Communicator’s Corner: Jack Walden, MD of the c word

Communicator’s Corner is a new section we’re adding to cellophane. Each month we’ll ask a communicator to answer a few simple questions about communication, the industry and their career. We thought we’d start with our own character – Jack Walden.

Me and my mum

Jack Walden
Managing Director, the c  word

Tell us about your typical day in communications?

It starts with a quick check of Twitter, blogs and newspapers. Then it’s time to tackle the daily deluge of emails. Finally, after downing a second coffee, it’s time to crack into some strategy writing, planning, editing and tweaking. The afternoons are usually devoted to brainstorming and creative thinking. And the evenings are set aside for catching up with friends and colleagues. Usually there’s an event, opening or art show to check out before getting ready to do it all again.

When did you first know you wanted to work in communications?

This is a hard one. I’d have to say at a pretty young age because I grew up in a house where we all had pretty strong voices, and I loved the challenge of cutting through that noise. I guess I really decided to pursue a career in communication when I went to school in the ‘big smoke’ and found myself spending more time helping the fundraising department and seeking publicity for the school’s theatrical productions than in the classroom.

Who’s your communication hero/mentor?

There are too many to name. That said, I’ve been fortunate to work with some truly clever communicators – some of whom I hope will answer these questions in the year ahead. But I’m also lucky to have some communication heroes and mentors within my family. Mum inspires me on a regular basis with her practical approach and brilliant ability to think about what the customer/client would want and need. My sister is extremely witty and creative – nearly as witty as me *chuckle*. Dad constantly reminds me that he does ‘PR’ every day as a business owner and in many ways he does! And my brother has an amazing ability to speak on a range of topics in front of big audiences and engage them. Also, between my mother and grandmother I was never going to escape learning my ABCs.

Which tools can’t you live without?

My BlackBerry because I’m addicted to constant contact. My Laptop for making it possible to work wherever I am in the space-time continuum. And my collection of sharpies, post-its and butchers paper because they make me even more creative.

What are the biggest challenges in your role?

Fitting everything in to 24 hours.

Tell us about the best campaign you’ve ever worked on?

Again another question to test the memory – why did we ask these questions? Ok. It’s hard to go past the campaign we worked on last year for Safe Climate Australia. It was an incredible experience to work with a group of dedicated emergency services workers and visit some amazing places across Australia.

Which campaign do you most admire?

I really admire the beautiful campaigns that are created for Chanel. From the legendary 1979 “Share fantasy” campaign to the recent short movies starring Nicole Kidman and Audrey Tattou. They’re beautiful, classic and elegant.

What’s been the biggest change to communication/marketing/public relations since you began your career?

Speed. Internet. Facebook. The mediums may have changed but communication remains the same.

If you had to cut/keep something in your communication budget, what would it be?

I’d keep the money for evaluation. You need to be able to see where you did well and didn’t do so well and an evaluation is the only way you can do that and demonstrate the return on investment.

What quality do you look for in your communication team members?

Creativity. Commitment. Candidness.

What’s your favourite brand?

The Plaza Hotel, New York City.

The Plaza Hotel
The Plaza Hotel

What book/blog do you think every communicator should read?

Cellophane of course. *evil chuckle*. You might also check out Seth’s Blog.

What tips do you wish you’d known starting out in communications?

Simple plans and strategies are the best approach.

Finish this sentence: ‘Communication is…’

Communication is everywhere.

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