Arthur W. Page Society Introduces New Corp Comms Model

The Arthur W. Page Society today introduced “Building Belief: A New Model for Activating Corporate Character and Authentic Advocacy,” a corporate comms model that builds upon the organization’s 2007 “Authentic Enterprise” report. Back then, the group described the new comms landscape. This new model offers a framework for managing it.

Over the past year, the organization, which is primarily composed of corporate communications execs from international and Fortune 500 businesses, chose 16 companies doing good work in the field, tapped them for insight, and tested the group’s hypothesis a number of times before publishing the model.  It’s built on two parts: “corporate character” and “authentic advocacy.”

“What’s new here is that we’ve crystallized the idea of corporate values… and how those combine with mission or purpose in a way that creates a distinctive and differentiating corporate character,” said Roger Bolton, president of the Society, in reference to the first part of the model. Stakeholders come in contact with a company’s character and values through its actions.

With reference to the second part of the model, authentic advocacy, Bolton said it’s built on the age-old idea that PR is meant to change behavior, not just opinion. Nowadays, articulating how your business or product can serve the individual interest is important.

“In this new world where everyone has the power to share, the power of advocacy is stronger,” Bolton added.

The model offers four states of engagement: “belief,” which moves beyond just consumer awareness; “action;” “confidence,” which drives long-term and repeated stakeholder behavior; and “advocacy at scale.”

Social media is important throughout, but particularly when you’re trying to build fans among employees and other audiences.

While Bolton recognizes that some of what you see in the model isn’t groundbreaking, it does offer a “checklist” of items to “activate” a corporate communications effort.

Moreover, it speaks to the new role of the chief communications officer.

“As you begin to look at these things and understand them, it takes you to a different place in terms of the skills that will be required,” said Bolton. “You start to think of the CCO as an integrator across the enterprise.”

Bolton believes that this is something that business executives are open to, and hopes the new model will spark a dialogue within his organization and beyond. The Society plans to work with other experts and organizations to further develop its ideas.

To learn more about “Building Belief,” click here. The complete report will be available online for purchase.

The model will figure prominently in the organization’s Spring seminar, taking place today and tomorrow. Detail about that event is available here. The focus is “Engagement in the New Media Age.”