Where do you work? What is your role, including responsibilities and projects?
I work at Jesse’s Journey, a London-based charity dedicated to funding research into Duchenne muscular dystrophy. My role is Senior Communications Officer, and like many people who work in small non-profits, my role is quite varied. I’m responsible for crafting much of the written messaging for our organization including web and social media content, direct marketing content, and funding proposals. I work with some of our major gift donors and families affected by Duchenne, supporting them in achieving their philanthropic goals. I have also edited a couple of promo videos, including one celebrating the 20th anniversary of John Davidson’s walk across Canada (shameless plug available here).
How long have you been an IABC member?
I’m a newly-minted IABC member, having just joined at the beginning of 2018.
In your opinion, what are the benefits of being an IABC member? What resources offered by IABC have you taken advantage of?
There are many benefits to joining IABC, especially having the opportunity to learn through professional development meetings and online resources. The world of communications is complex and diverse, and there is always something new to learn. It’s also great to have opportunities to meet face-to-face with other professionals to share ideas, share challenges, or to make new connections.
What area(s) of communications are you passionate about?
I think I’m most passionate about the book-ends of strategy/planning and results measurement. I love creating strategies and developing a communications plan for any new project or initiative. After a project is complete, I really enjoy diving into the analytics and seeing the results, looking at trends over time, and looking for things to continue and things to improve.
Tell us about an important project or achievement from your career.
In 2012, I was tasked with creating and implementing a social media strategy for Jesse’s Journey. I was starting almost from scratch – a Facebook page had been created by a volunteer and it had 60 fans, and a Twitter account had been created by another volunteer and it had no followers. Over time, our social audience grew organically and they’re quite engaged, especially on Facebook. Navigating social media and digital marketing for a small charity focused on a rare disease has been an interesting experience, and presents unique challenges. Our digital strategy eventually expanded to include e-newsletters for donors and families, and securing a Google Grant for AdWords. It’s been very rewarding to not only see our online presence grow, but to know that we have made important and beneficial connections through our online platforms.
Are you involved in volunteer work or other roles in the community?
At the moment, I don’t have any volunteer or community roles. I was involved with the London and Region Fundraising Professionals (LRFP) for many years, and held volunteer positions with the MS Society and Jesse’s Journey (before joining the staff). My focus for the last couple of years has been on completing my bachelor’s degree in communication studies through Athabasca University.
Do you have any advice for students, future communicators or those starting out in this field?
One of the best pieces of advice I received when I graduated from college was to be open to opportunities, even if they don’t seem on the surface to be your dream job. It’s amazing how one opportunity can lead to another. Meet as many people as you can and stay in contact with those people (to my fellow introverts: there’s no easy way around this, but you can do it and it’s very rewarding!) If you have the opportunity to volunteer with associations like IABC, that’s a great way to fast-track your networking and it also helps you build a reputation among industry leaders who also serve on those committees.
What do you like the best about your profession?
What I like most about the communications profession is being able to do what I love (writing, public speaking, being creative) and turning it into a rewarding career. I still remember learning for the first time that there is such a thing as a career in communication, and not only that, but the skills we possess are in demand in virtually every sector. I have a passion for health care, but not the aptitude to be a doctor, nurse, or any type of health care professional, really. By working for non-profit organizations connected to health care, I am able to combine my interests in a job that I find fulfilling.
How can members connect with you?
@meganzinn or https://www.linkedin.com/in/meganzinn/