For Member of the Month, we asked Colleen Holloway, a member of IABC Manitoba, a 2018 Gold Quill award winner and Manager, Communication Services with Qualico Canada, a series of quick questions. Here are her answers:
Q: What’s your name?
A: Colleen Holloway
Q: Who’s your comms hero or mentor?
A: Arlene Dickinson
Q: What is your area(s) of expertise?
A: Employee Engagement, Brand and Culture, Corporate Communications, Creative Writing, Public Speaking, Event Planning
Q: What comms or marketing campaign are you the most proud of? Tell us a
bit about it.
A: Likely the largest campaign I’m the most proud of is a two-time winning IABC Silver Leaf
winning campaign for Qualico’s 65th Anniversary campaign which took place in 2016. It was a
year-long campaign with a travelling roadshow, 1951 time capsule museum, video
documentaries, interactive archival showcase and branded merchandise in an employee store.
I was able to unite every employee for the first time in a shared experience across each city – it
was a powerful and memorable campaign to be a part of.
However, much earlier on in my career, my breakout creative communications showcase was a
series of music numbers I wrote for a temporary live musical troop called “The Beemaids” that
promoted Bee Maid Honey during a food conference held in Winnipeg. You don’t get to work on
a project like that very often!
Q: What quality do you admire the most in other comms people?
A: down to earth, authentic with a good healthy sense of humour
Q: What’s your worst comms nightmare and has it ever come true?
A: Who hasn’t had sudden torrential rains pour down on an outside event….at least twice in a
lifetime…? But I must admit, it’s in most cases a communications department that also have
‘fire fighting’ skills, and most creative ‘worst case scenario’ plans so it’s not that often that a
nightmare occurs and we can’t figure it out.
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 wish I had learned many years ago how to let things go and move on. There are injustices in
the business world and there are people you’ll work for who are bullies, or insecure and they will
take actions that prop them up and knock you down. I wasted too much energy focused on why
this happens, versus accepting, learning from it and using each experience to develop
Q: What qualities do you think are essential to be a successful communicator?
A: Be a problem solver, listen (a lot), challenge the status quo, seek to find purpose in your role
Q: Which direction do you see communications heading towards in the near
A: Communicators will more and more, I feel, become part of a strategic team of ‘change agents’
Q: If you weren’t communications, what would you be doing?
A: Career choice #1 was to study atmospheric science and then be a weather girl. I quickly
learned I was too chatty to spend time in a science lab.
Q: What do you value the most while at work as a communicator?
A: I love having a well-rounded mind to bounce ideas off of.
Q: How do you keep up with the changing trends and technology?
A: It’s near impossible to stay on top of trends and technology, so I ensure I surround myself with
curious people who read and share with those around them. I’m also comfortable admitting
what I don’t know and asking for someone to fill me in. It does no one any good pretending you
know everything. Be humble, be inquisitive!