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The Business of Influence: Reframing Marketing and PR for the Digital Age by PHILIP SHELDRAKE

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The Chief Influence Officer

Unsurprisingly, perhaps, the Chief Influence Officer’s role consists partly of an amalgam of current role descriptions, and therefore of various person specifications / traits, and partly distinct characteristics demanded of the distinctive new role. Before defining the role, the skills and person specification, let’s take a quick look at how some existing titles are said to be evolving, and a look at two relatively new C-suite titles.

Chief Communications Officer

It’s only the most proven and persistent Heads of Communications that get the C-title, and only then in organizations with boards that pay a little more attention to good governance and have a better understanding of the wider and deeper strategic role the CCO plays. Reassuming my mode of generalizing: all other organizations are populated by CxOs who consider the Head of Comms to be the ‘head of press releases, other media relations and urgent responses’, or perhaps actually have a comms head that pigeonholes himself and his team as such.

While definitions of public relations vary, as we took time to review towards the beginning of the book, too few practitioners get the opportunity to deliver the benefits of the full gamut of the public relations role definition in my experience, or are under-qualified to do so from a lack of continuous professional development. I’ve claimed that PR professionals today do not generally attain an appropriate balance of 1st and 3rd flows, with the organization’s ...

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