By Masoumeh Zafarmand
Ashley Breen has been an IABC member since 2015. She joined IABC as a student member and rejoined as a professional member about six years ago, to be part of the communication professionals community that offers insight and perspective into the industry. Ashely says she believes the resources made available by IABC are invaluable.
“Internal communications, my primary role, is always an important function within an organization, but its value significantly increased this past year due to the pandemic. I find member benefits like the Hub and webinars help me to compare and benchmark our internal communications efforts with similar organizations around the world and learn new ideas and strategies, too. Local networking events are also great opportunities to build relationships with other communications professionals,” she says.
In 2013, Ashley played a major role in developing and executing internal communications to celebrate her company’s 60th anniversary. She considers this her greatest professional accomplishment. “I love history, and it was a pleasure to learn about all the achievements our organization made over the past six decades and communicate them through different channels to staff. I had the opportunity to interview and involve a number of people in this project, from newcomers to the organization to individuals who worked with our company in the 1950s.The anniversary and the ensuing activities helped build a sense of pride, sentiment and accomplishment.”
Understanding the audience(s) and how they function is the most important skill she has developed over her career.
To overcome challenges, patience and understanding are key for Ashley. She mentions, “I am a proponent of trying to understand the other side of something (or someone) that is creating difficulty in order to gain more perspective, provide clarity and devise a potential solution.”
Ashley recommends When the Headline is YOU: An Insider’s Guide to Handling the Media by Jeff Ansell; a book developed in collaboration with IABC.
Ashley’s last words: “Be kind, be grateful and stay safe.”
Did you know?? Ashley trained in classical piano at Royal Conservatory of Music. She has played since she was seven, and taught part time for a number of years during the early part of her career. Baking, running and jigsaw puzzles have been her go-to hobbies during the pandemic, but she enjoys being in the mountains and hiking.