Today’s Notable Young Professional is Fairmont Palliser Communications Manager Jacqueline Tyler, whose passion for her work also transcends her role in the community and the work she does for various charities…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
Full-time, I am the Communications Manager at The Fairmont Palliser, and on an evening/weekend (project) basis, I also represent a few fashion, lifestyle, sport, non-profit clients, and volunteer.
I’m the voice of The Fairmont Palliser – I tell the stories of our brand, our guests, our employees and our community. I work on showing off our hotel’s history, talent, services, products and experience through producing events like the RoyalTea Baby Shower. I manage the hotel’s public perception through posting replies to online review forums like TripAdvisor, developing internal/external branding and hosting campaigns held though our social platforms. I protect our brand in times of crisis through communicating the hotel’s status side-by-side our general manager. I build trust, loyalty and relationships with our guests, media, colleagues and the public. I work to promote and sell a luxurious and historic place to both stay and visit as an ambassador of our brand and of the city of Calgary.
Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
I was referred to this opportunity of communications manager at The Fairmont Palliser by a friend and former classmate of mine right around the time I had completed two major contracts of co-producing two events, which are still to this day career highlights (described below) of mine. I originally wasn’t ready to commit to the idea of being full-time with an organization as I had been balancing client projects in a variety of industries that are a big passion of mine. I rather enjoyed the freedom that came with it. However, the worldwide brand recognition of Fairmont Hotels & Resorts mixed with my passion for the city of Calgary and the apparent landmark property that The Fairmont Palliser is was hard to not dream about.
I went for what was supposed to be a short meeting with the Director of Sales and Marketing, which became nearly a two-hour conversation on the 99-year-old history of the formerly Canadian Pacific-owned hotel established as a gateway to the Rockies, connecting Canada. We discussed the significance that the hotel has played in the shaping of the city I’ve proudly called home since moving from Edmonton when I was four years old, to learning about the incredible mission, vision, values and culture that the Fairmont Hotels & Resorts brings to the industry that in turn proves the astonishing loyalty its employees have to the brand. Specifically, though, what drew me most to the role was that the hotel will celebrate its centennial come June 1, 2014, and the opportunity to work on the events and manage the media is something I just had to have in my portfolio.
The inspiration for this career route (PR) was drawn from my father working in broadcast media for over 30 years and traveling the world as a cameraman. I grew up hearing endless stories of him working on documentaries with some of North America’s top journalists and him being at the forefront of covering such issues surrounding military and politics. This included his freelancing assignments involving international travel outlets and destinations capped off with him meeting dignitaries such as the Pope, shaking Princess Diana’s hand, and flying on the prime minster’s plane. His passionate, persevering and no-fear spirit have been instilled in me forever.
My father’s career drive combined with my mother’s passion for training customer service excellence for three leading brands made me aware and recognize at a young age what quality, loyalty and experience meant in the culture and identity of an organization. My sister, too, is talented in the realm of graphic design and we work so well together.
I also had a love for Disney my whole life, but it wasn’t until my mother and I went to Disneyworld in 2006 that I suddenly realized my calling to have a career where I’d have the chance to create an avenue for the public to escape into a brand experience (or world). Disney’s attention to details excited me; from the moment you walked in through the park gates, they had touched on all five senses (perfectly swept streets, dancing princesses and twinkling lights to a candy-like aroma in the air to everyone’s “Have a magical day” replies). It was the best feeling in the world and I knew I needed to be a part of something big and tell a larger story. I knew I needed to create and give the same feeling to others.
The Fairmont Palliser’s mission of turning moments into memories is absolutely me, and I am grateful to have this opportunity at this point of my career. I’ve had a lifelong fascination about traveling and experiencing different cultures. So far, even the simple opportunities to just email/phone with counterparts at destinations like The Fairmont Monte Carlo or The Plaza in New York City have been exciting!
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
This is hard for me; I really love the demands and creativity of what I do and how you’ve always got to be sure to have lipstick and a fresh pair of pantyhose in your drawer for that unexpected on-camera interview. I’d say the most challenging part of what I’m looking forward to overcoming as time goes by is simply to learn how to explain to colleagues in the hotel exactly what I do – and that I do more than just tweet. They know the role of public relations is important and that it plays a large part in the beat of the hotel’s heart (and to stay competitive amongst other top hotels in the city), it’s just not so easy explain in one sentence. It was times like the city’s state of emergency during the flooding of the Bow and Elbow Rivers this past June that they flocked to our Facebook page and Twitter feed to find out what was happening that they began understanding that my role is just as much for them as it is our guests and community.
