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 email@example.com for more information.
Meet IABC member Oliver Clark! After more than six years in the communications industry, Oliver is a senior communications manager for Resideo. Based in the IABC Austin chapter, Oliver shares the success of a recent employee action campaign and his best advice for interviewing for a new role. Read more and connect with Oliver on LinkedIn and Twitter.
What is the most exciting aspect of your role as a communicator?
The most exciting aspect of being a communicator is the variety. I lead a small team of communication professionals at Resideo, and we’re responsible for corporate communications. On any given day, I could be working on a new leadership announcement, a global town hall, a new employee engagement initiative or so much more. It is a bit cliché, but no two days are alike. That variety is crucial to staying engaged at work, but it also helps advance career development by building up experience in a number of different areas of communications.
Share a situation or project that made you feel valued as a communicator.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been heartbreaking for everyone. It has also been a tremendous challenge for organizations who suddenly had to adapt to an ever-changing situation, which affects virtually every one of their employees daily. I participate in twice-weekly COVID-19 task force calls, maintain our intranet’s COVID-19 information hubs, as well as collaborate with the task force on critical email communications around topics such as updates on our return to office strategy. I feel like I am doing important work that has a big impact on our employees.
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?
Our corporate communications function rolls up to human resources, so we work very closely with our HR colleagues. I am most proud of our “Employees of Action Campaign.” My team brainstormed, designed and executed a program with the goal of donating $100,000 to Direct Relief, an organization on the front lines of COVID-19 response, by the end of 2021.
Employees were encouraged to share their reasons for getting vaccinated on social media or self-disclose their vaccine status to the company. Resideo would then donate $25 to Direct Relief for each participant in the campaign. We reached our goal and have already made the first $50,000 donation, with the second currently being processed. We worked closely with HR, legal and finance. What made the program successful was my boss, Resideo’s chief human resources officer, being incredibly supportive of the initiative. Having an executive champion is critical to getting big ideas off the ground. He was the first participant in the campaign.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? Who gave it?
During my MBA program at the University of Florida, my career advisor told me to walk into interviews with a game plan for how you would tackle your first 30, 60 and 90 days, highlighting how you would make an impact on your company. I used this advice during my interview at Resideo. At the time, my soon-to-be bosses (semi-jokingly) asked if they could take my strategic proposal into their next meeting with their bosses. I landed the job and immediately had a clear action plan for my first few months at the company.
Share a favorite resource that helps you stay connected and informed in the industry.
I am a manager and a communicator, so I rely on Harvard Business Review (HBR) for their insight on evidence-based approaches to a variety of business topics, including employee psychology, management and communications. I recommend joining professional memberships, such as IABC, as they provide a great opportunity to network and learn from fellow communication professionals.
Interested in joining the IABC community with people like Oliver? Member Month is here! Use the code IABC21 to save 20% on international dues when you renew your membership or join IABC through 12 November.
IABC Staff, Featuring Oliver Clark