Andy Kubrin joined IABC/Calgary in 2015 as part of a transition from technical writing to business communication. Since then, he has leaned in on solar energy, carbon pricing, search engine optimization, government relations, and more.
Andy joined the IABC to network with other communications professionals and to pick up the skills required for his career change. IABC has surpassed his expectations. “IABC/Calgary members have shared their wisdom and professional connections. The IABC Academy is a treasure chest of valuable learning. If I had to rely on a single professional resource, the IABC would be my choice, hands down.”
His greatest professional accomplishment to date is co-leading Solar4All, a campaign to develop opportunities for small-scale and community-owned solar energy installations in Alberta. Working in 2016 with the Alberta Green Economy Network, Andy designed the campaign, wrote copy, helped build Solar4All.ca, and contributed to the campaign’s public engagement and government relations activities. “We were pleased with what we achieved. Solar4All helped persuade the Alberta government to modify the Micro-Generation Regulation, introduce Property-Assessed Clean Energy, introduce the Alberta Indigenous Solar Program, and Community Generation Program and to extend the On-Farm Solar Photovoltaics Program.” Although he worked as a volunteer on this campaign, Andy feels he was richly compensated in professional experience and personal growth.
Andy relies on several skills as a communicator, but values two in particular. One of them is writing. “We rely heavily on the written word as communicators, and a clean, engaging writing style is a key asset.” Another important skill is strategizing, which he defines as the art of thinking backwards. “Instead of working forward from our current position, we design communications campaigns by thinking backwards from our desired outcome.”
As a communicator, immigrant, and lifelong traveler, Andy’s advice is to embrace the new and unfamiliar. “Business comms is really different from technical writing, and I’ve faced some big challenges along the way. But other communicators have been very helpful.” The same principle applies to moving to Canada and to travel in general. “Wherever I go, I find people are welcoming to newcomers. We can all live — and thrive — in a variety of settings. I’ve learned to engage the people around me. They always help me find my way.”
Andy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California and a Master of Fine Arts degree from Bennington College. He is also an IABC Communications Management Professional (CMP).
In his spare time, Andy continues his environmental work, advocating for carbon pricing with Citizens’ Climate Lobby. He also writes family history — an easy job, because his relatives are so colourful the history practically writes itself. In this genre, one of his favourite works is The Hare with Amber Eyes: A Hidden Inheritance by Edmund de Waal.
Andy now operates Cycle7 Communications, an independent consultancy that provides strategy, writing, and search engine optimization. His home on the web is cycle7comms.