Inside This Issue:
How can you make 2012 a successful year for your career? Christina Burz, executive search and management consultant, Carlsen Resources, Inc.; ACC President Rosa Gatti, svp, communications counsel and corporate outreach, ESPN, Inc.; Carol Vernon, certified executive coach & principal, Communications Matters, LLC; and fellow cable communicators discussed this during ACC’s December 15 Online Chat Career Planning and Development in Today’s Business World.
If you want to make 2012 a success, you need to figure out where you want to go in your career. Executive coach Carol Vernon said, “You need to take the time to step back and look at where you are – what’s working? What do you need more of? Less of? Next, you start visioning around where you can be. What do you want to create in your career? How does your career impact your overall life plan?” If you are struggling in your attempt to answer these questions, tools that may help you figure them out are Martha Beck’s book Finding Your North Star, working with a career coach, talking with a mentor or other trusted advisers, and the strengthsfinder 2.0 online assessment by Tom Rath.
Once you have your career goals, develop a plan to get there. “Move to the action steps,” said Vernon. “Clarify how you will get there and finally you create accountability.” After you have begun implementing your plan, evaluate how it is going and make any necessary changes. Throughout this process, ACC President Rosa Gatti recommends that you, as she said, “Be proactive. Stretch you goals. Then deliver tangible results,” and finally exceed the expectations of those around you. “If you are getting where you want to be, be sure to take the time to celebrate your success,” added Vernon.
You may realize during this process that you can grow and expand your skills where you are. “In today’s world many people are challenged in their work. They may think they have outgrown a job,” said Vernon. “My advice is always to actively seek out more responsibility right where you are. Remember clarify what you love to do and then do more of it. Say no to the things that don’t matter to your organization’s success and that you can actually say no to.”
If you want to be happy and grow in your current position, Gatti said, “Look for gaps or needs in the organization. Make a proposal to fill them or take on the added responsibility. Reach out to other leaders in the organization to discuss possibilities. Volunteer at community events to keep perspective.”
This year may be a good time to work on developing and improving the skill sets you need to acquire to move up. Negotiating office politics, identifying and leveraging your strengths, developing presentation skills and improving and refining your communications skills for different audiences and situations may help you make that next leap forward.
“Present viewpoints with substance, facts,” said Gatti. “Have conviction. Speak up with relevant win-win points. If you don’t position well the first time, you can always follow up with email.”
“Communications is key,” said Vernon. “You need to understand how other people communicate and then communicate with them that way.” Gatti added, “I had to learn how to vary my style of communication with five different presidents. Not change who I was but modify.”
Improving your communications with senior management and ability to negotiate office politics can pay dividends years later. “Years ago, reorganizations would happen, and people would be surprised,” said Gatti. “I learned to say to my previous boss, ‘If you’re thinking of reorganizing, keep me in mind for other opportunities.’” Initially, he was surprised because he thought she was so busy, but Gatti had prepared for this conversation and suggested three ways she could contribute more. “Four years later,” said Gatti, “he gave me HR to reorganize in addition to PR.”
It may be that after you reviewed where you are in your career right now and your attempts to grow where you are, you may decide to start a job search. “Ask yourself if with these moves, you have continued learning new things,” said Gatti. “If you have not, you should explore other opportunities.”
If you do decide to start a job search, you need to make sure you have done your homework first and figure out what roles you would be interested in exploring and how you can leverage your skills into another position. In a successful job search, media/entertainment recruiter Christina Burz said, “The most important tool is still your network. Recruiters are helpful when you’re already employed and can afford to be somewhat passive and opportunistic in your job search. But when you’re actively looking, you can’t rely on them.”
The more ways you can find to network the better. “LinkedIn is a must, but you can never forget the traditional ways. You want to make sure that you meet people face to face,” said Burz. “Especially if you’re actively in a job search. Spending too much time online can make you feel like you accomplished something but you haven’t really connected.” The personal contact can also help you combat the negative feelings you may encounter when job searching.
