Communicator’s corner: chief communicator, the c word: Jack Walden


TB_006_20131022-2DX_2214Five years after our CEO sat down for the first series of Communicator’s Corner, we’re putting him back in the hot seat. And his time starts now …


Which tools can’t you live without?

So much has changed in the past five years but so much has stayed the same.

The one communication tool I still can’t live without is people: the creative characters who inspire all of our communication work.

The biggest change has been on the technology front: no more Mr BlackBerry. It’s iPhone all the way now with an iPad always following close behind. And of course make sure there’s Netflix & we’re good to go.

Oh and I couldn’t live without the apps on my phone. Hootsuite – it has everything to feed my social media addiction in an organised little dashboard. And Xero. A simply beautiful accounting system in my hand.

What are the biggest challenges in your role?

Choosing what to say YES to. There are so many exciting options for communicators to include in a campaign. Narrowing it down is the biggest challenge. It’s like being a kid in a candy store with big ideas being in the reach of little campaigns.

Which current communication campaign do you most admire?

From the big end of town: I love the way the White House continues to use video and digital comms. I guess that’s what you can achieve when you’re the leader of the free world.

On a smaller scale: hats off to communicators using the humble #hashtags to bring big social issues to a wider audience. We particularly love the work of #womeninsci

What characteristics do you look for in your communication colleague?

Can do attitude. Creative approach. Calmness.

What’s your favourite brand?

Too hard. I still love the Plaza Hotel (although 2010 Jack you could have been a little more adventurous). These days it’s all about simplicity and heart. Think Apple, think Hillary’s H, and think Aesop.

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

Creativity comes from anywhere, so I say read whatever you can get your hands on – magazine, cocktail menu, trashy novel or a classic. If you want business tips: read the HBR Blog, it never lets me down.

Finish this sentence: ‘Communication is…’


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