Nick Durutta, ABC
Senior Manager, News and Information
The Capital Group Companies, Inc.
IABC Member since 1982
A skilled business communicator is vital to strategic leadership, especially during troubled economic times. Nick Durutta brings an insightful voice to internal communications drawn from his experience at the venerable investment management firm, The Capital Group Companies, where he oversees company messaging for employees (associates). As a long-standing IABC member, Nick believes advanced learning and good fortune have played parts in his success. Also, he hints that detective skills may have been helpful. Read on to “solve the mystery,” and be enlightened by the work of this senior communications manager.
“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
Three words that best describe me
Curious. Optimistic. Lucky.
When I’m not working, you can find me
Reading a mystery novel, while listening to my iTunes library. Contemplating my next walking trip—my favorite form of exercise.
MY LIFE IN COMMUNICATIONS
The biggest communications challenge I have faced in my current (or previous) role was…
Well, the current economic environment is certainly the biggest challenge I’ve ever faced, both personally and professionally. How do you tell people that everything will ultimately be OK when you’re asking them to sacrifice so many things, sometimes up to and including their jobs? You have to balance being straightforward and direct with being sensitive and reassuring; yet, not go too far in either direction. On the plus side, if there is one, we see how proper communication can really make a difference. If you can motivate people and help keep their spirit intact, you’ve done your job.
My favorite communications memory is…
Three years ago I had the opportunity to write a book on the 75th anniversary of my employer. It was fascinating to speak with many of the long-time employees in depth, and really understand (and explain) how the organization’s culture was formed. It made it all come alive. The response afterward was fantastic. Made me wish I could be around for the 100th!
The most important communications or professional lesson I’ve learned is…
Communicating effectively looks easy, but isn’t. Many [communicators] try too hard at spinning a message, being overly creative, or trying to impress—and fail. I’ve found the best communication style or approach is to treat the audience like a close, respected friend. That means using direct, but natural language, and never appearing to be speaking “down” to them. It’s something that requires practice.
Resources I really find useful and recommend to other communicators are …
IABC itself is a tremendous resource. Not just the wealth of information to be found on its website and archives, but the people themselves. You have a worldwide network of people all willing to help you with whatever challenge you might be facing. Whenever I reached out to other IABC members—including those I’ve never met—I always received 100% eagerness to help.
You should also know about me…
I’ve been an IABC member for nearly 30 years and keep finding ways to get more value out of the relationship. Going for my accreditation was a great experience. What has been even greater is the continued value I get in helping others achieve this distinction.
[IABC Accreditation is the professional development program that offers communicators a way of demonstrating their ability to think and plan strategically. For more information, visit iabc.com/abc/.]
OH, HOW FAR I’VE COME
2008 – Present
Senior Manager, News & Information
The Capital Group Companies
1996 – 2008
Senior Manager, Internal Publications
The Capital Group Companies
1993 – 1996
Senior Communications Consultant
William M. Mercer Consulting
Bachelor’s degree in journalism, California State University at Fullerton
Executive Program, Lockheed Management Institute, University of Southern California
Accredited Business Communicator, IABC
IABC Leadership and Awards
Accreditation Council – 2004 to present
Executive Board – 1995 to 1997
Gold Quill Chairman – 1994
John Cartwright Memorial Award – 2002
Communicator of the Year, IABC-LA – 1991
This profile was edited by IABC-LA member and volunteer Cheryl Farrell.