In the agency business, the CCO is the Chief Creative Officer. On the client-side, the CCO is the Chief Communications Officer.
The Chief Communications Officer is not the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO), but the roles are intertwined. Or they were.
According to PR Week, modern CCOs are now tasked with brand management in addition to their public relations and public affairs duties. Jon Iwata, former communications leader at IBM and chair of thought leadership at Page, explains:
One of the things we found was that the majority of CCOs we spoke with now have formal responsibility for their corporate brand or the master brand of their companies.
Historically, we dealt with stakeholders as broad segments of the population, and the only way to reach them was through intermediaries like the press. Now we can get to them directly, which is why you’re seeing the huge way of content creation.
It sounds innocent when wrapped in flowery language. The reality is we’re looking at digital disruption and its aftermath and it’s messy.
The PR industry now has to deal with what’s happened to the news business. It’s hard to plant stories in the disappearing press and get any value from them when people don’t take the time to read.
Iwata mentions that PR teams are now in the content creation game, as a means of managing the information problems facing brands. He does not say how more content will solve anything for clients.
As companies across industries and regions transform, the c-suite is being shaken up. I learned this through 200+ conversations with leaders of corporate brands, communications, culture and public affairs. This report sums up what I learned and recommend. @awpagesociety https://t.co/WsekEblaF9
— Jon Iwata (@coastw) September 11, 2019
Reinvent Yourself Fast
As editor of Adpulp.com, I have a steady and sometimes interesting view into common PR practices.
The sad truth is only a handful of people in the PR game are willing to do the work necessary to establish a productive relationship with journalists. “Spray and pray” is the method used by 99 of 100 PR pros. It’s an embarrassing display of email gone wrong, and a gross waste of everyone’s time and resources.
The need for change in PR practices is well past due.
Also in PR Week, IBM’s CCO Ray Day, says:
Most of us leading comms functions today have degrees in mass communications and have spent decades perfecting that model. Yet the world has moved on to micro-communications and extreme personalization. And that’s our opportunity – as our marketing colleagues realized many years ago.
We need to reinvent ourselves, reskill our teams and change our priorities to focus on how people consume information today and will tomorrow, rather than operating in our comfort zones.
Mr. Day speaks the truth. Comfort zones are too often places where mold grows.
This is the hard reality for all marketers of every stripe: 69% of U.S. adults in the current survey say their trust in the news media has decreased in the past decade. Just 4% say their trust has increased.
Trust in brands may be on the rise, although I don’t have data to support this. Even if I had the data, there is more data that points to the fact that most people can’t distinguish news from content marketing. For the busy mom or harried executive, it’s all media.
By realizing how little time and how little trust people have to give, PR pros can do what the best advertising pros have long done—start with the premise that no one cares, and go from there.