Blog post,  Canberra Communications Professional series

Canberra Communications Professionals Series: Chloe Alexander

Chloe is the Media and Corporate Communications Officer at ActewAGL. She was nominated by Samantha Lloyd at colleague from Evo Energy. She is a people pleaser (aren’t we all!) who is drawn to people who aren’t afraid to speak out about important topics. Chloe has a great mix of communications and design experience, and is in the generation that grew up with social media so knows the value of short and sweet content.

When did you start in this role?

I joined ActewAGL in October 2018.

What did you do before you joined the ActewAGL?

I studied a Bachelor of Journalism at Bond University in the Gold Coast from 2016-17. I then landed my first graduate job in the Nation’s Capital at the beginning of 2018. This was as a Communications Officer for ANCAP Safety (the Australasian New Car Assessment Program). This was a fantastic first corporate job and an opportunity to explore the wonderful world of comms in practice. I also got to see a few controlled car crashes which was something you don’t get to see every day. 

What does a normal day look like for you?

On a day-to-day basis I manage our intranet and the content that sits on it. This includes writing lots of articles on standard business happenings, as well as more exciting things such as big projects and staff achievements. I also do quite a lot of graphic design as well as videography (using a mobile phone film kit). However, as we all experience in this field, no two days are ever the same…

Can you tell us about one of your career highlights?

One of my career highlights so far was taking lead on our intranet redesign project. There was very little engagement with our old intranet and people would only ever visit it if it popped up in their web browser by default.

This was the first project in my career where I felt like I had a large responsibility and made the big decisions. I learned a lot, especially about team dynamics and user experience.

It has been just over a year since we launched our new intranet (The Grid), and all its sites within have had close to 600,000 views. The organisation is familiar with it and use it as a tool for updates and resources.

I still feel proud when someone references it casually and I enjoy constantly improving it and writing lots of content to keep it active!

What is the biggest challenge you have faced in your career? How did you overcome it?

I would say one of my biggest challenges is my ability to say no. I am 100% a people pleaser and love giving people a hand. As I progress in my career, I’m working on building up the courage to say ‘no’ once in a while and focus on better prioritising tasks (and my life in general)!

What changes do you think will occur in communications over the next decade?

I’m looking forward to VR and AR becoming more mainstream. It’s going to create so many interactive experiences.

Imagine being able to send a media release that offers a 360-report of a scenario, or a social media post where a consumer can test out a product through a screen? There are so many possibilities that will broaden the scope of communications even further.

Who inspires you? Why?

I hope this doesn’t sound too shallow, but I’m really inspired by celebrities. I love to see the way they carry themselves, how they respond to criticism and what they use their platform for.

In particular, I’m drawn to celebs who aren’t afraid to speak out about important topics, like Emma Watson with feminism and fashion pollution, Joaquin Phoenix on the food chain and Kim Kardashian on the criminal justice reform.

Also, drag queens. I’m a creative person and I’m very much inspired by their art, the way they push boundaries and the sense of belonging they give people (all along with a fierce sense of humour).

What is your favourite podcast?

Recently, I’ve really enjoyed the podcast ‘Stuff You Should Know.’ It covers topics from ‘how peanut butter works’ to ‘how we almost got rid of Polio.’

If you want to know the history of a plethora of topics, I would recommend it. I recently listened to ‘how trampolines work’, and did you know, one of the earliest trampolines was made from a canvas mat and was called a ‘bouncing rig?

Who has been the most influential person in your career? Why?

One of the most influential people in my career so far was a lecturer from my very first semester of university. Mike Grenby taught me ‘Writing for News Media’ and was also my Editor-In-Chief when I was hired by my university to be the Sub-editor for the campus newspaper.

He also held a public speaking workshop I will never forget. It began with us whacking a bar stool with a pool noodle in front of strangers.

At the end of it we stood in the middle of our university campus while wearing togas and shouting a speech. He really helped me to become more confident and sure of my career path.

Earlier in his career, he said: “If you can’t communicate confidently, one, you won’t get the date, two, you won’t get the job and three, you won’t be successful in your job, and the main problem with public speaking is fear of public speaking.”

Sadly, he passed away last year, however he had such a great impact on many people’s lives and was a mentor to many.

If you could share one tip with other communications professionals, what would it be?

Keep it short. With the rising of social media, we’re more used to getting information in bite size pieces.

You don’t have many seconds to grab the attention of someone consuming your content, so you have to make it count.

Anything can be said in 280 characters (like this tip).

A bit more about Chloe…

Chloe is a newcomer on the Canberra communications seen having graduated from Bond University in 2018.

She is currently the Media and Communications Officer at ActewAGL where she has a focus on internal communications and recently redeveloped the company’s intranet. She also spends her days responding to media enquiries, undertaking social media reporting as well as providing graphic design and filming services.

She is described as “a thoughtful, dependable and highly-engaged team member… who makes a positive impact to both work outcomes and culture.”

You can read more about Chloe on her LinkedIn profile.

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