We are back for Season 2 of our series This Is How I Get It DONE, where we take a moment to interview members of the PR In Canada & Profectio community members to find out more about the person behind the desk, how they got their start, their current role (and everything in between). For our seven episode of Season 2 we talked to David Brodie, Senior Vice President and General Manager at Citizen Relations.
What is your current gig? – I’m a Senior Vice President and General Manager at Citizen Relations, leading our team in Western Canada. Some of my focus areas include corporate communications and public affairs and issues/crisis management.
One word to describe either your work style OR what you do. – Innovative
Tell us a little about your background and how you got to where you are today. – I started my career in communications working in politics. A summer job in Ottawa led to an eight-year career working with the Minister of Finance and Paul Martin, the Prime Minister at the time. After my stint in politics, I spent a year travelling around the world to figure out my next move. When I returned, I met with a number of leading PR agencies in Canada and the opportunity with Citizen was the best fit since it allowed me to stay in Canada while simultaneously working with global clients and developing innovative campaigns. The last decade of my career has been spent at Citizen Relations, working on award-winning campaigns for brands from around the world.
What is a typical work day like for you? – One of the best things about my job is that there is no “typical” work day. When I walk into the office in the morning, my day can be anything from helping a client manage through an unanticipated crisis, to working with the team to come up with creative ideas for a new product launch for a global brand, to working on recruitment and bringing new talent into the agency. My two favourite parts are definitely the opportunity I get to focus in on innovation and creativity in the work that I do and recruiting and mentoring new talent in our industry. One thing I could live without are timesheets. I’m sure many of your readers can relate!
How do you balance family-work? – Work-life balance is so important and also a real challenge in our industry. One of the great things about Citizen is that we try to give our teams a lot of flexibility and personal responsibility. For me, sometimes that means being able to come in late after dropping off the kids at school in the morning but then balancing that out by being available for a client call on the weekend. One approach that works well for me is blocking off my calendar for anything that’s a priority, whether that’s work related or personal. I will block off my work day based on projects that I know are coming and also schedule any family obligations in as soon as I’m aware of them, even if that’s months in advance. That way I can make them a priority when the time comes.
9 am – 5 pm is LONG gone, what is one shortcut or life hack that works for you? – One thing that’s really important to me personally is professional development and I also think it’s especially important in our industry to stay on top of trends and to always be learning. To carve out more time for this, at the start of the week I download a number of podcasts that I think will be relevant to what I’m doing at work that week. I then listen to these during my hour-long commute to and from the office so the information is top of mind for my workday. I also use this time to stay up to speed on news that’s relevant to the clients I work with.