You know, over the past nine months or so, I’ve become fairly impressed with Wikipedia. A year ago, it seemed so far from useful that I held out little hope. But in the interim it has grown and matured in fine fashion. Today, for me, it is generally more useful than Google search as a means of getting a quick introduction to a new topic. (For instance, a paltry, partly-correct sentence in Wikipedia last year about a relatively little-recognized secondary fermentation in winemaking has become a downright informative discussion of malolactic fermentation.)
My disappointment was palpable, then, when I searched Wikipedia a few days ago for references to “Chief Communications Officer”. I use that term to refer to a communications professional who has the chief communications advisory relationship with a senior business leader of a company, organization or corporation. Sadly, I could find no reference whatsoever on Wikipedia to “Chief Communications Officer”. Plenty about the other chief officers you’d expect – finance, information, operations, etc., but not communications.
But, wait, there WAS a “CCO” listed on Wikipedia.
Oh, not “Chief Communications Officer”… but “Chief Credit Officer”. C’mon now! “Chief Credit Officer”?? Good grief.
I believe the language we use with respect to our profession has a profound effect over time on the profession itself. Wouldn’t you counsel your clients the same? Well, now there is a Wikipedia entry for Chief Communications Officer. I made it up. Pretty much from thin air. Give me a hand. Wikipedia is a collaborative effort. Good for people who need help. I need help.
(Posted by Ray Jordan)