Senior Manager, Corporate Communications, Bell Canada
Audrey Hood is a Senior Manager, Corporate Communications at Bell Canada, managing the strategy and tactics for both internal and external communications. Internally, Audrey supports Bell’s employees in understanding and connecting to their business unit’s objectives, mission, and strategic priorities. Externally, she provides Bell’s Enterprise clients and prospective clients with clear messaging on Bell’s products and services.
Audrey joined IABC/Toronto as a strategic move. Transitioning from a career in project management into the field of communications and needing formal education in communications, Audrey looked to IABC/Toronto to provide educational opportunities to fill the gap and to learn industry best practices.
Volunteering for IABC/Toronto allowed Audrey to expand her professional network while concurrently learning firsthand from industry experts. She recognized the value of association involvement. Audrey regularly attends the World Conference and, wanting to get more involved, volunteered to help plan and execute the IABC/Toronto Communicator of the Year event this year.
Audrey advises new and tenured communicators and students who are unsure about joining IABC/Toronto to “just do it.” IABC provides many ways to expand one’s knowledge and skillsets in communications while fostering a sense of belonging to a community of professionals. The key is remembering that it’s up to you to immerse yourself in, and take advantage of, the opportunities. As with anything, you get out what you put in.
For Audrey, communication is about relationship building, organizational growth and nurturing collaborations. Whether those relationships are between a company’s leaders and their employees or between the organization and its publics, communication is the key to establishing, maintaining, and growing trust, confidence, awareness, and engagement. With those factors, a business can succeed. That’s why membership in IABC/Toronto is a solid investment in one’s future. It provides its members with opportunities, connections, and growth. These services make an IABC/Toronto membership priceless.
On a typical day, Audrey supports Bell’s internal clients’ needs with written communications, informing them of the progress toward achieving corporate objectives, human resources initiatives, new products and services, and corporate events. She supports Bell Business Market’s Senior Executives in advancing their strategic priorities, such as developing presentation materials and speaking notes. Audrey’s role also includes supporting Bell’s external clients’ needs for information about new products and services through public relations planning and execution. On a not-so-typical day, it’s quiet!
Audrey loves opportunities to make a difference for her colleagues and clients. Success as a communicator can be as simple as crafting an impactful message, finding a better way to phrase something in plain language or making statements more powerful and impactful.
As for the future, Audrey’s prognostications are clear. Technology will be a prime driver of change. Communicators will need to find a way to co-exist with technology. Artificial intelligence is fast encroaching on many industries, and communicators must see it as a powerful yet insufficient tool. Communicators need to embrace it to assist in the rudimentary parts of a communicator’s role, using it for research and information gathering. Then as always, the real work begins for the communication professional, adding value by infusing the copy with the human element that makes it memorable and enduring.
Audrey considers herself a mid-career bloomer, having found her stride in Communications in just the past seven years. Earlier in her career, after earning a specialized honours degree in Psychology with a secondary major in Mass Communications from York University, Audrey spent many years in Customer Support and later in Project Management. As a personal passion, she also earned a certificate in Holistic Nutrition from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition.
And by the way, Audrey’s strategy paid off. As much as she enjoyed being a project manager, it turned out that the time she was focused on communications-oriented work – updating project documentation and creating written materials and presentation materials for project execution -was the best part of her day. Liking the work, Audrey sought to find a profession that maximized the communication aspects of a project manager’s role. She reached out to several communication colleagues and sought opportunities to shadow them. Then, when the opportunity to apply for a position in communications opened, Audrey was ready!