There's Never Been a Better Time to Be a CCO
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Corporate Communications Practices

There's Never Been a Better Time to Be a CCO

June 14, 2022 | Report

Or a more challenging and demanding one

Over the past two years, chief communications officers have been at the center of helping their organizations manage a host of extraordinarily complex business, social, and political issues—everything from a global pandemic, social unrest, and employee activism to return-to-work policies, creating a distinctive corporate culture, debilitating polarization, and the growing dissemination of misinformation.

It’s been nothing short of exhausting, but it does illustrate how the role and responsibilities of the CCO have been expanding. This heightened role is well documented in a recent research report by The Conference Board, Corporate Communications Practices 2022 Edition: Rapid Changes in the Corporate Communications Function.

With this ever-evolving and demanding role come increasing challenges and pressures. The new roles and responsibilities may be beyond the CCO’s traditional competencies and comfort levels. The Great Resignation has made talent harder to find and retain. CCOs are being asked to do even more with less. CEO expectations of the function are through the roof. As a result, CCOs are facing fatigue and burnout. These jobs are not for the faint of heart.

However, there has never been a better time for the CCO and the communications function to demonstrate their value to the overall success of the enterprise. The CCOs that are thriving in this environment are doing so by relying on an evolving skill set.

First and foremost, they are business savvy, strategic, and creative. They are incredibly collaborative. They have strong networking and influence skills. They are emphatic and understand the hearts and minds of all the company’s diverse stakeholders. They are more digitally savvy and more data and analytics driven. They are agile, keep things simple, and execute at warp speed. And finally, they have thick skin.

If these sound like the core competencies of the past, they are, sort of. To be successful in today’s turbulent and unpredictable environment, it’s no longer good enough to just be proficient at some or all of these talents. It now requires a doubling down on all these competencies with a depth of true expertise and understanding never before required.

Today’s successful CCOs are having a profound impact on their organizations and are a critically important member of the senior executive team. Going forward, the demands of the external environment aren’t going to get any easier, and neither will the role of the CCO. But I have no doubt they will be more than up to the challenge.



Senior Fellow
The Conference Board Marketing & Communications Center


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