Recruiters mainly work on job searches for the vice president level and above, so networking may be even more important for people at the mid-level to increase their exposure. Burz said, “Joining associations and being an active member is a good way to do this.”
If you do want to reach out to recruiters, email them instead of calling. It helps to have a referral, and you should always offer to be a source to the recruiter in searches. “You can email a recruiter to introduce yourself and say that you are interested in getting on their radar for future opportunities. They may even have a quick general conversation to get to know you better. That would be rare,” said Burz. Most likely, recruiters will add your information to their databases and reach out to you when they have an appropriate opportunity.
According to Burz, the job market is steadily growing. “In 2011 we handled four PR searches which is a record for us,” said Burz, and Carlsen Resources currently have two PR searches undergoing. Social media and storytelling skills are still important skill sets to have, but strategy and other communications skills are equally important.
“I find the most important thing is where or not you can build out a strategy,” said Burz. “Being tactical is one thing but setting a vision and working against that is crucial. I interview PR people who talk about a lot of wins but those wins weren’t part of an overall strategy.”
“Communication principles are the same,” said Gatti. “Concise when needed. Story telling when appropriate. It’s the tools that have changed and the timing, pace, immediate response nature. We all have had to quicken our communication.”
Finally, learn how to market yourself effectively internally and externally. “PR people and often women don’t sell themselves enough. They think people just notice,” said Gatti. “Blow your horn in a polite way. List your results each year. Share great feedback that you receive periodically. Credit your people.”
You can read more about how you can make 2012 a successful year for your career on the ACC Web site. The transcript of the December 15 Online Chat Career Planning and Development in Today’s Business World is posted online. You must be logged into the members-only area of www.CableCommunicators.org to view it, and you can log in through the member log in box in the left-hand corner of any page of the ACC Web site. Typically, your username is your work email address, and the password is your last name all in lowercase letters. Please contact ACC at 202-222-2370 or email email@example.com if you need login assistance.
Are you interested in connecting with fellow cable communicators? ACC needs volunteers for our FORUM 2012 and 2012 Beacon Award Committees. Get involved and help mold ACC programs to meet the needs of cable communicators.
FORUM Committee Members will help determine the agenda and promote FORUM 2012 to the industry. Beacon Award volunteers manage the complete entry process from promotion to judging to the Beacon Awards Gala. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact ACC by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org (FORUM), email@example.com (Beacon), or calling 800-210-3396.
Cox and Comcast raised money via Facebook for the Boys & Girls Clubs in separate holiday initiatives. Cox launched its first social giving campaign on Facebook in support of Boys & Girls Clubs of America (BGCA) during the 2011 holiday season. The campaign consisted of a Holiday Digeez Snow Globe that allowed Cox’s more than 250,000 Facebook fans to place their favorite photos into a holiday-themed snow globe. Fans could customize their snow globe with a variety of different holiday designs, such as Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Wonderland and more. Once completed, fans could share their personalized snow globe with Facebook family and friends, as well as through email.
Cox is a long-standing partner of BGCA. In addition to the company's ongoing financial and in-kind contributions, Cox is donating one dollar to the organization for each snow globe created during the holiday season, up to $10,000. The campaign ran alongside the Holiday Sweepstakes on the corporate and local Cox Facebook pages through the start of the New Year.
Comcast teamed up with NBC Connecticut in a Joy of Giving Charity Facebook Drive that donates $1 for every new "like" on the NBC Connecticut Facebook page, providing up to $20,000. The drive benefits the Connecticut Alliance of the Boys & Girls Clubs, which will donate the funds to Boys & Girls Clubs in Connecticut to support their Formula for Impact program. The campaign runs until January 10, 2012.
The Boys and Girls Clubs in Connecticut serve more than 60,000 young people through 17 clubs and 43 sites around the Nutmeg state. Their Formula for Impact program is focused on the elements for positive youth development, including academic success, good character, citizenship and healthy lifestyles. For more information, go to NBC Connecticut or Comcast New England on Facebook.
