The CCO as Builder of Digital Engagement Systems

The ability for anyone to like, share and comment on virtually anything, to virtually everyone, is redefining how enterprises pursue stakeholder engagement. In less than a decade, social media has evolved from nascent novelty to the most personalized mass media we have ever experienced. Influence and engagement occur at a pace and scale unimaginable just a few short years ago, and mobile technology has significantly accelerated this new reality.

The reach and richness of social media are fueled by unprecedented, real-time content creation capabilities, available to everyone. News is truly 24/7. We are bombarded with a continuous flow of fact, fiction and opinion. Influence is immediate. Engagement is constant. Action is always imminent. Combined with the predictive power of big data analytics, digital engagement is transforming how we live, work and interact with each other.

Digital systems are evolving and enhancing traditional stakeholder engagement strategies, methods and approaches. Such systems do not supplant building and managing direct stakeholder relationships; human interaction remains vitally important and strategically critical to successful stakeholder engagement. These systems strengthen traditional relationship management by providing analytical, data-driven insights and contemporary tools to influence stakeholder actions and behaviors at enterprise scale. In this new environment of information and influence, effectively harnessing digital engagement is essential to activating corporate character and creating authentic advocacy – the two components of the Page Model for Enterprise Communications. Chief Communications Officers are well-positioned to lead in these endeavors, and drive desired actions, behaviors and outcomes across relevant stakeholders in unprecedented ways. This presents significant opportunities for CCOs to create enterprise value and competitive advantage.

This paper focuses on helping Page Society members implement one of the three core dimensions of the contemporary framework for the new CCO role described in The New CCO: Transforming Enterprises in a Changing World: that of strategic enterprise leadership and engineering of “Digital Engagement Systems” to create enterprise-wide competitive advantage. It offers practical tips, tools and frameworks for how CCOs can build enterprise-wide systems for managing stakeholder engagement at scale. This content will be supplemented with ongoing interactive forums intended to further learning and sharing of best practices among Page members.

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