Blog Tagged Articles

24 November 2016

US CCOs earn more than their FTSE100 Group UK Corporate Comms/Affairs Directors counterparts

Each year Watson Helsby publishes its' annual FTSE 100 Group Corporate Communications/Affairs Director survey. We thought it would be interesting to compare our findings with Korn Ferry's most recent Chief Communications Officer (CCO) survey of Fortune 500 Chief Communications Officers, where comparable data sets exist in each survey. Since the corporate affairs director position/title is…

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23 November 2016

Marrying reputation risk with strategic reputation management

The rigour and modelling methodologies that are often found in the Strategic Risk practices of the management consultancies have rarely combined well with the strategic reputation management expertise found in some communications consultancies.  It was, therefore, interesting to see that H-K Bryn, former partner for Strategic Risk at Deloitte, has teamed up with the Headland Consultancy to launch a new reputation…

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15 September 2016

Does the external affairs function need to be reinvented?

A recent McKinsey survey – “How to reinvent the external affairs function” – undertaken amongst a sample of executives (it did not specify titles) revealed a dissatisfaction with the capability of their external affairs teams. A few stats stand out: “Only 11% of executives said their companies frequently succeeded at shaping government and regulatory decisions.” And there were no regions or…

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11 July 2016

Outlook for mid senior level corporate affairs hiring

There is no doubt that Brexit will further extend a period uncertainty and we all know in periods of uncertainty, investment decisions are postponed. This applies as much to strategic hires as it does to capital expenditure. Although the last six months have seen some senior level hiring in corporate affairs, activity levels have undoubtedly declined year on year. In…

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11 July 2016

Our guest blogger Hans - Kristian Bryn provides his view on reputational risk and the role of the CAD

Reputational risk - where do the responsibilities of the Corporate Affairs Director start and end?  A view by our guest blogger Hans-Kristian Bryn, an international risk management and governance advisor, formerly UK leader of Deloitte’s Strategic Risk Practice.  Reputational risk management is a hot topic and often debated with and amongst Corporate Affairs Directors (CADs).  However, CADs are only one of the…

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15 June 2016

Who should play the role of consigliere to the CEO?

In a recent article in HR Magazine, Richard Hytner suggests that the HR Director is the most obvious person to play the role of consigliere to the CEO. He has just published a book called ‘Consigliere: Leading from the Shadows. There is no doubt CEOs have a lonely job and most would admit to…

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08 June 2016

What's the future of the CCO role?

Somewhat belatedly, since it was published in March, I am flagging a new research study, published by the Arthur Page Society (a US based professional association for senior PR and corporate communications executives), which explores the future of the Chief Communications Officer (CCO) role here: http://goo.gl/7VcCTO. The research was led and co-authored by Jon Iwata, SVP of…

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25 April 2016

Is corporate communications really embracing data and insight?

In a recent conversation with a large FTSE 100 retail bank, one of their communications leaders told me that the capability gap that concerned them most was in data analysis. This is now their main hiring priority. And in a recent discussion of the findings of the latest Arthur Page Society report, “The New CCO: Transforming Enterprises in a Changing…

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12 February 2016

To be or not to be there

We are shortly to publish a research study, in partnership with a Brussels-based headhunting firm, Viapublic, which investigates how companies organise and resource their Brussels and broader EU public affairs capability. It should be of interest to any company either reviewing their approach to monitoring and influencing policy in Brussels/EU or considering establishing a presence there. One interesting finding was the…

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22 January 2016

FTSE 100 Group Corporate Communications/Affairs Director Survey

Our latest FTSE 100 Group Corporate Communications/Affairs Director Survey (2015/2016) is now available.  This has become the most comprehensive and insightful survey of its type, in terms of both the number of companies surveyed (over 90) and the range of questions we ask/themes we investigate. …

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29 October 2015

It’s “tone at the middle” not “tone at the top”

With the recent spate of corporate scandals in mind, many of which have been behaviour-related, it is worth referencing a report published earlier this year by Thomson Reuters (written by Dr Roger Miles, an expert in behavioural economics and conduct risk) entitled “Tracing the true…

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13 October 2015

Who's leading on reputation risk?

Reputation risk is a hot topic right now and a major preoccupation for most boards who are looking for reassurance that reputation risk is being managed systematically, and with the same rigour and frameworks, as every other risk.  The City is increasingly also looking for evidence that reputation management and intelligence systems are in place.  There is an opportunity here for…

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13 October 2015

Is corporate communications really embracing data and insight?

In a recent conversation with a large FTSE 100 retail bank, one of their communications leaders told me that the capability gap that concerned them most was in data analysis. This is now their main hiring priority. And in a recent discussion of the findings of the latest Arthur Page Society report, “The New CCO: Transforming Enterprises in a Changing…

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16 July 2015

An existential threat? Probably not, for now

Most candidates will be aware that more and more companies are investing in dedicated in-house talent/recruitment teams to conduct searches and approach candidates direct (often on behalf of the hiring manager).  One experienced and heavyweight communications director I spoke to recently said he had been approached about a number of roles, and not one of them had been via a…

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03 July 2015

European Association of Communications Directors (EACD)

At the European Association of Communications Directors’ Conference in Brussels last week there was frequent reference to a development, probably more prominent in the US, which is the integration of the marketing and corporate communications/affairs functions. Historically corporate communications has concerned itself with traditional ‘corporate’ stakeholder and marketing has focused on the consumer of customer.  However the lines between ‘corporate’ and…

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18 March 2015

"Staying on the front foot"

Our latest research report, “Staying on the front foot”, is published this week. Drawing on both our observations as specialist headhunters and on interviews with respected corporate affairs directors it describes, in considerable depth, the unique contribution of the corporate affairs leader, and their team, to the leadership and success of an organisation. This analysis is accompanied…

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11 March 2015

What happens when general counsel leads the corporate affairs function?

Over recent weeks I have had a number of conversations about the impact on the role and contribution of the corporate affairs function when it is led by a corporate lawyer (i.e. general counsel). And the subject cropped up again today over lunch. There is no doubt that CEOs of companies in heavily regulated industry sectors (e.g. tobacco) feel more…

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26 January 2015

FTSE 100 Director of Corporate Affairs/Comms Survey – 2014 results

Watson Helsby’s latest FTSE 100 Group Director of Corporate Affairs/Communications Survey is published today http://goo.gl/5FxkZA. This analysis covers 99 of the FTSE 100, making it the most comprehensive survey available. Key findings include: 22% of FTSE 100s still do not believe in the need for the role and that only 43% of those FTSE 100s that do employ…

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29 October 2014

Is the corporate affairs director role sufficiently valued and understood?

In a recent article http://tinyurl.com/mj5c8w we highlighted that 43% of FTSE 100 companies have a corporate affairs director on the executive board. With NEDs increasingly wanting reassurance that relationships and reputation are being managed with the same rigour as any other business risk, it would be surprising if this did not increase. The Watson Helsby 2014 FTSE…

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29 October 2014

Corporate Comms Directors need to identify their successor

In a recent front page article in the FT (19th April) it was reported that “big UK companies are breaking with their global peers and hiring more chief executives from outside than ever before”.  According to research published by PwC, on which the piece was based, 58% of new chief executives came from outside the company, versus…

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