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Member Musing: Mel Curtis

1. Tell us about what you do?

I manage a small team of media and communications all-rounders based in offices across regional Victoria for the state government. It’s a rolethat requires broad ranging skills across the communications spectrum and while that’s a challenge at times it’s also one of its benefits. I am based in Warrnambool (about 3.5 hours from Melbourne) at the end of the Great Ocean Road which is a fantastic part of Victoria – especially over summer!

2. When did you join IABC Victoria?

I am newtoIABC joining up in late 2017. I have been aware of the organisation for many years and thought about becoming a member for a long time. I am a member of several other similar organisations and always keen to know how different groups operate.

3. Why did you become an IABC Victoria member?

Professionally for me the biggest challenge is that I live and work 3.5 hours from Melbourne and my manager and most of my peers. I have limited time, resources and access to training, networking and development opportunities. Therefore being a member of professional organisations and networking through them is a key focus for me. I am keen to speak with other people in similar situations and work together with them on ways to keep regional practitioners involved.

4. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing communication professionals now and into the future? 

Proving our worth at the board level. I believe there is a generally strong understanding of what we can do for an organisation, however I think there is still a perception that most people could “do” comms if required.   Particularly in a government space there needs to be accountability for tax payers money and proving the worth of communications professionals needs to be quantified more than ever and seen as part of the economic bottom line. We need to prove our worth!

5. How do you think IABC Victoria can help communication professionals overcome these challenges and stay ahead of the game?

I believe there is a still work to be done to convince some executive levels of the economic benefits of good communications. To fully appreciate the skills and expertise that a good communications professional brings to their organisation and rate it next to another discipline like science or economics.

6. What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in our profession?

Network, network, network!! Introduce yourself to people when you attend events and use all the forums available to you to seek out information and mentors to improve yourself. Read as much as you can, and not just from communications sources. Sign-up for groups and committees – people are the key to your success and fulfilment.

Join or renew your IABC membership in March 2018 to get 10% off your annual dues and go into the draw to win a VIP prize package for IABC World Conference in Montreal.

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