Connie Spuria is the PR/Communications Manager for Mission Services of London, a local social service agency with 150 employees and five branches of service.
Working as part of the fundraising and development team, her role includes creating the annual report and video for the AGM and promoting annual campaigns – Scan Away Hunger, Christmas/Share the Blessings, Coldest Night of the Year Winter Walk, Annual Fall Banquet and more. “I also write our quarterly newsletter aimed at informing donors on who we are and what we do by featuring a client, staff and donor story in each issue,” explains Connie.
Typical of communicator for a charitable organization, she has a wide range of “other” tasks: engaging the external media, photography, creating content and managing social media channels, and making presentations to groups and schools about the agency’s community impact. Finally, Connie assists senior leadership with internal communication.
Almost a year ago, Connie officially became a member of IABC London shortly after starting her current work role.
“In order to do our best as professionals, we need to collaborate. And communication inherently assumes that there are others to communicate with. Membership means that you have resources to improve your skills, whether creatively, strategically or both,” says Connie. “The regular workshops facilitated by IABC have really helped me out. This is my chance to say ‘thank you!’”
Connie is most passionate about the planning aspect of communications: who to engage, how and when. “I’ve upped my game on that. I’m particularly proud of how planning helped create a strong and successful annual report for Mission Services of London this year.”
Outside of work, Connie volunteers with a school council. She opened its Twitter account and now manages the activity. “The communications skills I’ve learned through paid employment and as a volunteer are mutually beneficial.”
“About a million years ago,” Connie earned a BA in history and politics from the University of Ottawa. She holds a HR Management Certificate from Fanshawe College and Professional Certificate in Communications and Public Relations from Western Continuing Studies.
Connie knows that learning is endless, and a strong network can help in this endeavour. “You may be surprised at those who are willing to give you a chance or help you out in some small, but meaningful way. Students and those starting out in this field are especially in a good position to ask – diplomatically, of course – for assistance and opportunities.”