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’d like to nominate yourself or a standout colleague to be featured in a spotlight, email the Catalyst editors at email@example.com for more information.
Meet IABC member Rauf Hameed! Rauf, an IABC Asia Pacific region member-at-large, is a passionate communications and advocacy professional with more than 25 years of experience. He is a trusted adviser with extensive experience in strategic communication, stakeholder engagement and managing issues of industry and public interest to achieve strategic business goals. Rauf has represented the voice of organizations such as WWF, Tetra Pak, Coca-Cola Icecek, CCL Pharmaceuticals and Sapphire Textiles in his country and abroad. Get to know Rauf below, and connect with him on his website, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and the IABC APAC site.
What is the most exciting aspect of your role as a communicator?
It’s exciting to work in various industries, advising clients on strategic communication plans and tactics for creating long-term stakeholder perception management programs. Another exciting aspect is helping the C-suite understand the strategic value of communications. It is sheer magic, telling brand stories and bringing organizations to life with a brand voice that aligns their verbal, visual and digital messages and activities with their missions and visions.
Share a situation or project that made you feel valued as a communicator.
When I was working for a leading sparkling beverage bottling operation in Lahore, Pakistan, I had to manage a crisis related to a news story that appeared in the most widely read English daily and its online edition. The story focused on quality issues that caused one of our plants to shut down. The proliferation of social media and information communication technologies (ICTs) had transformed the crisis landscape, and the global HQ immediately got wind. The way we as a public affairs and communications team managed the crisis was immensely rewarding and appreciated by all. Meanwhile, I convinced senior leadership to take crisis communication seriously by advancing to proactive strategies with stakeholder-focused communication.
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?
Recently I was working for a pharmaceutical company, and we decided to update the brand identity and develop comprehensive visual identity guidelines for the whole company, including the production facility. It was followed by the roll out of updated core values with fresh visuals and exciting employee-focused communication, supported by ample training and relevant animations to build on it. In the whole process, I collaborated closely with the ICT, leadership and HR teams. I had a wonderful experience collaborating with these teams on one level. The use of technology has shown to lead to faster, more accurate and more efficient processes, resulting in cost reduction. I realized that during the execution phase that the ICT and leadership teams were quite instrumental in enabling managers and employees to perform simple tasks remotely or in a hybrid environment.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? Who gave it?
About a decade ago, I thought of pursuing additional education while working. My boss suggested that instead of an MBA, I should join a professional association for competence development. I came across IABC through its online marketing tools and when I read about the association, I was inspired by the fact that it focuses on the value of business communication. Since then, I have been a member-at-large. This was the best career advice I received from my former boss.
I love the way IABC membership helps me in connecting with like-minded professionals, so I highly recommend that communications practitioners around the world join IABC. Whether you’re a corporate communicator, independent consultant, academic or student, IABC has the resources, connections and learning opportunities you need to move your career forward.
Share a favorite resource that helps you stay connected and informed in the industry.
IABC has been central to my professional development, and it has a wonderful array of resources for its global members. I have always loved the resources such as The Hub, Catalyst and the recently launched book, “The IABC Guide for Practical Business Communication” — an updated version of the IABC handbook, brilliantly edited by Tamara Gillis.
Interested in belonging to the IABC community to collaborate with professionals like Rauf? Become a member of our global network today.
IABC Staff, Featuring Rauf Hameed