For more than 20 years, Elaine Gamble has been making good use of her IABC membership. When she got her first job in communications in 1993, she immediately became a member. “IABC always offers relevant training and learning programs, whether through breakfast seminars, lunch and learns, webinars or conferences. It also offers great networking opportunities, especially for people who are new to the field.”
Elaine has attended two world conferences. She also takes advantage of IABC’s awards programs to test her skills and knowledge, and proudly displays her Silver Leaf Award of Merit and the Ovation Award she won when she belonged to the IABC Toronto chapter.
Elaine has spent a lot of time in her career handling media relations and issues management. In the six years she worked at the City of London, she was proud to work with a variety of staff to make sure they communicated quickly and effectively, whether it was about a winter storm, road construction, a new pool opening or clean water initiatives. “One the things I am most proud of is the way we developed our use of social media. Among municipalities, the City of London was seen as an early adopter and leader in using social media to engage and inform citizens.”
These days, Elaine is the senior manager of corporate communications at Fanshawe College. In her role, she leads the corporate communication team to generate internal and external communications strategies, plans and products to enhance Fanshawe’s public image. She oversees media relations, issues management, publications and videos, emergency communications, event management and executive speechwriting. Her team manages the College’s website and intranet and they are also responsible for employee communication and engagement.
In the past year, she was part of a team that developed and successfully launched Fanshawe’s new brand in the college’s first rebranding exercise since the 1980’s.
Outside of work, Elaine is a trustee of Awesome London, which is a network of people devoted to forwarding the interest of awesomeness in London through no-strings-attached $1000 grants. She is also a board member of both Emerging Leaders and the London Youth Advisory Council. “Both of these organizations play a very important role in our community to attract, engage and retain young people and ensure their voices are heard and reflected in local decision-making.”
For newbies, Elaine’s advice is simple and time-tested: “Stay connected and never stop learning.” Whether by monitoring media coverage of issues or picking up a local organization’s newsletter or flyer, Elaine says she is always observing communication trends and practices. “Together with professional publications, like Communication World, I use these opportunities to see what other communicators are doing.”