As the Director of Marketing at All Makes Office Equipment in Omaha, I am responsible for marketing and communications for the 102-year-old commercial furniture and technology business.
Prior to All Makes,I was a spokesperson for Union Pacific Railroad, leading public relations efforts in 10 of the 23 states where the railroad operates. Before joining the media team, I worked in Digital and Social Media for Union Pacific, responsible for publishing articles externally, social media content and management, advertising – traditional and digital – and advertising placement.
Previous to Union Pacific Railroad, I worked in internal communications at TD Ameritrade. There, I managed and wrote for the internal newsroom, created videos and helped out on the external communications team.
Before I joined the corporate sector of communications, I worked as an on-air television journalist in both Des Moines, Iowa, and Omaha, most recently at KETV.
In 2020, I joined Midland University’s MBA program as their Strategic Communications adjunct professor.
Midland’s MBA Strategic Communications Course
The Strategic Communications course is not just designed for students striving for a career in public relations or corporate communications. The course focuses on what core skills a leader should possess to be an effective and strategic communicator. Whether you’re leading two people or a whole company, communication is an essential part of being a great leader.
What Students Will Learn
As a college student, I was fortunate to have instructors with real-world experience who could share relevant real-world situations and examples in class for us to learn from. In many ways, this class is designed the same way.
Students in the strategic communications course will apply textbook communications concepts to real-world situations and current events. They can expect to discuss and analyze the application of these concepts in both small and large group settings and through presentations. And, much like a manager or supervisor in the workplace, students will critique their peers’ analysis and presentations.
The course covers a different topic within the strategic communications umbrella each week, including:
- Corporate communications
- Internal communications
- Public relations
- Crisis communication
- Corporate social responsibility
- Brand identity
We will talk a lot about stakeholders at every level of communication. Identifying your stakeholders is vitally important in any communication because you need to be able to craft the right message for the right audience. Each stakeholder has a different focus, priority, or concern, therefore, needs to be communicated with differently.
Let’s use COVID-19 as an example, since it’s impacted every industry and business around the world. You have a number of stakeholders, both internal and external.
Your internal stakeholders are your employees. They’re going to want to know what COVID’s impact on the business means for them: can you still operate? Is their schedule changing? Do they still have a job? Are they going to work remotely? What safety precautions are in place or will be put in place to make your business safe for its employees? What’s the plan when an employee tests positive? Are there new procedures in place to help prevent the spread of COVID?
Your employees who are people-managers may also want to know how to manage a hybrid team or if expectations have changed, how will they monitor the productivity of your team, such as ability to meet deadlines if the company has changed the way it operates.
Your external stakeholders could include your customers or clients, shareholders, investors, or board members. They’re going to want to know how the coronavirus is impacting your business. They’ll also want to know how restrictions or new safety measures will impact operations and/or delivery. What is the effect on the bottom line? In compliance with local and state restrictions, are there delays in shipment, or delivery?
So, even with one topic to communicate, there are very different talking points and messages depending on the stakeholder.
Overall, this course will be relevant to anyone that ever hopes to lead a team, communicate with their boss, communicate with their manager, or are hopeful for a promotion.