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Meet IABC member Lavern Reid, ABC, SCMP, based in the Southern Region chapter. Lavern is a communications consultant in Kingston, Jamaica. Here, she shares a high point in her career, successfully leading a program and gaining the CEO’s attention, her experience in cross-collaboration projects and more.
Get to know Lavern, and connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter.
What is the most exciting aspect of your role as a communicator?
I’m delighted with the diverse, customizable resources I can access at the click of a button for my communication activities. I’m challenged to constantly learn, embrace new opportunities and adjust my strategies and ideas for work and for the students I mentor.
Tell us about a situation or project that made you feel valued as a communicator.
I was asked to lead a company flagship program to engage with clients in the U.S., UK and Canada when my manager unexpectedly resigned. The project allowed me to use a wide range of skills including event management, business protocol, media relations and investor relations. With the support of a very committed team, I anchored one of the most successful seasons of that series up to that point. My high point was the letter of commendation I received from the CEO for my coordination of the program!
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?
Most of my projects have required cross-team collaboration, usually with marketing or human resources. Exceptionally, one project required working closely with the legal department to simplify messaging from a technical Central Bank document for customers and staff.
Even though I worked remotely for much of this project, the collaboration was productive because team members on both sides had the same end game — copy that retained its legal flavor but was still palatable to a wide demographic of clients. Admittedly, in the beginning there was some gnashing of teeth and a few dramatic sighs, but we learned to really listen to each other and balance what had to be said (legal!) with the best way to say it (comms!). In the end, we were proud to complete much of the output within schedule and on budget.
What is the best career advice you’ve ever received? Who gave it?
My grandmother had a wide repertoire of Jamaican proverbs for every situation. She told me often, “One, one coco full basket,” which means that success isn’t achieved overnight; it requires sustained effort and application. This maxim has both reassured and motivated me throughout my career.
What’s one of your favorite resources to stay connected and informed in the industry?
My current go-to resource is PRovokeMedia.com. A current series, “The Top 20 Crises of 2021,” has great takeaways which I have stored in my crisis communication toolkit.
IABC Staff, Featuring Lavern Reid, ABC, SCMP