career profile | global communications manager

For working in a fast paced, exciting and global role, Camilla’s energy and dedication is just the icing on the cake. With a knack for organisation, multi-tasking and priding herself on being a slight perfectionist, Camilla is passionate about communications.

Camilla Goodwin, Global Communications Manager, Accolade Wines

Brief description of your role:
I work with the Executive Committee, Human Resources and a number of other internal stakeholders to deliver an effective internal communications strategy. Primarily this involves connecting 1600 employees, across 24 sites, in eight countries globally, ensuring there is equal access to business information; ranging from updates on our business strategy, changes to processes or systems, and employee engagement initiatives, through to sharing business wins and just general business updates.

So… what do you actually do?
My day varies depending on projects, time of month publishing deadlines and just what’s going on generally in the business. Here’s an example day that covers off the main parts of my job.

6:45am – my alarm goes off, luckily I’m not first up so I’ve generally had the last 15 minutes lying diagonally across the bed (so good!). 6:50am – take my Golden Retriever, Florence, for a run along the beach. 8:40am – Arrive to work at Chateau Reynella – fondly known as one of the birthplaces of the Australian wine industry – and jump straight onto my computer to get emails and any news announcements that may have come in overnight from the UK, South Africa and North America. 9:30 – 11am – Knowing which news items from my inbox have a short or long deadline, plan my day’s news article writing list. Usually this starts with writing news articles for any business announcements that have come in overnight, as well as those that have made the day’s news in Australia/New Zealand (mainly marketing or winemaking news; new product launches, medal wins, etc.), and then publish them on our global intranet. Occasionally there will be bigger news items such as the appointment of new executive members, or structural changes to our business. 11:30am – Appointment with WHS Manager to put together a communication plan for the roll-out of the new WHS training program for all employees in Australia, ensuring it’s multi-faceted to reach all employees, whether they’re sitting in an office on a computer or working out in the winery or vineyard. 12:30pm – lunch break; I always try and get at least 15-20 minutes out in the sunshine and fresh air. 1 – 2pm – Write an email draft for our CEO who wants to tell all employees about a new global CSR project that’s just been approved. 2pm – Speak with our Commercial General Manager for Australia to set a date, time and topic for our next ‘Grapevine’ session (face-to-face information session) about the Company’s business performance to-date. 2:30 – Sort out my ‘bits and pieces’ for the day – I look after a number of communication platforms that constantly require updating: our global induction program, intranet, reward and recognition scheme and wellbeing program to name a few. 4pm – Write and publish any news items that may have come in during the day. 5:30pm – Head home and then, once home, check emails quickly again for feedback from UK/NA about any changes to news article/email drafts due for distribution tomorrow.

If there’s a major change project going on, that really throws a spanner in the works; most of my time then gets taken up with meeting with project SMEs, drafting (and re-drafting) communications, and collaborating with a range of people to prep resources. But of course, news doesn’t stop, and it’s only news if it’s ‘new’, so I tend to put in long hours during these sorts of projects to make sure the regular news reel doesn’t suffer.

How did you get to your position of being a Communications Manager?
I studied a Bachelor of Business with a double major in Marketing and Journalism, Communications & Media. I’ve had a varied career to date in sales, training, event management and advertising. This role at Accolade Wines was my first ‘comms-specific’ role – although it’s never been purely comms; I’ve been extremely lucky to have been given the opportunity to gain experience in so many areas of the Human Resources side of the business; from employee engagement, change management and wellbeing, through to policy writing and recruitment!

Have you always wanted to work in the wine industry?
Not really, it was never my intention to look specifically for a job in the wine industry; however, I’ve been working in hospitality and tourism since I began my career, and I come from a long line of hoteliers and restaurateurs, so you could probably say I have wine and food in my blood – there was probably some unconscious, internal pull towards the wine industry.

What do you love about your role?
It has to be the variety of people – I touch base with every single facet of the business and at all levels from the CEO to the guys and girls looking after the vineyards, processing payments in accounts, or answering the phone in our IT helpdesk. As the key interface for communication between the business and its employees I really enjoy connecting people. Also, I’ve been lucky enough to write, roll-out and facilitate a few training programs – that’s definitely been a highlight! I really enjoy sharing information and teaching people new things.

In your current role, what has been your biggest achievement?
I think building our global intranet and also the development of our global employee newsletter have been two really big achievements the way these two communication mechanism have been able to bring people together who work in difference time zones on different continents to feel part of a bigger, single working family has been incredible.

Over your career, what has been your ‘love this’ moment?
That’s such a hard one … I worked on this great project for the STYLE lift-out in the Mercury Newspaper in Tasmania with a good friend of mine when I worked in Advertising. We had such a great time bringing new life to the lift-out with a new ‘STYLE-Loves’ ad campaign, working with our clients for ‘buy local’ fashion shoots, and we even helped start Tasmania’s ‘Face of Style’ competition.

I’ve also had a love this moment with building and delivering training programs. I guess there’s always been an element at each stage of my career where I’ve found myself teaching or training or just generally mentoring and sharing information – it’s definitely a love of mine and building and facilitating a few training programs with Accolade Wines recently has been really fulfilling.

What would be the least favourite aspect of your role?
Some days it can be a bit of a love/hate relationship with people – human beings are funny things. As someone who is quite visible in the business and involved in a lot to do with people, I do tend to get my fair share of people having vents about things that just seem so trivial – talk about first world problems!

In saying that though, I think it’s really important to be able to have a vent – it’s healthy for your mind and body to get things off your shoulders; you have to have that someone you know you can trust with whom you can just voice your worries– but those people who constantly nit-pick and don’t contribute or help come up with solutions, well, it can be hard to always stay positive and happy around those types of people.

Any advice for anyone aspiring to work in the wine industry?
Do a vintage! It’s on my to-do list definitely … the wineries in Australia (both warm and cool climate wine growing regions) start hiring their vintage casuals in November, to start work anytime between January and March (depending on location). It’s a great opportunity to get right amongst it, not to mention meet some important people to get your foot in the door, and it looks great on your resume to boot!

Other than that, know your wine! The wine industry is really tight, so if you start getting to know your local winemakers, cellar door teams and get out to wine events, you’ll definitely increase your chances of hearing about openings on the ‘grapevine’ (in all facets of the business – remember it’s not just about the actual wine making process, you can get involved in the industry in logistics, procurement, product management, sales, marketing, finance, legal, IT, etc.).

Wine is an industry that I love and find super interesting. Like Camilla mentions, there are so many levels that you can take it anywhere. Any questions or comments for Camilla? Join the conversation below.

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