In 2007 the Arthur W. Page Society published The Authentic Enterprise, which identified radical transformations occurring in the business environment – the digital networking revolution, growing demands for corporate transparency, and rapid globalization – and the ways these were altering how organizations address their communications strategies. The emergence of these changes (which are today the norm) led the Page Society to develop a model that describes the distinctly valuable enterprise leadership role that communications plays in this new environment, and how it can best be undertaken.
This Page Model (formerly “New Model”) is put forth here in Building Belief, which was developed on the basis of a survey of chief communications officers from such companies as Johnson & Johnson, P&G, Apple, eBay, Pepsico, FedEx and IBM about how their roles and functions are changing.
The Page Model begins with the concept of “Corporate Character,” the definition and alignment of mission, purpose, values, culture, business model, strategy, operations and brand to create the unique, differentiating identity of the enterprise. The organization must authentically embody that character in every interaction in order to be deserving of trust.
Then, to earn trust with stakeholders, the CCO, using insights derived from behavioral and cognitive science, follows the Authentic Advocacy portion of the model. This starts with building Shared Belief, which then leads decision-makers to take Action on the basis of those beliefs (e.g. to make a purchase, invest their money, accept a job offer, support policy objectives, etc.). Consequently, confidence is built as their actions lead to positive outcomes.
Advocacy at Scale is achieved by empowering individuals to share their experiences with others. Through consistent, authentic engagement, individuals become advocates, which begins the cycle again as shared belief is built with new stakeholders, leading to more actions.