Welcome to the Catalyst Member Spotlight series. Catalyst prioritizes sharing members’ stories to showcase the breadth of the IABC community, connect communicators across the globe and elevate personal stories to inspire fellow members. If you’re a chapter leader who would like to spotlight a stand-out member of your chapter, email the Catalyst editors at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Meet IABC member Edwina Duenas! With eight years of experience in the field, Edwina is a corporate citizenship communications specialist at Oracle. Based in the IABC San Francisco chapter, Edwina shares the value of watching a community grow through social media, her favorite podcast series and how she sees a learning opportunity in everything. Get to know her below.
What is the most exciting aspect of your role as a communicator?
One of the most exciting aspects about being a communicator is the different verticals within the field. Depending on your role or organization, you could find yourself working across several verticals at once, including social, editorial, public relations and beyond. On the other hand, you could be in a very specialized role and develop expertise in one area.
Share a situation or project that made you feel valued as a communicator.
In my first communications role, I created a social campaign to spotlight each participant in the exchange program my nonprofit managed. These participants were from countries around the world and wouldn’t meet until they arrived for the program in San Francisco months later. As a result, the participants were engaged with the content and enjoyed “meeting” each other through these posts. This was my first time building a community through social media, and I always value that experience.
Think back on a time when you, as a communicator, collaborated with another department to bring a project to life. What made this process successful?
In my current role, I produce my company’s corporate social responsibility report. This involves coordination with departments across the business, including editorial, design, legal and subject matter experts. I managed this project for the first time in 2020, amidst the pandemic in a fully remote working environment. There were challenging moments, but aligning stakeholders on the goals and importance of the project was critical to its success and publishing the report on time.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? Who gave it?
"What you know is a fistful. What you don't know is everything else. I'm always learning."
This wasn’t advice given to me directly, but rather a quote shared by a speaker at an event my organization hosted. I was early in my career when I heard those words, and to this day, the quote resonates with me. I believe there’s a learning opportunity in everything; as much as you’ve grown in your career, there’s always more to discover.
Share a favorite resource that helps you stay connected and informed in the industry.
One of my favorite podcasts is “How I Built This” on NPR. Although it is not industry specific, the podcast is all about stories. I enjoy hearing innovators share the narrative of how they built their respective companies, whether they start at an inflection point in their careers, with a personal anecdote or at a moment of crisis for the company. My favorite episodes so far include Jen Rubio, Stacy Brown and Justin Gold.
Interested in joining the IABC community to collaborate with professionals like Edwina? Become a member of our global network today.
IABC Staff, Featuring Edwina Duenas