On Monday, February 22, Scripps PRSSA welcomed Danielle Sandars, the Director of Global Employee Communications & Engagement at Converse (NIKE, Inc.). Danielle received her B.A. in Communications and Public Relations from Montclair State University. She has been a communication, employee engagement and corporate events leader for over 13 years. Before joining Converse, Danielle led corporate communications, employee engagement and media relations programming at JetBlue and Whole Foods Market. 

Danielle discussed her role leading the Internal Communications Team at Converse. She also described the challenges the pandemic has had on the team and her role. “Nothing can prepare you to write and craft messaging with a global pandemic, social injustice, and one of the most controversial elections occurring,” said Danielle. 

Key Takeaways

  • The campaigns that aren’t as successful are the ones that don’t have a story behind them
  • Stories have to be told in an authentic way 
  • The ability to write can allow you to work in any industry or job
  • Sometimes the projects that are most career-defining are the ones where you just get to learn 
  • Skills are skills whether you have learned them at a large or small company 
  • Corporate communications enables you to passionately tell a brand’s story

Danielle’s Advice:

  • Create your own mission statement, and don’t be afraid to own it
  • Figure out the right business plan for you that you can communicate in any situation 
  • Learn to write 
  • Honing your skills can get you into any industry 
  • Make connections between your previous experiences and future positions 
  • Read industry materials to grow your knowledge
  • Take more classes, get certifications, listen and read books, ask questions, learn from peers
  • Build a relationship with someone first before asking them for what you need

Danielle has a lot of experience leading events that are focused on communicating company purpose, inspiring leaders, and fostering employee, partner, and customer engagement. 

Danielle has worked on many campaigns during her time with Converse. One example of this is the All-Stars Campaign, where influencers from around the globe, including artists, skaters, and athletes participate. Danielle discussed the importance of ensuring her team understands the story behind the campaigns to craft messaging that will resonate with the audience. 

Danielle concluded her presentation with giving advice about moving to new cities, marketing yourself to companies, and discussing the importance of reading books, articles and other sources to better educate yourself on industry practices. 

Casey George is a junior studying journalism, strategic communication and is the 2020-21 VP of Finance for Scripps PRSSA and is a PRSSA National District Ambassador. Follow her on Twitter here.

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