Discovery, Viacom and ACC Institute partner Syracuse University have joined at least 34 other companies, nonprofits and government agencies in the White House Summer Jobs+ program to provide employment and training opportunities for low-income youth during the upcoming summer months. The goal for the program is to create 250,000 employment opportunities by the start of summer with at least 100,000 placements in paid jobs and internships. Currently private industry, nonprofits and government slots total 180,000.
Syracuse University, which partners with ACC producing the annual Cable Communications Institute, will provide 250 jobs to college-aged students working in the Say Yes to Education, the university’s summer camp for academic enrichment and youth leadership and with its partnership with CNY Works, on a Summer Youth Initiative.
Discovery Communications internship program will provide nearly 300 college students with career opportunities. Additionally the Discover YourSkills campaign enables young adults to learn about critical skilled trades in partnership with Montgomery College and currently provides summer job opportunities.
Viacom will provide 10 recent college graduates a 10-week paid training program to unlock the door to valuable real-world experience, and the POSSE’s Career Program will offer 30 students a paid internship.
For additional information on the Summer Jobs+ initiative go to, http://www.whitehouse.gov/briefing-room or contact the office of the press secretary at 202-456-1414.
Did you resolve to network more in 2012? Get further connected to your fellow cable communicators via the new ACC Online Member Directory & Community. This new service was activated in late November and is available to all members as a member benefit. The online community’s key features enable all members to create an enhanced individual profile to help build stronger bonds with other cable communicators and facilitate the exchange of best practices or other cable industry related information, and the search functions make it easier to get connected with fellow members. Now members may upload professional and personal information easily and search a variety of data points, add a picture, or link to social networks and blogs.
How Do You Access The New ACC Online Member Directory & Community?
You must be logged into the members-only area of www.CableCommunicators.org to access the new ACC Online Member Directory & Community, and you can log in through the member log in box in the left-hand corner of any page of the ACC Web site. Typically, your username is your work email address, and the password is your last name all in lowercase letters. Please contact ACC at 202-222-2370 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you need login assistance.
How Can You Make Yourself Shine in the New ACC Online Member Directory & Community?
Your profile is fully customizable with social media accounts, additional biographical information, background, expertise and other attributes. You can also post updates and photos to your wall and join groups within the ACC directory & community.
The editing features of the New ACC Online Member Directory & Community include:
Profile Home brings you to your own profile and shows how it is displayed to everyone else who logs in to this new directory/community.
Manage Profile is what you would click on to make edits to your information and to add more information.
Groups display what groups ACC may have already enrolled you in. Currently, we have two types of groups - ACC Mentor Program and Institute Alumni from 2011, 2010 and 2009. There is information and opportunities to exchange information within each group, and ACC plans to introduce more groups in 2012.
Networks is where you would add other social media networks to your profile. For example, ACC staff member Michelle Butler added links to her LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and Wordpress (blog) accounts. There are many other choices as well.
Messages connects you to the internal messaging system in this new community (think messaging in LinkedIn and/or Facebook)
Connections allows you to "connect" (similar to friend in Facebook) with fellow members.
One of the core missions of ACC is to bring cable communicators together, and the new ACC Online Directory & Community will make it easier for you to network with your peers. We want this new feature to serve your needs, so please send any comments or questions to Michelle Butler at email@example.com or 202-222-2372 or Steve Jones at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-222-2373.
ACC Board Member Kimberly Maki, vice president, corporate communications & web strategies, Bright House Networks, was named a Woman to Watch by Multichannel News. On March 13, Multichannel News, in conjunction with WICT New York, will honor the 2012 Wonder Women and Women to Watch and spotlight these dynamic, decision-making women and their extraordinary accomplishments.
ACC is pleased to welcome its newest corporate member, Sard Verbinnen & Company, a strategic corporate and financial communications firm that has joined the association in the new “Partner” category. For more information on how your organization can join ACC as a 2012 corporate member, please contact Steve Jones at email@example.com or 202-222-2373. For membership details, go to http://www.cablecommunicators.org/cmember.php.
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PO Box 75007 Washington DC 20013 · Phone 800.210.3396 or 202.222.2370 · Fax 703.782.0153