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chief reputation officer (CRO)

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A chief reputation officer (CRO) is the C-level corporate executive charged with overseeing activities in all areas of an organization that could potentially have an impact on the public perception of that enterprise. 

Through reputation management efforts, the CRO attempts to shape perception of the organization by monitoring and influencing the publicly-available information about it. However, the essential mission of the CRO is ensuring that all activities, interactions and communications of the organization and employees acting on behalf of it are in alignment with the company's core values and corporate vision. 

The CRO typically reports to the CEO (chief executive officer) and works closely with corporate departments involved in public relations, human resources, marketing and social media. In some cases, the same individual will act in multiple capacities, serving as both CRO and chief marketing officer (CMO), chief strategy officer (CSO) or chief risk officer (CRO), among other possibilities. 

However, there are good reasons to make chief reputation officer a dedicated position. For one thing, the comprehensive authority and accountability of the CRO position make its demands substantial. Furthermore, the increasing emphasis on corporate ethics and transparency make their oversight crucial to business sustainability

See a video about creating trust in your company and managing your reputation:

This was last updated in January 2015

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