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What Does a Global Communications Manager Really Do? (Part 2)

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Hoojobs is dedicated to matching qualified job candidates with great career opportunities. In order to find out what it takes to work in the PR and communications industry, we went out and asked some proven professionals to share their insight and experience, we called it the “Hoo’s Who: Industry Insider Profiles” series.

We interviewed Agnes Toan, a Global Communications Manager for Atmel Corporation. She explained what she does and described her typical work day in part one. Here’s the rest of her interview:

What do you love about your job? What is challenging about what you do?

I love working with the media and industry analysts and with my corporate team mates. I enjoy working with people that are passionate about their products and can tell a compelling story (even to someone on the street).

There can be several challenges in PR. If you work for a technical company, and do not have an engineering background, some products may be complex and intimidating to learn. But, there are always good, smart people that can explain a complex chip or product in simple terms. The other challenge is setting realistic expectations. Everyone thinks their products are the best and deserve a front page cover story in the Technology section of the Wall Street Journal. It’s always challenging to have to deflate one’s hopes and tell them that a story may not carry that clout. But, you can always try to respin the story so there is an opportunity it ends up in the Wall Street Journal.

What skills and experience would someone need for your role? What experience did you gain in your previous positions that helped you land this role?

The skills and experience required for my role include writing, organizational management, collaboration with cross functional teams as well as working with people within your team. One must also have great listening skills and be able to draw a conclusion when many opinions are given to you.

In my previous positions, I gained both in-house and agency experience that helped me land this role. Specifically, I worked at several in-house semiconductor companies with a focus on external communications working with the media and industry analysts. I’ve also managed several PR agencies prior to this position so I understand how a communications manager can partner with an agency to ensure the company gets the maximum counseling and activities from the PR team. Also, I’ve worked at several PR agencies, which helped me gain a deeper understanding of how these agencies work, enabling me to work with my agencies as partners rather than a pure client/agency relationship.

I’ve also managed internal communications programs from previous in-house semiconductor jobs ranging from re-vamping the Intranet site to managing Quarter Business Updates, to managing internal integration programs for recently acquired companies.

What advice would you give to a college student or anyone who wants a career in corporate communications?

For anyone that wants a career in corporate communications, I would recommend taking an internship either in-house to understand the structure of a corporate marketing organization, or at an agency where you can see how a team works with various clients. Try out different internships to see how different environments and company cultures work. I would also recommend understanding the importance of the various media channels today ranging from press releases to blogs, social media and any other new media channels. Team up with executives or managers that are already in the business and ask questions. Ask to be included in any Career Days, and, again, ask lots of questions. The best way to learn is to be hands-off and jump right in.

Check out part one of Agnes’s interview – “What Does a Global Communications Manager Really Do? (Part 1)

If you like our blog series, give us a tap on the shoulder on our Facebook page or give us a retweet. Let us know which professional roles interest you and what questions do you want to ask our industry insiders.

Also, you can follow Agnes on Twitter ( or connect with her on LinkedIn (

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