NEW YORK—Fleishman-Hillard has launched a new measurement-based communications consulting business, Communications Consulting Worldwide, designed to help organizations assess and improve the business value of their communications activities.
CCW’s approach was developed through a two-year investment by Fleishman-Hillard, with guidance from Paul Argenti, professor of corporate communications at the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth, as well as experts in statistical modeling and intangibles valuation.
“Fleishman-Hillard has the opportunity and obligation to bring clients the most powerful and sophisticated solutions to their needs,” says John Graham, chairman and CEO of Fleishman-Hillard. “We have invested in building and launching Communications Consulting Worldwide as an independent, but affiliated, resource that will answer the most challenging questions for our clients and other organizations that operate in an increasingly complex global business environment.”
Headquartered in New York, Communications Consulting Worldwide will operate as a separate unit within the Fleishman-Hillard network. It will be headed by Peter Verrengia, managing partner, who will also continue in his role as Fleishman Hillard’s Eastern regional president. Argenti will serve as CCW’s chief adviser, strategic consulting services.
The group’s measurement approach draws on the experience and statistical modeling expertise of Predictiv, a specialized consulting firm focused on intangibles valuation and performance outcomes. Predictiv co-founders Pam Cohen-Kalafut and Jonathan Low have an extensive track record in the field of intangible measurement that draws on statistical modeling to help managers measure, manage, and improve organizational performance.
CCW will also access senior talent from within the Fleishman-Hillard network and from other industry and academic sources. The business will offer a special package of services and preferred pricing to existing Fleishman-Hillard clients, but will also add its own clients.
“Communications is not optional for organizations that want to succeed. But too often, the value of communications, and the choice of strategies and actions, are debated while opportunities evaporate and risks increase,” says Verrengia. “Many clients have asked us for help resolving issues at the intersection of communications and business strategy.
“We address those issues through a combination of communications experience, consulting discipline, and a newly applied but well-proven measurement approach. CCW will show the business value that specific communications programs and messages can create, will evaluate communications risks and benefits, and will guide managers to allocate their communications assets more effectively. We intend to help clients use communications to increase specific business results, with speed and confidence.”
CCW uses a measurement approach based on statistical modeling that produces new insight from data already gathered by most organizations about communications activities and business results. CCW takes data used in the communications functions’ standard measurement practices and applies it in an entirely new way. The unit’s advanced consulting services are designed to resolve difficult or large-scale communications strategy and organizational structure questions for management teams and communications executives.
“CCW’s new approach to measurement and advisory services finally enables communications professionals to undertake the kind of measurement that links the value of their activities to the same business outcomes that are used by other managers in their organizations, such as revenue, profit, and customer retention,” says Argenti. “Communications executives need to enhance their credibility and gain a seat at the table when senior leaders discuss business strategy.
“Until now, it has been difficult to earn that participation. CCW’s approach is a move toward a new way of looking at corporate communications. When other corporate functions view corporate communications as a creator of value, communications professionals will have an entirely new role within their organizations.”
CCW will offer Communications Copilot, a specialized communications tool built on an approach to statistical modeling applied through a unique process for gathering and interpreting communications data. It both measures and guides the management of individual communications tactics and complete communications programs.