As part of my PR Writing 1: Writing to Inform class last semester, I had the opportunity to meet and interview a graduate of the Corporate Communications and Public Relations program at Centennial College. I wrote the following feature article based on that interview and it is now also posted on the The Word: the CC+PR program’s blog.
by Uma Chandran, Class of 2009
When Sabita Singh starts work each morning at Sun Life Financial, she feels a great sense of pride. As the director of digital communications, Singh leads the company’s global digital communications strategy – a rare role for a Toronto-based communicator.
“It’s exciting to have the ability to shape the digital footprint of an international company,” she says. “I’m proud of my work because it has a global impact on our web presence in the US, the UK, Asia and other regions around the world.”
Singh, an Accredited Business Communicator (ABC), graduated from the Corporate Communications program at Centennial College in 1989. She entered the PR field through her internship and, since then, has worked in many different sectors including real estate, pharmaceutical, high tech and financial services.
Singh spent more than 10 years doing internal communications in various roles, including three years as a manager at Sprint Canada. It was there that she first had experience with digital communications, managing the company’s intranet site, and quickly realized that she had found her niche.
“Digital communications is great because it’s always changing; it’s easy to measure and it’s never boring, especially with the introduction of social media which is revolutionizing the way we communicate.”
With her new interest in digital communications, Singh took her expertise to AstraZeneca Canada, iStudio and to her current position at Sun Life Financial.
“I’m always thinking about what I want to do next,” Singh says.
Singh’s determination and initiative have been recognized by her peers numerous times through awards including an IABC Ovation Award, a CPRS Creative Excellence Award and an IABC Gold Quill Award. An award-winning project she is most proud of is the redesign sunlife.com in 2008.
Using the strategic planning tools that she learned years ago at Centennial College, Singh led the transformation of the company’s international website. The website is now user friendly, incorporates social media and, because of improved search engine optimization, now ranks higher in search engines like Google.
“In one year, we’ve come so far in the digital world. It’s exciting to be a part of a company that recognizes the importance of the web in communicating with its customers, employees and other diverse audiences. We’re moving from behind the times to leading the way in a short period of time.”
Singh attributes her impressive successes to her strong will and hard work. However, she also enthusiastically credits the Corporate Communications program for teaching her all the right skills.
“Everything I learned at Centennial, I’ve used in the workforce. It’s all practical – writing, editing, graphic design, strategy… I really do credit my success to Centennial,” she says. “I have a lot of respect for the program. It’s a great starting point for the field.”