Carrie Dudley-Tatsu is the Manager of Internal and Executive Communications with Union Gas, a major Canadian natural gas storage, transmission and distribution company based in Ontario with over 100 years of experience and service to customers.
“My role is one part of a broader Public Affairs team that supports Union Gas. Our goal is to promote, protect and enhance the company and its employees by communicating concise, accurate and timely information to all of our stakeholders,” explains Carrie.
More specifically, the Internal and Executive Communications team is responsible for planning, developing and implementing internal communication strategies that will advance corporate goals and objectives. Her work includes internal crisis communication planning, critical and general communications approval, executive communications, corporate events, and general communication strategy planning and governance.
What excites Carrie about her job? Taking something that is complex, technical and full of jargon, and turning it into something that everyone can understand and relate to. “It is like an art and I love it!”
“My job gives me the opportunity to work with amazing and talented people across the company and I value my work with leaders and their efforts to engage employees. At the same time, I have fun every day – well, almost every day!”
An IABC member for over 10 years, Carrie has found value from her membership in different ways. “When I first joined I was a team of one, working at a government agency. I was looking for a resource of professionals to learn from – IABC provided me with that network.” Now as a more seasoned communication practitioner, IABC continues to provide a wealth of resources and networks and a chance to mentor others. As a member, she has attended several events and participated in numerous conferences. In 2011, her team received both Virtuoso and Gold Quill award recognition for their work on the Union Gas Centennial celebration.
“Communications is not just an interpersonal skill – it is a discipline and an area of expertise. IABC brings this to the forefront and advocates on behalf of communication professionals around the world.”
Carrie also believes that communicators should take time to mentor and be mentored.
A few years ago, she established a mentoring relationship with a former colleague who is a senior communications executive at an energy company based in New Orleans. “While I am always honoured to share my personal experiences with others in our field, mentoring has also given me the chance to learn from others and, frankly, reenergize my career.”
While work and family commitments take up the bulk of Carrie’s time, she stays engaged in supporting local community organizations and participating on the parent teacher council at her children’s school.
“I am fortunate to work for a company with a longstanding commitment to our communities. This has allowed me the ongoing opportunity to participate in various fundraisers and take the lead in organizing several ‘Helping Hands in Action’ projects.”
One of the best pieces of advice Carrie received was simple and straightforward: “Communication leadership is not just what you say, but how you say it. As communicators, people are always watching us – how we answer questions…how we deliver news. There is a long shadow case by communications leaders and we need to be aware of this and leverage the opportunity.”