Name: David Sheets
Employer: Perficient, Inc.
Title: Public Relations and Communications Manager
Favorite quote: “Don’t come to me with problems, come to me with solutions.” Bill Harmon, faculty adviser of my college newspaper and my first boss.
How did you enter the profession? Through journalism. I was a newspaper editor and content manager for almost 30 years, 15 of which were spent at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. After the newspaper downsized, I started my own business as a digital content manager for small and medium-size companies, which led to assorted marketing communications projects.
How have you benefited from being an IABC St. Louis member? My membership was directly responsible for getting me my job. The connections I made through IABC led to other networking opportunities that put me on Perficient’s radar. Plus, I have met many people through IABC who are not just excellent business contacts, they are now wonderful and cherished friends.
How would you describe your role? I clarify and coordinate Perficient’s message in house, make sure it advances our objectives as well as those of our strategic partners and clients, then work with the marketing director and CEO to promote our thought leadership and advance Perficient’s global reputation as a respected player in the information technology industry.
What do you like most about your job? It’s so different from what I was doing in newspaper journalism but just as important, and the challenges it presents are well worth tackling. Success in business requires more than just an enviable business model. Effective communication helps match people with needs to people with services. Without a clear message and the strategy to deliver it, superb products will not travel far from their shelves, needs will not be met, and the talented individuals responsible for creating those products and getting them to market will have nothing to show for their hard work.
What advice would you give to someone considering a career in communication? Respect the audience as much as the message. Focus on clarity and accuracy. Be patient with people as well as with the effort it takes to make sure the message is correct. Above all, understand that your words are your reputation. If you keep that in mind always, prosperity is guaranteed for you and your clients.
You can follow David on Twitter @DKSheets and LinkedIn DKSheets. And if you’d like more information on how your career might benefit from an IABC membership, you can get more information here.