorrow’s communicators.

• CCOs expect social media/blogging to be the fastest-growing function in communications departments in the next 12 months, having risen from 28% in 2008 to 41% in 2010.

• Crisis/issue management has also grown as an important skill for future communicators. It is almost twice as important now, rising from 33% in 2007 to 61%.

• Competitive intelligence/risk assessment has become less of a priority in communication departments for the next 12 months. Only 9% of CCOs selected it as an important communications resource planned for the next 12 months, while 22% reported it as an important resource in the 2008 survey.

• Emphasis on environmental responsibility fell from 11% in 2008 to 4% in 2010 as a critical area.

• Media favorability rose as a barometer of communications success, from 75% in 2007 and 74% in 2008 to 84% in 2010.

Source: Weber Shandwick/Spencer Stuart




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  • Kristin Winn

    The book “What’s Mine is Yours” has an excellent chapter on how new media will revolve around reputation. Companies will need to pay much closer attention to customer service when the customer can post negative comments for the world to see.

  • Véronique Schyns

    It might be still fear and not having the knowledge themselves regarding social media that freezes CCOs. I may assume that the CCOs that acknowldege that their company faced social media issues have indeed made preparations. Does the survey give clarity about his?

  • Matilde Cordova

    Very interested