“We are undergoing a revolution in human communication.”

So begins the first chapter of a new book authored by more than 30 Page Society members about the multitude of ways that revolution is influencing the role of the CCO and of enterprise communication in general.

Based on years of Page thought leadership and featuring in-depth case studies, The New Era of the CCO: The Essential Role of Communication in a Volatile World unpacks that revolution with new insight into the reality in which enterprises now operate. The result, as Dr. Marcia DiStaso of the University of Florida notes in her introduction, is a book that aims to “provide a solid resource for both communication and general business leaders and everyone from students to professionals.”

To that point, Page president Roger Bolton explained in his recent blog post about the book:

“For Page members and their teams, here is everything we know today about what it takes to help our enterprises build reputation and trust in this challenging environment, all in one place.

“For business executives who want to understand how to lead their people and engage with stakeholders, who often have conflicting views and demands, here is an eye-opening look at what it takes to succeed.

“For students aspiring to a career in corporate communication, public relations or business, here is a rare view into the realities of today’s world from those who know it best.”

Edited by Dr. Don Stacks of the University of Miami, Page president Roger Bolton, and me, the book is co-written by corporate chief communication officers, PR agency CEOs and leading strategic communication educators – who share their personal experiences and perspectives along with the latest research.

It begins with an exploration of the rapidly evolving business landscape, its implications for the communications function and the growing imperative that enterprises safeguard trust. We then look inside of enterprises, discussing two fundamental aspects of the Communication function: building corporate character – the unique and differentiating identity of the enterprise exemplified by elements like mission, purpose, values, culture, strategy and business model – and engaging stakeholders at scale based on said character. Finally, we look ahead at how the foundational role of the CCO – strategic advisor, minder of corporate reputation and stakeholder relationships – is becoming more essential; new opportunities for working across the C-Suite, particularly around infusing corporate character across the enterprise; and how our teams will soon be building “digital engagement systems” that leverage data to engage stakeholders with information, content and experiences that are tailored to their unique needs.

The New Era of the CCO is required reading for anyone who wishes to understand and get out ahead of the changes in our profession. We believe that organizations can be a force for good in the world, and that strong Communication functions create enterprises that are more responsive, responsible and apt to create societal value. This book is perhaps the most comprehensive primer on how that happens, from those who are doing it in their organizations every day.

Finally, I’d like to thank all of the authors for their contributions to the book:

Paul Argenti, Dartmouth
Mark Bain, Upper90 Consulting
Roger Bolton, Page Society
Shannon Bowen, University of South Carolina
Tim Coombs, Texas A&M
Marcia DiStaso, University of Florida
Richard Edelman, Edelman
Bob Feldman, PulsePoint Group
Mike Fernandez, Burson-Marsteller
Terry Flynn, McMaster University
Matt Gonring, MP Gonring Associates
Stephen Greyser, Harvard University
Ginger Hardage, Southwest Airlines (formerly)
Bruce Harrison, Georgetown University
Aedhmar Hynes, Text100
Jon Iwata, IBM (formerly)
Ray Kotcher, Ketchum
Maril MacDonald, Gagen MacDonald
Alan Marks, ServiceNow
Tom Martin, College of Charleston
Tina McCorkindale, Institute for Public Relations
Sean O’Neill, Heineken (formerly)
Jim O’Rourke, University of Notre Dame
Charlotte Otto, Weber Shandwick
Dave Samson, Chevron
Gary Sheffer, Weber Shandwick
Jim Spangler, Navistar
Don Stacks, University of Miami
Wendi Strong, USAA (formerly)
Jen Prosek, Prosek Partners
Richard Woods, Capital One
Don Wright, Boston University
Sally Benjamin Young, Lundbeck

Eliot Mizrachi is vice president for communications & thought leadership at the Page Society.

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Heidy Modarelli handles Growth & Marketing for IPR. She has previously written for Entrepreneur, TechCrunch, The Next Web, and VentureBeat.
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