For Member of the Month, we asked Chris Allinotte, director of Professional Development/director of Sponsorship and Community partnerships with IABC Manitoba and Communications Specialist with the Balmoral Hall School, a series of quick questions. Here are his answers:
Q: What’s your name?
A: Chris Allinotte
Q: What are your go-to websites or blogs?
A: For news, usually the Flipchart app on my phone, for comms blogs – I like the Hubspot, Simply Measured and, of course, IABC!
Q: Who is your comms hero or mentor?
A: It depends on what I’m doing – for interviewing, I try to emulate Chris Hardwick, for social media, I try to follow mentor brands and see what they’re doing, for advertising – same thing – if I see something that looks great, I’ll try to find out more about it.
Q: What is your area(s) of expertise?
A: I’ve gotten pretty adept at social video, including Facebook live, but there’s still so much to learn. I’m a fair graphic designer, writer, jack-of-all-trades-er really.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in communications?
A: Never stop learning. Take those free webinars. Stop and ask yourself if the things you are working on are being done because they work, or if they are just the way they’ve always been done!
Q: What comms or marketing campaign are you the most proud of? Tell us a bit about it.
A: I helped implement a Canada wide B2B marketing kit to 300 franchisees, and provided support for the program after that, it was a good one. Recently, two of my videos in my current job received national attention and direct replies from influential politicians and activists.
Q: What quality do you admire the most in other comms people?
A: Being able to get your ideas across in a direct, yet friendly way. It makes it so much easier to work that way.
Q: What’s your worst comms nightmare and has it ever come true?
A: I authorized and shipped a typo. It was a $3,000 mistake. My only silver lining is that it wasn’t a $30,000 mistake. Sharpened my proofing process after that.
Q: What are your top 3 all-time favourite brands/org for communications?
A: I think CBC does a great job keeping Canada informed. Likewise, Winnipeg 311 is all about communication, and their social media team is fantastic. And, the Balmoral Hall. We’ve got a great story to tell, and I think it’s really starting to take off – there’s so much coming up in future, that it’s a privilege to be a part of the team.
Q: If you could have 1, single-use mulligan (a do-over) for anything in your comms career what would you redo and make it better?
A: I’d have left my previous job a little earlier. There were some amazing people there, and I loved my colleagues, but it became clear that there was really no way to keep growing, and I started to resent doing the same thing over and over forever.
Q: What qualities do you think are essential to be a successful communicator?
A: Honesty, clarity of thought, and a sense of humour!
Q: Which direction do you see communications heading towards in the near future?
A: I love that stories are now front and centre. I see this continuing – we are all so disconnected these days. Stories of real people doing real things have so much more impact – it humanizes business.
Q: If you could pick 3 comms people from around Manitoba to be on your comm dream team, who would they be? Why?
A: I would say the IABC team I worked with as this year’s PD Director was flat-out amazing, and would work with them all again in a heartbeat.
Q: If you weren’t communications, what would you be doing?
A: Writing a novel.
Q: What do you value the most while at work as a communicator?
A: Producing great work with an engaged team. That’s when it’s fun.
Q: How do you keep up with the changing trends and technology?
A: LinkedIN, Twitter, and free marketing resources like Hubspot, Simply Measured, Hootsuite etc. They all provide killer content.
Q: Which PR/Comms-related book would you recommend?
A: ‘Everybody Writes’
@chrisallinotte on Twitter