The New Model Corporate Affairs Director

The New Model Corporate Affairs Director

What we mean by the New Model Corporate Affairs Director

On average more than 25 percent of a company’s market value is directly attributable to its reputation, according to a study by the World Economic Forum. Corporate leaders certainly seem to recognise the imperatives of protecting this intangible asset. In a recent Deloitte/Forbes Insight survey of 300 company executives across the world, 87% of respondents rated reputation risk as “more important” or “much more important” than other strategic risks their companies are facing.
So what does this mean for the custodian of company reputation, the Corporate Affairs Director? That’s the question we seek to answer in this publication. Over the next few articles, we look at how the role of the Corporate Affairs Director in global companies has changed, and changed out of all recognition.
We examine the upgrading of the role internally, within companies – the place it now holds at Board tables, and the requirement for Corporate Affairs Directors to be involved in corporate strategy and all aspects of decision-making. We look too at the alchemy of soft skills required to succeed – those of counsellor, networker, diplomat and fixer.
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We also examine the radically different external environment in which Corporate Affairs Directors now operate. Just five years ago, companies could largely manage their reputations by controlling their messages and communicating them, through the media, to their key audiences. In this relatively controlled environment, there was a premium on delivery – trading, trailing, spinning and selling-in news.
Today’s Corporate Affairs Directors are denied that control. As we discuss here, Corporate Affairs Directors need to shift their focus from delivery to strategy and content – restructuring their teams, embedding a global narrative, empowering employees, and generating compelling and shareable content to engage a much broader range of audiences.

All this requires a new kind of practitioner. This is what we mean by the New Model Corporate Affairs Director.

At Portland, we work with companies all over the world to build and manage their reputations. We hope this publication gives you a good insight into the way we think. If we can help you in any way, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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