CMOs and CCOs Battle Over the Web

Struggle for Ownership of Social Media Impeding Integration of Marketing and Public Relations Departments According to Recent Makovsky Survey


The Battle for the Web

NEW YORK--()--Chief Communications Officers (CCOs) and Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) continue to battle over the “ownership” of social media, according to results from a new national survey of senior-level marketing and communications professionals, conducted by Makovsky, one of the nation’s largest independent integrated communications firms, which was recently named “Midsize PR Firm of the Year” by PR News.

While nearly 86 percent of those surveyed said that CCOs and CMOs do work well together on more traditional corporate and brand identity programs, more than 74 percent cited responsibility for social media as an area in which they fail to collaborate effectively. Nearly three-quarters (74 percent) of the respondents felt that marketing and public relations departments were successful at collaboration on content and thought leadership strategies and tactics.

“Social strategy and activation is an organization-wide imperative. Instead of feeling stifled by corporate structural barriers, there is a real opportunity for CMOs and CCOs to work together to lead organizational alignment,” said Tim Kane, Executive Vice President and head of the Digital Branding practice at Makovsky. “From the C-Suite to front-line employees, CMOs and CCOs must shepherd a unified social media direction, create a sense of ownership across the organization and demonstrate the unmatched power of social for internal collaboration and innovation as well as external visibility and customer engagement.”

What Can Marketing Learn From Public Relations?

When asked what marketing leaders can learn from their public relations colleagues, 85 percent cited “the power of storytelling and thought leadership.” A strong majority of respondents (83 percent) also felt that the marketing function should take heed that corporate reputation is the consequence of authentic behavior of the entire organization.

“The most effective CMOs understand engaging stories that translate company values and elicit emotion always win out. Today’s ‘authenticity mandate’ has only intensified in the social era, where dialogue between company and external stakeholder has multiplied – in real-time,” Kane said.

What Can Public Relations Learn From Marketing?

The respondents felt that public relations must rely more heavily on data to demonstrate ROI. When asked what public relations can learn from marketing, 79 percent said that “data and analytics must shape decision-making,” and more than 63 percent said that public relations must “add quantifiable value.”

“While Public Relations as an industry has long grappled with communications strategies grounded in strong foundational research, the marketing organization historically is simply more comfortable using data to inform campaigns and the measurement of results for their C-suite counterparts. Rigorous analytics empowers communicators to better understand relevant audience segments, benchmark programs from the onset and measure their ability to influence audience segments,” Kane added.

Reputation Matters to Consumers

When asked what has stimulated the move toward greater collaboration between corporate marketing and public relations departments, the answer was overwhelmingly about sales. Nearly 79 percent said that the “growing impact of reputation on consumers’ buying decisions” was the primary impetus, and 67 percent cited the “increased voice of consumers” thanks to the growth of conversations on social media.

“If CMOs and CCOs become company-wide ambassadors for social, work together to bring an authentic narrative to market, use analytics to gain deeper consumer insights and to measure brand campaigns and reputation, then true collaboration between CMOs and CCOs in the digital age will be achieved,” said Kane. “This collaboration is mandatory for a brand to thrive in an environment where every consumer has a voice.”

The study of 174 Marketing and Public Relations/Corporate Communications Vice Presidents and above was conducted online by Makovsky from July through October of 2012.

About Makovsky

Founded in 1979, Makovsky + Company ( is one of the nation’s largest independent integrated communications firms. The firm attributes its success to its original vision: that the Power of Specialized Thinking™ is the best way to build reputation, sales and fair valuation for a client. Based in New York City, the firm has agency partners in more than 30 countries and in 40 U.S. cities through IPREX (, the second largest worldwide public relations agency partnership, of which Makovsky is a founder.


Steve Seeman, 212-508-9662

Release Summary

Chief Communications Officers (CCOs) and Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) continue to battle over the “ownership” of social media, according to results from a new national survey.


Steve Seeman, 212-508-9662