NAME: Vala Marcou
BACKGROUND: University Degree
ACTION/SECTOR: Sciences, Health, Research and Technology, Services
POSITION: Head of Group Communications, member of management team, also responsible for the Group’s CSR
ORGANIZATION: MELLON TECHNOLOGIES
My Background and Career
I am the Head of Group Communications, member of management team, and also responsible for the Group’s CSR in a big Technology Group with over 2500 employees. I have full responsibility for the communications strategy and budget for the Group, ensuring consistency and increased awareness towards key stakeholders both internal and external. As part of the management team reporting to the CEO, actively involved in strategic planning, restructuring projects and business development initiatives. Corporate Communications: gatekeeper of the corporate vision and reputation, responsible for the strategy and execution of the communication plan, including brand management , content marketing across traditional and digital channels, presentations, press relations, event management, benchmarking and awards, newsletters, website management and social media. International Communications: responsible for establishing the Group as a regional market leader and a sought after partner. In close cooperation with the commercial teams, providing the communication platform and tools in order to establish a customer oriented culture and to promote the Group’s competences. Also responsible for direct marketing communications, product literature, case studies, as well as production and dissemination of Group highlights, customer updates and sector news.
Awards: helped the Group achieve international exposure and recognition for different competences, such as company growth, business line excellence, executive capabilities, CSR practices. Awards won to date include European Business Awards, Europe’s 500, Credit Agricole’s Horizon Trophy and Contact Center World Awards.
Opportunities: The trusting partnership developed with the company, which granted me the liberty to envision, experiment, plan and implement strategies across a wide spectrum of corporate communications areas and others, always towards commonly shared goals
Threats: The lasting economic instability is causing fundamental changes, which in turn bring fear and fatalism to many. This calls for inventiveness, flexibility and determination in order to keep the organisation competitive and maintain a winner’s mentality in this radically changing environment
Other problems: In the early days of my career, the predominant notion for corporate communications (public relations back then), was that of a ‘wall flower’ and, more often than not, it was an activity undertaken by the owner of the company and a secretary. It took years for the market to recognise the importance of corporate communications to an enterprise. For me, this translated to an ongoing effort to establish the significance of my work and its contribution to the overall success of the business.
Among my competences, I am able to learn and put into practice new information in my work. I am a good communicator. I listen and I pay attention to other people’s problems. My own personal development through my work is important. The individual development of people working with me is important. In case of arguments I look for peaceful solutions. I coordinate and motivate staff. I like to work as a team I schedule activities and organise myself easily. I solve problems and I find solutions. I like to have objectives and to reach my goals. I don’t hesitate to ask for advice. I am able to use other people’s experience and advice.
Among my qualities I’m active, independent, persistent, optimistic, trusting, practical, confident, open-minded, creative, impatient, and far-sighted.
Hints & Tips
My lucky phrase is “Be true to yourself.”
There is no single one person as my inspiration. Every person you meet, every discussion you have, every book you read, everything you look at might be a source of inspiration! What’s important is to have the ability to distil that inspiration and translate it into a meaningful idea for one’s own endeavours
My advices to other women: Don’t be afraid to take risks. Listen to your instinct. Too much analysis is as bad as no analysis. Be passionate about what you do. Don’t be afraid to admit making a mistake, but most importantly don’t be afraid to correct the mistakes you make.
Assets to be developed: USPs (unique selling points) Customer rapport; Human resources Expertise.
Weaknesses to overcome: Resistance to change, People’s own limitations