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A Unique Offering


Aberdeen Strategies specializes in providing highly experienced senior communications professionals to serve in interim roles as chief communications officers (CCOs) for large organizations, both public and private. These CCOs provide operating oversight of the communications function while a permanent position is filled.

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Why Choose an Interim Communications Executive?

Finding the right person to direct your communications and public affairs can take time, with some searches taking six months or more. The Aberdeen Strategies approach allows companies to tackle the recruiting process without loss of momentum. Not only will the day-to-day aspects of the communications function continue without waiting for the “new” communications head, best practices will be implemented. The work that is performed by the Aberdeen Strategist is also of value to the incoming chief communications officer for faster ramp-up. The “100 Day Plan” of your new CCO becomes an informed and targeted process for making rapid progress.

The Benefits of an Interim CCO from Aberdeen Strategies

Expert oversight of your corporate communications and public affairs function by a proven professional

Seasoned, knowledgeable public affairs counsel in-house during a transition

No lost momentum

Reputation and risk management continuity to protect your brand during the search period

Much of the preliminary assessment required by the permanent CCO will be completed resulting in an easier and more effective ramp-up period

Best practices implemented to drive higher performance now rather than later

Candidates for the permanent position will receive additional insight into the role provided by your Aberdeen Strategies expert

Budget saves are identified early for greater efficiency

Help to reduce attrition of communications team members

Partners with your PR agency and other key consultants

Consultant is backed by the Aberdeen Strategies team

Prioritization of initiatives and identification of key opportunities

Interim CCO

Aberdeen Strategies
CORE Review

Your management team and the incoming CCO will receive a written report on these core areas, with gaps identified and recommendations and key priorities clearly addressed. Additional assessments can also be conducted with the support of specialists and the company’s trusted agency partners.

See The Process

The Communications / Public Affairs Team

  • Talent assessment (Do you have the right people?)

  • Structure (Is the team organized optimally for the mission?)

  • Interaction and perception with key stakeholders (Does the team interface well?)

  • High potentials (Are your high potentials being optimized?)

  • Issues and gaps (Do you have mismatched team members and capability gaps?)

  • Goals and metrics (Does the team have the goals and metrics to drive higher performance?)

The Resources

  • Budget (Are you allocating dollars in the right places?)

  • Agency and consultant support (Are they being well utilized?)

  • Technology (Do you have the right tools to communicate and protect the brand?)

The Marketplace — External Communications

  • Use of communications channels and tools

  • Reputation assessment with key stakeholders (media, investors, elected, others)

  • Legislative issues prioritized, NGO relationships and support assessed

  • Contributions and philanthropy program fit

The Workplace — Internal Communications

  • Communication effectiveness

  • Culture review (if appropriate)

  • Communications plan and implementation

Interim CCO


Q. Why should I hire an interim chief communications officer?

A. An interim CCO will ensure key initiatives don’t falter and the business will continue to receive the level of support that’s needed from your communications and public affairs team. Having an experienced interim CCO can allow your search for a permanent position to progress while at the same time laying the ground work for a smooth transition when the new leader arrives.

Q. How do I ensure my company’s issues will be handled confidentially?

A. Our consultants are committed to confidentiality and operate under a non-disclosure agreement with you and Aberdeen Strategies.

Q. How do you find and select the people you recommend?

A. Our consultants are seasoned individuals who have developed a career of successful management in corporate communications and public affairs. We place them based upon their deep backgrounds and track records of accomplishments.

Q. What if I like your consultant enough to offer the permanent position to her or him?

A. Our agreement with you provides for that possibility and ensures your recruiter is involved.

Q. If our search turns up someone sooner than the planned engagement duration, can we end the engagement early?

A. Our minimum engagement is for 60 days, and you can terminate the planned engagement with 30 days notice after that minimum is completed.

Q. Do you work with or recommend particular PR agencies?

A. We work with your agencies and consultants who already serve your company and seek to maintain those relationships through the hand-off to your permanent CCO. Because our consultants have established relationships over the years with some of the nation’s largest agencies, we can also recommend support if it is required.

Q. Do you have a minimum experience level you seek from your consultants?

A. Most of our consultants have more than 25 years of experience.

Q. How will people within my organization react to an interim leader brought in from the outside?

A. Your experienced consultant will work quickly to build relationships within the organization. Having a senior communications leader in-house during a time of transition is welcomed not only for the counsel but also the bandwidth he or she provides.