The explosion of social and enterprise data has both helped and hindered the day-to-day lives of corporate communications departments. On one hand, a typical global brand is capable of producing millions to billions of data points across social, online and traditional media channels — which becomes a challenge to decipher and cut through the noise. At the same time, this data becomes a virtual treasure trove to understand trends, calibrate the marketplace, and discern customer sentiment.

Historically, corporate communications professionals leveraged a limited data set to ultimately produce a handful of core metrics including media hits, competitive mentions and share of voice. Today, the CCO’s team has evolved into part-time data scientists. This new skill set has empowered communications professionals to transform a seemingly endless pool of data into meaningful insights that protects and boosts their brand, guides corporate strategy and counters a crisis. As communications professionals prepare to adapt to this brave new (big data) world, what new skills are a prerequisite to succeed as a modern-day Chief Communications Officer?  

Analytical and Lover of Data

While the typical CCO’s has never dealt with large (or any) datasets, the role has evolved into an analytical nature. The new breed of CCO brings a deeper technical expertise to the position, often coming from a more analytical background. Communications departments are required to provide insights to the entire enterprise on the health of the brand and the key industry trends. Modern CCO’s understand the need for a centralized approach to data collection. The most cutting edge communications departments have automated the manual legwork associated with data analysis and heavily leverage media and social intelligence approaches to surface business insights.

Social Intelligence

The proliferation of digital media, and in particular social media, acts as a double-edged sword for communications departments. Online forums provide a ubiquitous platform to share the values and culture a company holds, yet the two-way nature means anyone can destroy a reputation that has taken years to build with one quick tweet. This proves even more problematic as accuracy often comes secondary to speed. CCO’s have to train their staff on how to use and monitor social media effectively to manage and enhance brand reputation and use platforms as a method to distribute company branded content. When things go awry, leaders should have plans in place that can be swiftly implemented to mitigate any potential negativity towards the brand.

Builder of Modern Metrics

As the CCO transition to a data-centric approach, their team will be required to leverage modern metrics to drive business results and track performance. Currently, only 24% of communications teams leverage online/social media activity in their KPI’s. In the future, CCO’s must understand the correlation between social and media intelligence data and enterprise/customer data. Armed with this business context around social intelligence, the CCO team will be empowered to support the broader enterprise and protect and build their brand.

A data-centric approach enables modern CCO’s to completely revolutionize how their departments work. This modern approach to analyzing media activity lets teams take a proactive approach to external chatter around brands, as well as the entire industry. This knowledge will inevitably help CCO’s strengthen relationships across the enterprise and allow departments to create a stronger culture around the brand.

If you would like to learn more about how media metrics based upon social intelligence will support key business objectives for every major enterprise, join H+K Strategies and Zignal Labs for an informative webcast on January 24th.