I cannot believe that I have already been in my “new” role for an entire year! Holy 🐮 🐄 🤠 time flies!
To mark this special milestone, I am going to share a little bit about what my role as a Communications Manager at Microsoft is like… based on what I’ve experienced so far 🤷🏻♀️ There are hundreds of Communications Managers out there, but many of us have very different day-to-day responsibilities. Some are internal comms who focus on employee and executive audiences. Others are external comms and deal with social media, analyst relations, or public relations (PR).
So let’s get into the Who, What, When, Where, Why, and How of my current role below 👇🏼
Who is my audience? 👀
My team is Customer Comms and we are part of external comms, which is mainly PR focused. Our primary audience is reporters from top tier media outlets like Forbes, Bloomberg, and the Wall Street Journal. These media outlets target business decision makers (BDM)—think of the C-Suite executives at your company.
Since joining this team, I have become interested in the emerging business decision makers (EBDM)—the people who are early or mid-career today but will eventually become the executive decision-makers of tomorrow.
What do I do? 📝
My team works with Microsoft’s most strategic customers in the world to share news and impact stories. Oftentimes, we collaborate on big announcements in the form of press releases or blog posts. For the past year, I’ve been shadowing my team members and learning how these customer stories come to life. I am excited to lead my own customer story in the coming months!
Below are some of the announcements that I’ve supported so far:
- Johnson & Johnson Medical Devices Companies Announces Strategic Partnership with Microsoft to Further Enable its Digital Surgery Solutions
- Kraft Heinz and Microsoft join forces to accelerate supply chain innovation as part of broader digital transformation
- Leading change: How industries are partnering with Microsoft to empower their teams and serve customers through uncertainty
- American Airlines and Microsoft partnership takes flight to create a smoother travel experience for customers and better technology tools for team members
- P&G and Microsoft co-innovate to build the future of digital manufacturing
- Las Vegas Raiders & Microsoft Announcement GIF
- From resilience to digital perseverance: How organizations are using digital technology to turn the corner in unprecedented times
- Doing more with less: How organizations shape the future with a strong digital posture
I’ve also been developing a social media strategy with best practices and resources to complement these announcements. We’ve been trying new tactics (like sharing a GIF) on social media and finding ways to stand out and engage reporters, BDMs, and EBDMs on popular platforms like LinkedIn and Twitter.
Recently, I’ve joined a high profile workstream that highlights customer momentum in our CEO, Satya Nadella, and EVP & Chief Commercial Officer, Judson Althoff’s communications. It’s been a great learning experience to work directly with the Office of the CEO and Office of the Chief Commercial Officer!
When does it get busy? ⏰
The world of Comms faces many peaks and valleys throughout the year. The days and weeks leading up to an announcement are intense, and we often dedicate long hours. Once those announcements are out there, we get a chance to breathe a bit before moving on to our next project or announcement. There can also be a lot of waiting around when we’re working with our internal and external stakeholders, so following up is key to moving projects and deliverables along.
Let me just say that it takes A LOT of time and effort to put out an announcement that ends up in your newsfeed. What takes you minutes to read in the daily news actually takes us months of strategic planning and coordination behind-the-scenes. After all, the stuff we say can affect our stock price 📈 … I have developed such a deep appreciation for the art and science of PR 🤯 🤯 🤯
Where do I work from? 👩🏻💻
I am absolutely loving the hybrid work environment that Microsoft endorses. I usually go into the office on campus a couple of times per week and meet up with my team IRL. When it gets too busy, I usually WFH so that I can save time from having to get ready and commute to and from the office. I really do appreciate those days when I just roll out of bed and onto my computer chair in a matter of minutes (hehe 🙊).
Why Comms? 📣
I believe the world of Comms & PR is a great place to explore my interest in storytelling. Every day, I am learning from some of the top communicators in the world. Every day, I am getting exposed to a different part of Corporate Comms. So far, it hasn’t been what I expected—Corporate Comms and PR is an entirely new ball game, and sooo different from my personal blogging. But to be honest, I didn’t really know what to expect in the first place… since I never had any Comms or PR experience to begin with. And so, every day I try to connect the dots and understand the bigger picture.
How did I end up in Comms? 🤷🏻♀️
During My First Chapter @ Microsoft, I had 100+ coffee chats with people across the company and received a lot of great career advice. The biggest takeaway was to follow my passion and find a job that would give me energy. This advice led me to reflect on my interests and how much I loved writing… so I started to apply for jobs that involved ✨ STORYTELLING ✨ and landed interviews in sales, marketing, and comms.
One fine summer day in 2021, I participated in the Comms Super Hiring Day event and interviewed with 3 hiring managers back-to-back. It was a unique process, and I prepared a very comprehensive Career Walking Deck which I believe helped me stand out as an early-in-career against other more senior and experienced folks.
The Career Gods #blessed me by introducing me to a super awesome manager who ended up taking a bet on me (someone who had no formal Comms or PR experience) and hired me onto the Customer Communications team 🙌 y’all don’t know how grateful I am!
THANK YOU 🎉
I would like to extend a HUGE thanks to everyone who has helped me learn and grow in this new profession over the past year. I feel very lucky to be part of such a supportive organization with leaders and team members who keep empowering me to do more… with less 😉 #IYKYK
Like what you’re reading?
There’s a lot more Microsoft-related content at kkarenism.com/MSFTADVOCATE 🔥🔥🔥
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