Ashleigh Steelhammer, a 2014 Louisiana Tech graduate, is the Marketing Director for a large insurance and financial company called Horace Mann. One of Ashleigh’s favorite quotes is “Always dress for the job you want, not the job you have”. This new job is fairly new to her, but she has had previous marketing positions working with University of Texas Athletic Departments and McNeese State University. During the search of a new job, she pushed herself to new limits and did not stop until it was the “Director” position. This was a process that took communication between potential employers that eventually led her to .

Ashleigh Steelhammer

Communication in Marketing

Communication is very important in the Marketing field. It has several different forms with different levels of people, such as executives and even graphic designers. Communication is integrated into every aspect of marketing because marketers work is published into the community and whether the marketing job was effective or not is subjective among its viewers. Ashleigh said this about her current job, “Communication will make or break my role. I have to be in constant communication with my boss (who is the sales agent). If he plans meetings or workshops, it is up to us to relay that back and forth to each other. If I have new ideas or strategies we want to implement, I have to let him know the new direction we are going or what changes I have made to a presentation. Not only is communication key between Keith and myself, but also with our clients and target market.”

Freedom in Marketing

A job in Marketing has the freedom to let you have a voice and it allows you to see your ideas come into light. Personally, that is why I want to go into this field and why Ashleigh has been in it for five years. It is one where your communication must be excellent so your customer service is not altered by the decision of not following through with your task. Horrace Mann teaches its employees that customer service is above anything and that is including promptness with communication and successful return rates with potential customers. Since Ashleigh is new to this job and never worked in the insurance or financial field, she has been working overtime so she can fulfill the expectations of her bosses and customers.

Effects of Poor Communication

Ashleigh talked about if there is poor communication within her office then it causes pressure and frustration between employees. For example, she was the project manager at Branded Company while working for her other employers. In this job, she oversaw all the graphic designers and one of the designers did not care to meet her deadline on time. Since she was first in the project line, it set everyone behind her starting later than they needed to meet their deadline. Even when asked several times, she never communicated informing them about her projected finish date. Eventually her bad communication and lack of punctuality, led her to be let go from the company.

Successful Communication

In her job, she both receives and gives tasks that either she needs to complete or her marketing team needs to get done. Her favorite boss thus far was the boss who was not a micro-manager, but one who communicated about the deadlines and trusted her to complete them. She said, “It is crazy how far good communication can go because it gives trust to my bosses and helps me put my trust in my team because I know they will get the job done because I communicated the task clearly.”

Final Advice

One thing Ashleigh wishes her mentors and professors would have communicated more evidently was the subject of internships and job experiences. She never knew how much they meant to potential employers that some form of experience is important to them. Her advice was to update your resume now and start the job hunt because a job will not just come to you.

Kelsey Wildes, guest blogger



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