Key communications learnings from Naomi Newport of Clearswift.

What is the biggest communications challenge you have faced? How did you overcome it? What did you learn from it?

As a natural communicator who can sometimes get rather animated and excitable, the biggest challenge I have faced is ensuring that my audience come on the journey with me.

I have worked in a global capacity with geographically dispersed teams for many years, and I believe that the impact of different languages on the effectiveness of communication is always underestimated. I have taught myself to slow down, to think very carefully about the points that I am making and most importantly, to keep it simple. Never forget that repetition is most definitely your friend – you will have heard your message many, many times and may even be a little bored of it – however your audience is probably hearing it for the first time.

What experience in your career have you learned the most from?

I have been lucky enough to have worked with many great people, all of which I have learned something from. However, the biggest learning for me was from a chance encounter with one of my team members back in 2008. I was having a very bad day and made a flippant remark as I joined my colleague in a lift. She was horrified by what I said and, thankfully, told me so – she did me a massive favour. Since that day I have always tried to remember that as a leader you can have a massive impact on people and I work really hard to try to ensure that the impact I have is a positive one.

How do you see the PR/communications field changing in the next five years?

In the last five years the PR/Communications field has changed beyond recognition and this change has been driven by the adoption of technology. Technology will continue to drive change and be an enabler that will have a huge impact. With more and more publications only made available online, content will continue to be consumed in different ways – ways that have probably not yet even been thought of.

What do you do to unwind?

With three children and a boisterous dog, a more than full time job and a huge building project underway, unwinding is an aspirational goal for me! However, I try my hardest to look after myself and fit exercise into my daily routine (it’s an age thing…); I really enjoy cooking, which I subject my family and friends to most weekends; and I also make the time to read a lot, generally trashy novels, and get through two to three a week – I never leave home without my Kindle.

– Naomi Newport, Senior Vice President – Marketing, Clearswift