According to a recent article from the Institute for PR, communications are becoming increasingly important for top executives, and the role of the communications officer has developed into a key C-suite position. No longer viewed as a defensive position, communications officers are being encouraged to take a more proactive approach using the many new tools available to them.

The article details the findings of a recent study conducted by the Arthur W. Page Society, which interviewed 20 top CEOs to see what they think about strategic communications and the role of the communications officer. They realize that, now more than ever, companies are under increasing scrutiny as the number of information channels available for interested parties multiply.

CEOs now view social media as a legitimate communications channel. They want to engage with their audiences, not just create a one-way messaging platform. This can help create a sense of authenticity about their brand and corporate culture. They expect a communications officer to be more proactive, setting agendas and building that engagement.

They are looking for more data-driven measurement and interpretation of communications trends and focus. They feel a need to stay ahead of the issues, with speed, transparency and globalization all critical factors in developing communication strategies. CEOs are demanding more from their communications staff, with strategic communications expected to deliver greater impact on the company’s brand identity and corporate reputation.