WEDNESDAY 27 OCT 2010 7:49 AM


Only one in three companies say they’re equipped to tackle reputational threats from social media, according to new survey from PR firm Weber Shandwick.

The third edition of the Rising CCO, an annual survey conducted in association with executive search firm Spencer Stuart, found that 34% of global chief corporate communications officers say their companies experienced a social-media based reputation threat during the past 12 months. Yet, just as many – 33% - say they are not prepared for managing these types of online reputational threats.
The corporate communicators believe the most critical challenge as well as the greatest opportunity in the year ahead is social or online media, with 54% citing new/social media experience among the most important qualifications for tomorrow's communicators. And they are ramping up to meet the challenge: social media/blogging is expected to be the fastest-growing function in communications departments in the next 12 months, having risen dramatically from 28% (2008) to 41% (2010) in two years.
"Online threats to corporate reputation are escalating the social media imperative when it comes to the new skill sets and experiences required of today's CCOs," said George Jamison of Spencer Stuart. "Credible experience in this area has shifted from 'nice to have' to 'must have' for the most desirable corporate leadership roles."
North American CCOs are the most likely to have experienced a social media threat to their companies' reputations in the past year. They are also the most likely to feel well prepared for dealing with such threats. By far, APAC CCOs are the least confident in their preparedness, although many (52%) are striving to formalise their social media efforts.