Loretta Lam is the Founder and Chief Strategist of Focus Communications Inc., an award-winning national multicultural marketing and diversity communication consultant firm. An influencer who helps mainstream marketers identify and connect with business opportunities in the fast-changing Canadian marketing landscape, Loretta is a recognized advisor to C-Suite executives on diversity marketing strategy and cultural inclusion and a sought-after speaker and article contributor.
As an early careerist, Loretta joined IABC/Toronto because of its access to a network of international professional communicators, the slate of regular professional development opportunities and space where Loretta could share her expertise on diversity communication and multicultural marketing.
Reasonable membership fees and different membership categories make IABC’s resources accessible to students, communication entrepreneurs and new Canadians looking for avenues to transfer their skills to the communication profession. Plus, IABC’s award programs are extremely valuable for gaining industry recognition.
Loretta attests that working in an agency environment exposes communication professionals to different industries and brands. As she said, “never a dull moment.” Under her vision and leadership, Focus Communications Inc. pioneered 360 multicultural marketing best practices and has assisted major multinational brands and corporations with multicultural marketing and diversity communication.
Loretta pioneered the first annual Canadian multicultural marketing editorial report and conference with Marketing Magazine (succeeded by Brunico Communications). This is a milestone achievement in hiking industry awareness and investments among marketers, associations and agencies in the fast-growing multicultural market segment.
Since the beginning, Loretta’s passion and mission have been to build a brand-name agency that promotes multiculturalism, diversity, and inclusion in the communication industry. Her recent contributions include her advisory role on the IABC IDEA committee as Director of Advocacy and Partnerships, Canadian Marketing Association DEI Committee, #HealthNotHate, a non-profit anti-racism initiative, and as a Board Governor of York University.
Loretta predicts that the future of communications in the coming decade will be highly challenging and largely shaped by the adoption of technologies, new media (new social media platforms), artificial intelligence (ChatGPT), and people’s changing expectations and habits.
Leaders and front-line workers will be continuously challenged to acquire new thinking, knowledge, and skills. Adapting to delivering communications, especially in the social and digital domains, will be a critical challenge. Every communication practitioner must be agile and quickly pivot to meet the needs of working with the new generation of communicators who may possess a very different mindset and work culture.
Furthermore, the communication profession will feel the impact of the five million Canadians expected to retire over the coming decade. As Canada shifts its focus to targeted and skilled immigration, employers will look to its communication professionals to design inclusive, culturally sensitive and non-oppressive recruitment and training messaging.
As a woman, a person of colour, an immigrant, and a professional communicator, Loretta has made it her company’s mission to mentor and create job opportunities for new graduates, newcomers to Canada, and people of diverse backgrounds. She does not limit her role to leading her company. Loretta is passionate about making a positive change and impact in the marketing and communication industry. There is much room for improvement and glass ceilings to break, especially for women, people of colour, and new Canadians.