- Spring Seminar
It’s hard to believe that the annual 2015 Arthur W. Page Society Spring Seminar has come to a close. The second day’s lineup was filled with another trove of impressive speakers and more thought-provoking discussion among the attendees.
Again, we explored the key questions: How can CCOs make themselves indispensable to their organizations? How can we help to evolve the role of the CCO? And what will this evolved role look like? And throughout the session, conversations took a deeper look into specific subject areas critical to the indispensable CCO, such as the impact of behavioral economics and technology on how organizations approach their communications.
Kicking off, our first session spotlighted Tim Mayopoulos, President and Chief Executive Officer at Fannie Mae, and Maureen Davenport, Chief Communications Officer at Fannie Mae. Both were interviewed by Kelli Parsons, Senior Vice President and Chief Communications at Officer New York Life Insurance Company, on a panel entitled, “C-Suite Teamwork: From Crisis To A Vision For The Future.” Tim and Maureen emphasized the importance of developing a simple, concrete company mission and vision for the future that can also stand the test of time. For Fannie Mae the vision of being “America’s Most Valued Housing Partner” offers the opportunity to communicate the value of Fannie Mae to multiple stakeholders while outlining a vision for the future that inspires employees.
Christopher Graves, Global Chairman at Ogilvy Public Relations, and Kit Yarrow, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus Worldwide at Golden Gate University, then delivered a compelling joint presentation that focused on the impact that behavioral science has on how the CCO communicates to its stakeholders – specifically explaining the notion that people make decisions based on emotional and relational characteristics, and how perceptions are fueled by frequency, imagery and other associations in addition to actual words.
Mike Buckley, Vice President, Global Business Communications at Facebook then led a panel discussion entitled “Digital Transformation: How CCOs Are Using Technology to Transform Their Departments.” Panelist Jeff DeMarrais, Chief Communications Officer at GE Healthcare, discussed how GE is using a wide variety of channels to engage with stakeholders and reaching an audience of four million directly through its own content engine, both creating and co-creating content for maximum authenticity and reach. Chris Monteiro of MasterCard discussed the Conversation Suite – a tool that his team uses to deliver data and information about the real-time conversations that are taking place about MasterCard at any given time. He specifically discussed how the tool has impacted the entire organization from the communications team to the product development team, allowing Communications to provide intelligence that advances the business. Separately, Jason Schechter of Bloomberg LP, discussed how they are using key Bloomberg technologies, such as the Bloomberg Terminal, to leverage insights about real-time conversations to shape their internal and external communication.
Today’s “Indispensable Moment” was shared by Joanne Bischmann of Harley-Davidson. Joanne’s story brought chills to the crowd. Joanne recalled a crisis from the most recent Harley-Davidson Annual Dealer Show in 2014 when an influencer and key member of the community passed away during the post-show ride. She discussed the emotion that fueled the communications response, and how leading with that emotion was critical to navigating the crisis in a way that was authentic to the company.
The meeting ended with famed business titan Jack Welch, former Chief Executive Officer of General Electric. Jack was interviewed by Pam Wickham, Vice President, Corporate Affairs and Communications at Raytheon and covered a broad range of topics critical to the CCO but, most importantly, discussed the role of the CCO being one that has significantly evolved over the last 20 years. Where the CCO used to just be viewed as the “fireman/woman” who would put out fires in the case of a crisis, Jack stressed that today’s CCO is now much more forward thinking, clear on how to leverage analytics to drive outcomes and centered on ensuring truth and trust, not “spin.”
We hope that everyone left this year’s conference armed with insights that will help them continue to shape the role of the future and indispensable CCO.
Day one of the 2015 Arthur W. Page Society Spring Seminar is in the books. The driving theme behind …
This year's Spring Seminar was my second as chairman, and I was honored to once again welcome over 3…
“Chief Communications Officers used to be firemen and firewomen," Jack Welch said as he took the s…