Social Threats Overwhelm CCOs

Social media is big, say chief communicators, but a significant number of them may not be prepared to handle negative consequences of the channel. 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