Submitted by Laura Tyrrell
For over ten years, Scott May has worked at Western University as Campus Communications Consultant. He is a member of the Media Relations team, part of the External Department at Western.
A good deal of May’s day-to-day efforts are directed towards strategic communications and dealing with the internal campus communities. For example, he recently supported Human Resources in communicating about a staff awards program and Information Technology Services in communicating wide changes in student email services.
“The exciting aspect of my role is that I also have the opportunity to serve as a member of our dynamic social media team and provide video support to highlight the exciting work done by world-class researchers at Western,” says May.
May admittedly has a “soft spot” for working in large organizations, having worked in health care and then moving to Western. “I love both the complexities and potential power for change that come from large groups of people working together to achieve great things.”
Over his career, May has also supported the community through a number of organizations. He currently sits on the organizing committee for the Business Cares Food Drive Committee and provides communications support for Western’s United Way committee, London’s largest employee campaign.
He believes in working to make your communication efforts behaviourally-based. “What do you want or hope your key audiences will do, not do, or allow to happen as a result of your communications?”
May was introduced to IABC almost 24 years ago. From this experience as a member, he lists three main benefits.
First, members have the opportunity for professional development on both the local and international level. May still remembers the first IABC International Conference he was able to attend in Toronto. “I felt like a sponge with every session providing me fresh perspectives and insights on communications.”
Taking it a step further, members can gain experience as a volunteer on a variety of IABC-related activities. In the past, May has served as Professional Development Chair, Membership Chair and Chapter President. “The opportunity to connect and learn from others has been a great way to deepen my understanding and appreciation for the talented communications professionals we have in the London area.”
“Finally, as the politicians would say: jobs, jobs, jobs.” Through interacting and volunteering with people, IABC acts as a gateway to new and exciting opportunities. “I’ve seen many people use the power of IABC networking to move into new positions.”
For May, several projects over the years have achieved success in terms of outcomes and were also recognized by IABC’s Virtuoso Awards program. “I should mention there are some projects that didn’t completely achieve the desired objectives. These projects serve as a great learning tool for the next time around.”
In communications, there are a number of ways that you can spend your day. May’s advice is to always evaluate and consider if what you are doing is the best way that you can be spending your time. “Work to add value through offering your strategic communications advice – and don’t get in the way of effective communications.”