Each month, IABC/Tulsa features one of its members in the “Meet A Member” section of the newsletter. In this issue, we learn more about Rachel Payne, a “Walmartian” who is new to IABC and to IABC/Tulsa.
IABC/Tulsa: We hear that you write children’s books and work in communications at the Walmart Home Office. Tell us about your jobs.
Rachel: I love my jobs because I get to pursue my ultimate passion for writing. I created a children’s book series – Iggy Colvin Adventure Series – in 2003 and have held several writing positions in the news business and the creative marketing field. Now that I’m writing for corporate communications, it feels like the perfect extension to my prior experience.
I am so fortunate to be surrounded by some of the smartest people in the industry. It feels fantastic to be part of a team that has such a positive reputation. Everyone works hard, are detail-oriented and a joy to work beside. I find myself continually raising my own bar by surpassing my clients’ expectations.
IABC/Tulsa: How long have you been a member of IABC?
Rachel: I have been a member for one year, just recently transitioning over to the Tulsa chapter.
IABC/Tulsa: What is the best meeting/seminar/conference you have ever attended?
Rachel: I thoroughly enjoyed listening to Steve Crescenzo when he spoke at OkieSmart in Tulsa in August.
IABC/Tulsa: Even though you’re fairly new to the organization, can you tell us how IABC helped with your professional development?
Rachel: The CW magazine has proved to be priceless. I’ve been working on a Communications 101 curriculum for our global officer population and have tapped into the content of this trade publication in both the print version as well as online.
IABC/Tulsa: What’s your favorite restaurant?
Rachel: I cannot get enough Thai food, and there are some really yummy places to eat it in Northwest Arkansas. I really like Mama Fu’s and Taste of Siam. The thai basil with chicken (5 stars) makes me feel warm and fuzzy all over. All of you Tulsa people – come over and have lunch with me! Mmm!
IABC/Tulsa: How about your favorite vacation spot?
Rachel: My 12-year-old daughter and I started a tradition in 2007 where we visit a big city together every year – aka “The Girls’ Big City Tour.” We’ve been to Chicago, St. Louis and were planning to go to San Diego when plans changed slightly. This year we’re turning that up a notch and going on our dream vacation to Europe. We’re starting in London before hopping on the Eurostar Chunnel to Paris. From there we’re heading to Bern and Lucerne, Switzerland via the TGV. After a couple days there, we’re off to Venice, Florence and Rome, Italy. Both of us are giddy with excitement.
IABC/Tulsa: The future of the field of communications…
Rachel: …can be summed up with two words: social media. If you go back five years ago, imagine the response you would have received if you uttered the words Facebook and Twitter. It would have been followed by either a raised eyebrow or a blank stare. Communicating via a social network has changed the way we share and disseminate information.
IABC/Tulsa: What advice would you give to communications professionals who are just entering the workforce?
Rachel: My advice is twofold. One, be flexible, organized and detailed. Even the most well-developed communication plan will go through continuous changes. As an initiative unfolds, opportunities and obstacles present themselves and one must be able to refocus and readjust midstream. Two, fine tune your ability to build lasting relationships with both your team members and client base. Creating a positive rapport and connection based on respect and honesty goes a long way.