Impact of Sarbanes-Oxley

PR execs have been chattering for the last year or so how much the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 has changed the way they conduct business. Now, some numbers help to tell the
story. A new survey conducted by KRC Research on behalf of PR agency Weber Shandwick says that's 86% of corporate communications agree that Sarbanes-Oxley has dramatically changed
the nature of their jobs, as companies have made communications teams a more integral part of their inner sanctums. The survey took the pulse of 104 senior-level communications
executives from Fortune 500 companies. Jack Leslie, chairman of Weber Shandwick, says the study shows CEOs have started to rethink the role of PR in light of Sarbanes-Oxley.
"Companies are responding by hiring much more seasoned professionals, which has implications for both corporations and agencies in that some [PR] functions are being taken in-
house" rather than being farmed out to the agency side, he says. He added: "Organizations should be making this information available, and now there doesn't have to be a debate
about it. It doesn't have to be the big problem many folks have suggested it is, but is a positive for our industry." The chart nearby provides stats from the survey showing that
SOX has forced PR execs to take on responsibilities much more tied to management than in the past.