When push comes to shove, the bottom-line is still the bottom-line

I attended a fascinating panel discussion Wednesday night at Manhattan’s Penn Club. The event was co-hosted by the Arthur Page Society and the Council of PR Firms, and focused on the former’s recent white paper booklet, entitled: ‘The Authentic Enterprise.

The Authentic Enterprise should be must-reading for every PR professional. It addresses the emerging role of the chief communications officer and includes interviews with 31 chief executive officers (a superhuman feat in, and of, itself).

The findings point to the CCO’s emerging role in a world of social media and transparency. The panel included such luminaries as: Harvey Greisman of Mastercard, Paul Jensen of Weber Shandwick, Valerie DiMaria of Willis, Roger Bolton of APCO and Maril McDonald, who runs one of the sharpest communications consultancies in the country.

The group believes we, as an industry, are better positioned than ever to help the corporation ‘interact’ with each and every constituent audience. They also believe CEOs ‘get’ the importance of social media, are concerned by its lack of control, but turn to the CCO for guidance (which is a big win for the industry).

For me, though, The Authentic Enterprise panel/white paper discussion literally lacked a bottom-line component. Sure, the CEO will turn to the CCO in times of reputation crisis and, perhaps, to engage with Web 2.0 audiences in new and more meaningful ways. But, the CEO’s 24×7 world revolves around one fundamental issue: satisfying the Street.

Roger, Valerie and Harvey did a good job in addressing my questions about how The Authentic Enterprise connects to an ROI-driven C-suite. But, frankly, I was left wanting more. So, here’s hoping the Page Society commissions groundbreaking research on an ongoing basis. I’d love to read a follow-up entitled, ‘The authentic, bottom-line focused enterprise.’

3 thoughts on “When push comes to shove, the bottom-line is still the bottom-line

  1. Steve, I think you’re right: The whole point is survival of the enterprise. The global trends outlined in The Authentic Enterprise threaten the brands and reputations of global enterprises. At the same time, the rise of new stakeholders is opening up vastly expanded opportunities for global enterprises to build new relationships that can strengthen brands and build trust. It is a classic disruptive moment. Enterprises that understand the threats and opportunities and respond effectively will thrive; those that don’t will experience increasing resistance. What kind of resistance? Lost sales, more regulation, falling market caps. But you’re right: We should do more work to draw a tighter connection between brand and reputation and the bottom line for CEOs.

  2. If you type in RepMan’s URL into Google Reader’s “Add Feed” button, Google Reader will auto-detect your RSS feed and add it to your list.

  3. Steve,
    Do you offer a straight-up RSS feed that can be added to Google reader? Thanks!