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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Meet IABC member Carlene Cox! With more than 16 years in the field, Carlene serves as the senior director of communications for Gannett. Based in the IABC Austin chapter, Carlene shares insight into her work in the media industry, plus her favorite career-related TikTok account. Read more and connect with Carlene on LinkedIn and Twitter.
What is the most exciting aspect of your role as a communicator?
I’m in the media industry and spent most of my career supporting the editorial side in newsrooms. I am deeply invested in the future of local journalism, so I really value that I can frequently work closely with colleagues on the local news front lines, as well as partners from other functional areas who are passionate about the news, and lend support from our corporate communications team.
Tell us about a situation or project that made you feel valued as a communicator.
I’m routinely approached by colleagues looking for someone to help polish a piece they’ve written, whether it’s an important email or an external statement. It feels great to know my talent and expertise in communicating and writing and editing skills are known and appreciated. Everyone needs an editor — including me!
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?
Last year was my first opportunity to work with our inclusion team to produce our 2020 annual report, which outlines the multi-faceted approach Gannett is taking to build on our culture of belonging. The work we did was impactful and meaningful, and I felt like the communications work I did was integral to the success of the project. Plus, I got to know and work closely with some really talented team members, and those partnerships have extended to work we’re doing in other areas, including a refresh of our corporate inclusion page.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? Who gave it?
“Drive it like it’s stolen” was given to me by Steve Dorsey, Gannett’s vice president of content innovation and development. It’s not intended to cheer on recklessness, but rather, it’s helpful advice any time you’re second guessing your decisions or abilities — gather the info, then aim high and take the shot.
Tell us about a favorite resource that helps you stay connected and informed in the industry.
I enjoy the tips and advice that career coach and CEO of Work It Daily, J.T. O’Donnell, shares on TikTok (@j.t.odonnell). Even though a lot of her content relates to interviewing and resume building, and might be aimed more for those just entering their career, there are also good reminders, lessons and examples for people managers and those looking to build on their careers.
Interested in joining the IABC community to collaborate with professionals like Carlene? Become a member of our global network today.
IABC Staff, Featuring Carlene Cox