Insomnia in the C-Suite: Comms Key to Mitigating Risks in Turbulent Economy

The current financial crisis is a mixed bag for communications executives, according to a slew of recent industry reports. On the one hand, their value quotient seems to have increased exponentially in the eyes of CEOs, as suggested by Weber Shandwick, KRC Research and Spencer Stuart’s newest “Rising CCO” study. Among its findings: 58% of global chief communications officers (CCOs) now report to the CEO (as compared to 48% a year ago), and their average tenure has increased from 54 to 65 months.

On the other hand, the risk-saturated business environment presents a proliferating array of challenges to senior management teams. To overcome these challenges, business leaders are homing in on the most critical drivers of success: talent management, change management and the strength of the organization’s brand and reputation, which ranked first, second and third, respectively, in the 12th annual PricewaterhouseCoopers Global CEO Survey.

Seeing that list should prompt a unanimous response among communications execs: “Those are all part of my job.” Indeed, whether or not they are listed in the official job description, these responsibilities come naturally to communicators, which would explain the C-suite’s growing reliance on their skill sets.

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