Amybeth Hale – Research Goddess

The Emergence of the Chief Influence Officer

influence is a web of nodesAwhile back, I wrote about the emergence of the Chief Networking Officer, the CNO being defined as a person who manages the social capital of a company. Last week, my colleague Melvin Yuan in Singapore posted his thoughts on a new adaptation of this, the emergence of the Chief Infuence Officer. He uses the word ‘omnifluence’, a term he coined last year when thinking about the changing dynamics of influence and its impact on business leadership, marketing goals, etc. This idea is heavily concentrated in the world of PR but I think influence is something that we all strive to gain control of in our own endeavors. Here’s a quick excerpt from Melvin’s post:

“I assure you that in the near future, we will see the appointment of Chief Influence Officers. They will be generalist-specialists who understand the art of communication, the science of measurement, and the strategy of orchestrating a concerted PR effort so that everything and everyone in an organisation communicates. And that impact is tracked and measured. Their mandate will be to develop integrated perspectives towards all stakeholder groups; and to work with every function in the organisation in the way I alluded to in my post last April on the concerted PR 2.0 effort.

A quick search today will show that a couple of designated Chief Influence Officers exist. But I’m not talking about theorists or academics. I’m talking about practitioners who can say: here’s the strategy, here’s the message, here’s what’s happening and here are the numbers to prove it works. The art, science, and math of Influence.”

If you have any interest in the scientific and the strategic side of networking, I strongly encourage you to read the entire post!


2 Comments so far
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Interesting – sounds like the convergence of marketing, corp communications and pr. Only concern is that if this falls under PR does it feel authentic or more like spin?? As the world strives for increasing transparency and the tools are becoming more and more abundant to foster it, this should already becoming an integrated best practice aligned with clarity and core biz practices as driven by the CEO, marketing, and biz leads?

Comment by Susan

Hi Amybeth, thanks for starting this conversation and perpetuating the discussion.

Susan, (honest, well-meaning) influence should be what PR pros seek to master. That’s what relationship-building is about.

But you’re right in being skeptical about the motivation to influence. It’s the age-old debate of authenticity vs manipulation.

My view – PR is not just about communicating well. The discipline of Public Relations is all about good business leadership, clearly communicated. And above all… Integrity and Accountability to values are demanded of it.

Recently, I heard that a local Tri-athlete was hired as Adidas’ marketing manager. The decision to hire was clearly a leadership and human resource decision; but it spoke more for the brand and it’s devotion to its values than we can hope to achieve with many press releases.

Comment by Melvin Yuan

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