Written by IABC Ottawa

Say hi to Graeme Innes! The Global Director of Internal Communications for Ciena, a networking system, services, and software company.

Mr. Innes is a Communications Director with expertise in Stakeholder Relations, Organizational and Transformation Change Management, Marketing Communications Management, and more.

In this profile, he shares what he enjoys most about his role and his favourite communications tool and answers ten quick questions.

Can you describe your current role and organization?
I am the Global Director of Internal Communications for Ciena, a leading networking systems, services, and software company with over 1,700 customers globally and over 8,000 employees in 35 countries.

What do you enjoy most about your role?
The variety of things I get to work on and the people I get to work with. No day is the same. I am constantly learning and stretching myself.

What value have you gained from being an IABC Ottawa member?
I love the mix of public and private sector members in Ottawa. There is a reassurance in knowing your peers face the same challenges you do and you’re not alone. We’re all working hard to make our organizations successful, and we love what we do.

What is your most improved skill – something you had to work at in your career?
Writing. I don’t think I’ll ever stop learning how to be better. More concise, tone of voice, ways to hook your readers and engage them in what matters.

Top 3 words your friends or family would use to describe you?
Dedicated. Silly. Thoughtful.

What is your favourite communications tool or platform?
It is a tie between Grammarly and Canva. Grammarly reminds me to write like a human and saves me time and embarrassment in proofing. Canva lets me be professional creatively quickly. What used to take me 15 minutes in Photoshop and searching stock sites now takes 2 minutes. I’m also geeking out on AI and how it’s finding its way into communications. Embrace the change!

In your experience, what do non-communications professionals get wrong about our profession?
They assume people will read their communication. I often get them to picture someone standing in the middle of Times Square, surrounded by flashing ads and chaos. The odds of someone connecting to your specific message at the right moment in the right frame of mind is pretty rare. You need a mix. You’re never one and done.

What do you think all communications professionals should know/have in their toolbox?
10 really good questions to clarify what you’re trying to achieve before you leap into solving something.

What do you wish more people knew about IABC Ottawa?
The caliber of communication professionals we have. Highly educated, tech-savvy, continuous learners.

With COVID-19 two-plus years of restrictions, do you feel any change in your work?
Not sure what stayed the same to be honest!

If you could choose one person to have dinner with, who would it be and why?
My wife cause she’s awesome!

Interested in being profiled or know a key member in the IABC Ottawa community? We’re always open to receiving suggestions for our next Member Spotlight. Connect with us at membership@ottawa.iabc.com. We choose profiles on a monthly basis and aim to highlight a diverse range of members from different career levels and a variety of communications-related fields.

Posted in Member Spotlight

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