According to PRSA.org, chief communications officers (CCO) are playing a strategic role more closely aligned with the marketing function at an increasing number of organizations, AdAge.com reports today.
In fact, as AdAge’s Michael Bush notes: “[W]ith the rise of social media and the need for ultra-quick turnaround in creating and launching campaigns, could the day soon come when internal PR departments are steering the marketing ship full time?”
Some high-profile companies already think the two — advertising and communications — are so closely linked that their chief marketing officer and CCO are the same person. As an example, at IBM, Jon Iwata is the senior vice president of marketing and communications who oversees the company’s $450 million marketing budget.
Harry Pforzheimer, chief communications officer and marketing leader at Intuit, told AdAge that most of the company’s growth is actually driven by its PR function and its ability to quickly create and convey marketing messages. He said Intuit’s communications effort — from traditional media to social media channels — “reaches three to four times more people than its advertising does.”
Said Tony Cervone, senior vice president-chief communications officer at United Airlines: “Fundamentally, if you’re doing a better job building relationships with consumers and if you believe that’s part of the role of communications, it’s not hard to imagine that’s having a direct impact on the bottom-line performance.”