The third annual ‘Rising CCO’ survey has revealed that corporate and brand reputations face greater risk from online threats today than ever before.

The survey, conducted by global executive search firm Spencer Stuart and global public relations firm Weber Shandwick, revealed that while 34% of global chief corporate communications officers (CCOs) report that their companies experienced a social-media based reputation threat during the past 12 months, just as many (33%) say they are not prepared for managing these types of online reputational threats.

Interestingly, or perhaps consequntly, of the CCOs surveyed 54% cited new/social media experience among the most important qualifications for tomorrow’s communicators, showing that CCOs worldwide are preparing to meet the social and online media challenge.

In addition, the firms behind the survey expect social media/blogging to be the fastest-growing function in communications departments in the next 12 months, having already risen dramatically from 28% in 2008 to 41% in 2010.

Read more of the survey’s findings >