IABC member Seran (“see-DON”) Williams is dauntless as a communications strategist. She thrives in a fast-paced technical environment where she faces vigorous winds of change. As Senior Communications Manager for Sun Microsystems, she defines global communication strategy for the multinational seller of computers, software, and informational technology. Her projects include defining employee communications for Sun’s Global Sales division and integration of newly acquired employees. Read on to learn how this spirited communicator finds inspiration from a legendary R&B music entertainer.
El Segundo, California
“Don’t Stop ‘Til You Get Enough” —Michael Jackson
Three words that best describe me
Flexible. Focused. Feisty.
When I’m not working, you can find me…
In the garden or on the beach.
MY LIFE IN COMMUNICATIONS
The biggest communications challenge I have faced in my current role…
There have been many challenges in my tenure at Sun. One particular incident was when I created a communications strategy for an outsourcing project when “outsourcing” was at its most unpopular. I concentrated my efforts on:
- equipping managers with key messages,
- understanding and managing stakeholders, and
- bringing employees to (at least) a neutral stance.
Additionally, working with a dispersed international and virtual sales force provides continual challenges. I must consider differences in current cultural and economic conditions as well as physical locations—e.g., time zones and facilities.
My favorite communications memory is…
I like to (and do) work around very smart people. It is gratifying when colleagues from other disciplines ask me to advise them on accelerating change, creating a communications strategy, or just help to edit their thoughts. When moments like that come, it rejuvenates me and reaffirms my hard work.
The most important communications or professional lesson I’ve learned is…
Give it time! Don’t overreact, but have a plan in place. Also, don’t worry about being overly sensitive—it gives us the ability to communicate with others. Every day is a new lesson.
Resources that I really find useful and recommend to other communicators are…
Your network—as a communicator, it should be wide and varied. Find a mentor or be a mentor. And of course, utilize IABC’s online resources!
OH, HOW FAR I’VE COME
Seran Williams has nearly 20 years professional experience in marketing and communications. She establishes cross-functional collaborations to help sales teams understand the value of company acquisition and products. Seran launches employee communication plans for new sales teams, focusing on retention and manager empowerment. Employed at Sun Microsystems since 1992, her increasing responsibilities in corporate communications and public relations strategies include:
- focus group facilitation
- agency management and reviews
- project management
- creative direction
- print and audio/visual production
Seran attended Fullerton College, and welcomes both change and challenge, which help her to develop professionally and personally.
This profile was edited by IABC-LA board member Cheryl Farrell.