As a communications specialist with Prudential’s Work Solutions Group, I have been supporting the communications team’s 5 directors.
I joined the business while a lot of substantial changes were taking place. Work Solutions Group had just been established and the Vice President I reported to was still new to the business group.
My primary responsibilities as a communications specialist are:
- Email: I help draft organizational emails and business updates for the leadership team, and am in charge of formatting and sending the emails to the correct employee populations.
- Intranet: I help draft content for the business group’s intranet site and am in charge of making sure the content is formatted according to best practices.
- Communications Calendar: I am responsible for managing our team’s editorial calendar, for making sure emails and intranet content are published in a timely manner.
- Standard Operating Procedures: The communications team is using new platforms for email and the intranet, and has updated its role in the business. To help manage the subsequent new policies and standards, I have produced several SOPs and templates that are used by our team and our business partners.
- Events: I assist in the communications and logistics of events, putting together invites and communications plans, securing the necessary rooms, resources and personnel, and providing onsite assistance.
Aside from my primary responsibilities, I’ve had the opportunity to work on several projects which have allowed me to be more collaborative, creative and agile.
- Plasma Screens: There are internal digital screens throughout the business’s 4 locations on which we publish slides. I worked with our marketing department to animate these slides and to create templates.
- Appreciation Day: Appreciation Day is an annual event held in appreciation of employees. I was asked to manage a cross-business team to create an interactive display that would recognize top-performers in our business.
- 2018 Strategy: When the business’s 2018 strategy was unveiled, I was given the opportunity to lead the effort in creating intranet content around the strategy.
This has been a contract position that started in June 2017. It is the first corporate job that I’ve held, and at first it was a bit of a culture shock. There were a few lessons I had to learn in order to meet the demands of the job and to successfully manage the responsibilities I was given. That said, for my first communications job, I’ve done well, and have had my contract thrice extended.
Here are a few of the lessons which have helped me the most:
- Setting Expectations: I support 6 directors who each support an organization within the business. In order to properly manage this workload, I needed to learn to manage the expectations of my clients. Agreeing to complete something by the end of the week wasn’t always best because an executive ask from Operations, or Distribution, or Claims, might arrive on my desk on Thursday and need to be finished by 5pm.
- Saying No: When I began this position I was eager to accept each opportunity I was offered, whether it was from one of the directors I supported or a client from elsewhere in the business. I had to learn when I had too much on my plate, when I needed to have flexibility in order to fulfill my primary responsibilities; I had to learn when to tell someone that I did not have the bandwidth to assist them. This helped me focus on the important tasks at hand and to provide quicker turnaround for those I supported.
- Using Checklists:
- Giving Updates:
- Not Overvaluing Perfection: