The data from Ragan and HarrisX shows how connecting with execs and clarifying boundaries is crucial for communicators looking to make an impact.

When it comes to defining the voice, message and mission of the company—intrinsic work for the communications function—many CEOs report that the work is their responsibility.

Speaking to stakeholders is a responsibility that 59% of CEOs say they own, and 60% say they must define the voice of the organization. Those numbers suggest the existential need for comms pros to be strategic advisors and counselors—not authority figures.

CEOs-responsible-Harris-Ragan

The good news is that CEOs are taking responsibility for business needs that squarely fall within the communications leader’s wheelhouse. For example, 57% of CEOs say they are responsible for protecting the reputation of their company, and 44% say they must act as the storyteller for the company.

Communicators who can help them accomplish these key goals will surely make themselves indispensable to the leaders they serve.

When it comes to what responsibilities CEOs see as crucial for the communications function, the top responses include generating earned media hits or publicity (41%) and supporting the CEO and senior management with employee communications (35%).

Event planning is the most likely responsibility to be assigned to a leader beyond the senior communications leader—a welcome result for comms pros who are looking to show their strategic business acumen. It’s what CEOs are looking for.

See the full results of the report here.

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