About Caroline Bonham
Caroline Bonham works at CIVA Communications, a business she owns and operates with her partner, Dwight Coughlan. The focus of CIVA Communications is corporate and commercial video. Dwight is the producer and Caroline is the writer but says her role is much more than just writing when you own a business. “When you work on your own, you’re a communications generalist involved in business development, client management, account management, office administration, PR and marketing.” Bonham’s role is extensive and she loves the variety of being in communications and staying up-to-date on a variety of topics. “I have to get up to speed on everything from 347-volt lighting systems to biologic drugs to juice manufacturing.”
CIVA Communications is active in the community by providing in-kind donations of communications services to some select charities and nonprofit organizations.
A passion for communication
“Organizational communications fascinates me.” Bonham believes an organization’s most powerful messages are sent outside of formal communications programs. “What a company values and the character of a company, is not found on crafted intranet announcements or e-newsletters. It’s in the leadership style, compensation programs, corporate social responsibility, the integrity of management … even the office layout.”
Bonham has now been a dedicated IABC London member for a quarter century. “I cannot believe how my career and my own life has flown by.” exclaims Bonham.
When Bonham began her career in communications, the networking she was able to do with the IABC colleagues was invaluable to her success. Being able to meet professionals who were facing similar work challenges made her feel at home in the industry and acted as a lifeline to her. Once she launched her own communications business, the connections she made through IABC turned colleagues into clients.
Overall, the greatest benefit Bonham got out of being an IABC member was the time she spent volunteering on the IABC executive committee, “I was able to develop leadership skills, travel to conferences, meet communicators from around the world and make a mark on the activities of the local chapters.”
Proudest work achievement
Although it was around 1990, Bonham still proudly and fondly remembers the Gold Quill award she won for a quarterly video news magazine program. Using video for employee communications was a novelty at that time and they managed to create a funky, fast-paced, variety program that reached staff from coast to coast via VHS. It bridged a huge geographic divide, brought the CEO’s face and voice to the people and shared stories about innovation and initiative happening throughout the company. They even had a paper-based evaluation form – imagine.
Advice for new communicators
“Get involved in IABC. There are always non-profits looking for help and it’s the best way to keep learning, to network, and to give back. Make sure to sign up for volunteer roles outside of your comfort zone.”
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