SOX Act changed in-house comms jobs, finds survey

NEW YORK: Eighty-six percent of corporate communicators said that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act has changed the nature of their jobs, according to a new survey conducted by KRC Research for Weber Shandwick.

NEW YORK: Eighty-six percent of corporate communicators said that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act has changed the nature of their jobs, according to a new survey conducted by KRC Research for Weber Shandwick.

"The highly publicized scandals at Enron and other corporations did for the private sector what Watergate did for the public sector, bringing a sweeping level of change," said Jack Leslie, chairman of WS. "The push toward transparency has increased the value and responsibility of the corporate communications function."

The survey results, based on 104 interviews with senior-level corporate communicators, also found that 72% of respondents cited increased regulatory and legislative threats as an influence that changed the nature of the job. Sixty-two percent said that corporate accounting scandals had affected them, while 38% cited stock-option expensing.

When asked what issues they had to face in the past year, 81% of respondents said government regulation. Sixty-nine percent of respondents cited a lawsuit against the company, 68% replied downsizing or layoffs, while 59% replied that they had to communicate during a merger or acquisition.

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