IABC Member since: September 2016
Number of years in current position: 1 year
Social Media Handles:
LinkedIn (Westwood Strategies): linkedin.com/company/westwood-strategies
Please share an interesting fact or hobby of yours!: I am certified to teach Highland Dance [traditional Scottish dancing]!
Q: Why are you an IABC member? What value or benefits do you see in the membership?
A: I love being involved in the communications community here in Calgary and connecting with other communicators across industries to learn from and collaborate with.
Q: Can you briefly tell us about how you got into the communications profession, where your career has taken you, and what your best piece of advice is for others in the profession?
A: Post-university, I dove straight into communications. My career has been a colourful mix, with roles in multi-national corporate communications, a spirited tech startup, teaching Public Relations at the undergraduate level, and launching my own PR agency. Each venture has sharpened my skills and broadened my understanding of the communications landscape.
My career path led me from Toronto to Calgary seven years ago, thanks to a secondment that turned into a permanent move. This change of scenery has not only enriched my professional journey but also expanded my network and opportunities within the vibrant Calgary communications community.
For those stepping into the communications field, here’s my two cents: keep an open mind. Explore different areas in communications until you find what ignites your passion. Drawing inspiration from other industries can spark innovative ideas, keeping your approach fresh and engaging. And never stop learning. The industry is always evolving, and staying updated is key to remaining relevant and successful in your pursuits.
Q: What is the most important skill you have developed in your career?
A: The most invaluable skill I’ve honed over my career is the art of relationship-building. This skill has not only facilitated fruitful collaborations but has also opened doors to new opportunities and learning experiences.
Whether it’s connecting with industry veterans, engaging with clients, or mentoring the next wave of communications professionals, each interaction has helped pave the path forward.
I also believe in the power of continuous education and learning. The communications landscape is ever-evolving, and staying abreast of new trends, technologies, and best practices is crucial.
This learning ethos, coupled with a robust network, has significantly enriched my professional journey, providing a solid foundation for navigating the diverse and dynamic challenges the communications field presents.
Q: What is the best part of having a career in communications?
A: No two days are ever the same! You rarely get bored in this profession.
Q: What advice would you give to someone new to the industry and to Canada?
A: I would highly recommend kickstarting your communications network through IABC. It’s a fantastic way to meet like-minded professionals and gain insights into the Canadian communications landscape.
LinkedIn is another powerful tool. Don’t hesitate to connect with other communicators in the area; most people are open to making new connections and sharing insights.
Lastly, the informal coffee chat is still well-loved. Reach out to professionals whose work you admire, and invite them for a coffee chat. It’s a great way to learn firsthand about their experiences in communications in Calgary, and most people are happy to share their journey and advice over a warm java.
Q: Any last words? Or something you want to share with the IABC/Calgary membership base?
A: Whether you are just starting out or have a wealth of experience, never underestimate the power of connections and continuous learning in this dynamic field. The opportunity to interact, share knowledge, and grow together is what makes this community truly special.
We thank Jamie for taking the time to share her unique story with us. If you would like to be featured in Member Spotlight, please fill out this form here.