November 1, 2020
Originally from Toronto, Ontario, Jill Craig (née Noble) began her communications career in 2003, working for the provincial and federal level of government. She made her big decision to relocate to Alberta in 2014, where she took on the position as a senior communications consultant for The City of Red Deer.
Speaking about her role in the organization, Jill shares, “I provide strategic communications support for one of our community services divisions, which offers a variety of services for citizens. Every day is a little bit different. I think that’s part of the reason people go into communications. One day I could be managing an issue that comes up, and the next day I could be developing a communications plan.”
Jill has been working for the City of Red Deer for over six years and her stories show how passionate she feels about her work and her team.
“The thing I love most about my work is my team. It is a group of very creative, energetic, passionate people. We are very collaborative, so while working remotely, we’ve been able to find ways to connect and still be able to work and bounce ideas off each other,” says Jill.
This collaborative spirit, mutual trust and respect, and overall strong working relationship ultimately won Jill and her team the CPRS In-House Team of the Year award this year.
Jill proudly shares, “We worked very hard on the submission, and it helped highlight the work we do. In the submission, we talked about how we worked together as a team, so, for the whole team to win together, it’s probably one of my proudest accomplishments.”
When she resided in Toronto, Jill worked mainly for the provincial and federal governments, so working at the municipal level now in Red Deer is a refreshing change.
“I really love the ability to affect change. Working at the municipal level, I have a closer connection to projects, initiatives and the people that they ultimately affect.”
Jill says her team was really involved in supporting the municipal response to the pandemic through the Emergency Operations Centre. “We all had clear daily tasks that we had to do. We used shared tools like checklists, group chats and video calls,” she describes. They have since reverted back to their regular roles, and they’ve kept a lot of those practices to stay connected.
“We meet daily on Teams to do a quick check-in, and also keep an open chat for the whole team all day so we can ask quick questions, find out what’s going on with work, and also keep some of that social time that you would have in the office,” she says. “In the summer, we also started meeting weekly outside just to keep connected.”
Jill has been a chapter member with CPRS Edmonton since she moved to Alberta, and she enjoys being part of a professional organization that supports and promotes the profession.
“I like having access to resources and other people who are facing similar issues and challenges,” she shares. “Having an accreditation model gives members something to work towards, and to be recognized for their skills and abilities in the profession.”
Being based in Red Deer, Jill finds opportunities to stay connected with CPRS Edmonton through newsletters, on social media and by attending conferences. During this pandemic with most CPRS events being moved online, she has found it more accessible to participate, despite work being a lot busier.
During her spare time, Jill has grown a fondness for camping. “This summer, we camped almost every weekend. Part of that is because I spent my workday at home, and so on the weekend, you’ll want that change of scenery,” she says. “We camped all over Alberta, and my favourite place is in the mountains.”
When it comes to overseas travels, a favourite activity she loves to do is to sample the local cuisines. “I’ve always looked up a walking food tour,” she says. “Basically, you get a tour guide and they walk you around a local neighborhood where you get to sample a whole bunch of different local food. It’s a really cool way to learn about the culture and explore less traveled neighborhoods of cities.”
Thank you so much, Jill, for being our November member spotlight,