The Chief Communications Officer (CCO), key figure for companies to successfully compete in the Reputation Economy

Reputation & Reputational Risk

The Chief Communications Officer (CCO), key figure for companies to successfully compete in the Reputation Economy

Madrid October 18, 2012. 88% of large companies worldwide believe reputation has become a key factor for business success, according to the study “Navigating in the Reputation Economy” conducted among 300 major international companies by Reputation Institute. The report shows that 68.1% of companies admit to be in the incipient stage of this reputation strategic management, however, it anticipates that there will be an important progress in this field over the next five years.

According to the companies surveyed, the main challenges are: active management of all their stakeholders (for 55.6% of respondents) and strategic alignment (36.3%). Therefore, communication is going to be one of the keys to reputation management, thus the role of the communications director is configured as the main role for managing corporate reputation (55.9%).

According to Beverly Nannini, Director of Consulting and Operations at Reputation Institute in Spain and Latin America, "in order to successfully compete in the Reputation Economy, companies need to face the necessary organizational changes to integrate this intangible transversely across the company departments and thus, constitute a basic KPI when formulating corporate strategy. It is a complex process that involves the renovation of some traditional roles. In the most advanced companies, the strategic definition of reputation is made by consensus between the CEO and CCO (Chief Communications Officer), being the latter the responsible for its implementation".

The reputation of Spanish companies

According to the study Reputation Management in Spain, conducted by Dr. Ana Casado, researcher at the University of Málaga, in the last 10 years by 45% of companies surveyed have already started to manage corporate reputation. In the case of large Spanish multinationals and corporations, this figure rises to 80%.

 According to this study, 55% of reputation directors have the profile of the Communications Director and 60% of the reputation areas are integrated into corporate communications departments, although there is a great variety in organizational nomenclatures. In this regard, Dr. Casado believes that "reputation management is enabling communication areas increasingly influence the definition and implementation of the overall strategy."

Five stages

Analysing the success cases of leading firms in corporate reputation management, Reputation Institute has developed a “roadmap” (The Voyage of Reputation Management) that describes how to integrate at the highest level strategic reputation in five stages:

1. Defining reputation metrics and initial measurements.

2. Knowledge about stakeholder expectations and interests.

3. Linking reputation indicator with other business metrics.

4. Transversal reputation management within the company and integration of the reputation indicator in the scorecard.

5. Integration of reputation in the company strategy and operations.

About Corporate Excellence - Centre for Reputation Leadership

A new think tank to professionalize management of intangible assets and contribute to the development of strong brands with good reputation and able to compete in to the global market.

About Reputation Institute

Reputation Institute is the world's leading reputation management consultancy, enabling leaders to make more confident business decisions that build and protect reputational capital and drive competitive advantage. Founded in 1997 by Charles Fombrun (USA) and Cees Van Riel (Netherlands), they operate in 30 countries. Reputation Institute provides best-in-class reputation consulting to empower more confident decision-making, enabling its clients to achieve their corporate objectives.