What do you love about communications? What is challenging about what you do?
For me communications is multidimensional. Its about understanding the business of a company, the market’s it plays in and competition, then working to communicate their objectives and strategies to employees and the outside. It involves strategy, planning, a lot of writing, building consensus, timing of how and when to communicate and the execution of that plan with others throughout a company – from the various cross functional teams, executives, and the internal and external world.
I also love people, and I love to hear people’s stories and opinions. I love working with my colleagues, influencers, standards bodies, customers, partners, the media and industry analysts. I truly enjoy working with people who are passionate about life, their company and products, and wanting to tell a compelling story.
Tell me a about your background and experience in communications and PR?
The skills and experience required for many of my roles have included strategy, execution, content development and writing, organizational and team management, and collaboration with cross-functional teams as well as working with people in other organizations and teams.
For me, one of the most critical skills is that of listening and being able to draw a conclusion when many opinions are given. Being able to take those opinions and hone in on the key business and market goals and objectives that you can build a strategic communications and PR plans and programs – story really – to execute on.
Diversity and flexibility. Not in just how I think, but in engaging with all the people I do. Staying in tune with market dynamics and competition can change the landscape in a heartbeat today. Monitoring these, having a pulse on what is happening and what people are thinking also helps inform when shifts may need to be made. I’m a firm believer in working to keep communications and PR positioned in an offensive strategy, while also realizing you may be put on the defensive. Planning for both is really important.
Why don’t you write more about communications on your blog?
I love writing and truly enjoy my “day” job and I’ve seriously considered writing about what, why and how I love what I do, but ultimately decided it wasn’t for me. I’ve learned over time that I do love to blog, just not strictly about communications and PR. It’s taken me a while to get comfortable with that idea. There’s always a side of me that thinks I should. However, a book-publishing colleague gave me the best advice through a question she asked me – did I feel like I need to write about what and why I do what I do? My response? No. It was that simple. I do feel compelled to share my photography and write about This Life and life. So I do. I hope that in some small way my journey and experience inspires others.
What is your philosophy about PR?
It’s about Connection – I’m inspired by a clear and simple vision: help brands and businesses, evolve, innovate, and accelerate their growth.
How we connect has changed. The Web, social media, mobile and visual technology have not only changed the rules; they’ve broken them.
However, I believe one element remains essential – the need to connect.
The practice of communications and PR is one that is about building relationships, connecting. That we have tools – traditional and new – to use to connect with influencers, customers, media, analysts and stakeholders makes it even more exciting.
What do you see as the value of integrated communications and PR? On Results?
Bottom line? It’s about brand awareness, elevation and driving sales – targeted sales.
Actions ― verbal, written, digital and traditional ― speak loudly.
Business and marketing strategies are critical in today’s competitive global environment. Powerful, integrated communications and PR programs in support of business objectives, market and competitive dynamics, together with authentic user success stories, drive sales and brand recognition.
Each communication and PR strategy I’ve developed and worked on have key components, yet are also unique to the strategies needed to accomplish the agreed goals and objectives, whether in-house or as a consultant for a company or product platform.
My career has spanned working in-house, agency and as a contractor/consultant. In all of these roles I have been fortunate to work closely with cross-functional teams and the C-Suite to develop and execute marketing and communications programs in global, domestic and regional marketplaces and keep pace with this ever-changing commercial and cultural environment.
What is your philosophy on brands and communications? What values are key to successful communications and PR?
When it comes to connection, both businesses and consumers have the same needs. Both are more sophisticated than ever before yet are more skeptical than ever. I’m currently on the lookout for opportunities as a consultant or to work full time in-house with a company and brand that share a set of values. A brand that conveys – and becomes identified with – honesty, integrity, diversity and transparency.
I firmly believe that brands that successfully deliver on this deep connection do so through well-defined business, marketing and communication strategies. They have a thorough understanding of their markets and sales channels. They are fearlessly committed to the thoughtful and thought provoking communications and messaging that are essential to a customer-driven approach – an approach that is essential to building both a results-focused company and a successful brand.
“The most important thing we ever give each other is our attention.”