Knowledge & Insight

The changing nature of Corporate Communications

Wed 12 March 2014

To say that the role of Corporate Communications has evolved in recent years would be a colossal understatement. The way the world communicates has changed radically over the past decade, and it continues to change as new technologies emerge almost daily. Markets, businesses, clients and consumers are all connected in new and exciting ways. Yet the role of Corporate Communications is not to manage these interactions - because that would not be feasible - but to monitor, analyse, contribute to, influence, engage with and inform these conversations, and to do so in a way that supports brand reputation. Because in today’s “always-on” communications environment, brand reputation is critical.

A business-critical function

Corporate Communications is now a business-critical function, one that has grown far beyond the role of managing PR and writing executives’ speeches. The capabilities of Corporate Communications departments have grown too, and the link between communications and bottom line is stronger than ever. Corporate Communications must now be closely integrated with corporate strategy to help deliver clearly defined commercial goals, like brand awareness, customer loyalty, sales, market share, and ultimately, share value. The challenge for Chief Information Officers or Directors of Corporate Communications is not only to deliver positive ROI, but to demonstrate this to their colleagues within the boardroom. Communications executives need to recognise the needs of other board directors and help provide solutions to match.

Success in a reputation economy

The term “reputation economy” is increasingly heard at the most senior levels, and rightly so, because never before has the success or failure of a company been linked so closely to brand reputation – and that reputation can be made or broken almost overnight. Yet most CIOs have no clear framework for reputation management. Whilst they can control the actions and output of their own department, they often struggle to find a system that allows them to monitor and influence the actions and behaviours of the wider organisation. So Corporate Communications must integrate more closely with the rest of the business, to influence all interactions at all touch-points, and to monitor and engage with social chatter. Because this is how brand reputations are now made.

Reputation management

Reputation management provides the link between communications and wider corporate strategy. In the recent past, communications have frequently operated as a distinct silo within a business, but as reputation comes to impact heavily on all areas of the business, so communications must integrate more closely and more effectively with the wider organisation. Businesses need to understand the value of good reputation, and also the potential harm of a bad reputation.

Corporate Communications executive recruitment

The rapidly changing communications environment makes Corporate Communications executive recruitment very challenging. The very nature of roles and responsibilities, and even the personal characteristics of Corporate Communications executives, are changing. Stone Executive specialises in Corporate Communications executive search. We unite leading talent with exciting and challenging Corporate Communications executive opportunities. As Corporate Communications head hunters, we have kept pace with marketplace developments, we understand the challenges our clients face, and have an unrivalled network of senior Corporate Communications executives and senior managers – so we’re well-placed to deliver on even the most challenging recruitment assignments.

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