*Oh, sometimes I wish I could wear a polka dot dress with red tights to work. I love fashion, trends and putting outfits together so it’s challenging to hold myself back to wear what’s outside of the corporate dress code Monday-Friday. And sleep, sometimes I forget to do it. I work hard to remind myself to shut my ‘idea generator’ off sometimes.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
For the first time in a very long time, I actually have no idea. But today, I have the feeling I’ve been living for so I’m going to keep doing what I’m doing! I hope the possibilities with Fairmont continue to be endless worldwide; working for the International Olympic Committee has always intrigued me as well as Disney and I look forward to pursue the cohesion that my sister and I have in the world of communications as she’s an irreplaceable graphic designer/partner in projects I produce, like The Heart Truth Fashion Show.
What does success look like to you?
Success to me in the context of life means finding out who you truly are, what you’re meant to do, and then giving it back to the world. It means working hard in making what you love happen. It’s means recognizing your potential and then doing something with it. It means true happiness, faith, passion, unconditional love and balance in your life. It means putting your family and friends first before anything and it means having no fear. It means never settling and having integrity. The money, it will come. It means living for your legacy, not building an empire.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
There have been many moments so far in my career where I’ve caught myself smirking at my potential. Amazing moments of shock and joy will come when you visualize exactly what you want in life such as working somewhere, vacationing somewhere, or meeting someone and when you work really, really hard. I say this because there have been three or four significant instances in my life where I’ve truly felt like I was sparkling in the moment of knowing I’m doing exactly what I’m meant to do and becoming exactly who I’m meant to be. To be more specific, one moment was the night of The Heart Truth Fashion Show on Sept. 22, 2012. I was on a headset co-calling the fashion show and I had to stop, obviously not stop the show, but force myself to pause for a second and take it all in. My favourite part was standing back and watching people’s reactions as they took in the details of the event; the desire for guests to be inspired about the story of the symbol of the red dress and what it represented – women’s health and a sign of courage and hope for the leading cause of death in Canadian females, heart disease and stroke. It was powerful to me because I felt I created a memory for them – and life is only a series of lasting memories.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
I feel the purpose of life is to take care of one another, and to do that we have to work really, really hard to discover who it is that we truly are. I feel fortunate to have been given the gift of identifying my skills, talents, behaviours and understanding the perfect formula/scenario/event for professional fruition so ‘early’ in life. You owe it to the world to be the best person you can be and you owe it to yourself.
Anything easy to me isn’t worth having. You become braver in the more experience you receive so it’s important to keep growing and taking on new challenges. I’ve taken a lot of risks, but it’s because I knew I could do it. It’s about not being scared and being your own best friend. I’m addicted to what I do and I want to absorb everything I can about the field. I feel I shine my brightest under extreme pressure and I love the rush. What I ‘do’ is who I am so it’s easy once you find that out.
I’ve learned that your ethics are everything and it’s so important to represent what you believe in because when you’re in a role like I have at The Fairmont Palliser, you’re the voice of the brand and communicate and protect its identity in so many different ways. Take someone you look up to in the biz out for coffee and find out how they did what you do 10 years ago. Say no; if an event doesn’t work great for you, then don’t go. Don’t feel you need to be everywhere. Also, it’s important to volunteer for opportunities in the area of your field you aspire to lead and just as much for those in need as well. I’ve always felt if you have time to be bored, you have time to volunteer; just go get involved in something good. That includes surrounding yourself with good (people, places, food and things).
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
Like I’ve expressed above, giving back and sharing my talents is everything to me. I’m involved with quite a few non-profit events and charities because it simply makes me happy and I get bored if I’m not working on something… and quite frankly, I plan the events that I’d like to go to or that I couldn’t afford a ticket to go to because the stories have got to be told, the culture has to be created, and our city is ready and waiting for it!
One of many items I’ve been really excited about since the start of my role at The Fairmont Palliser is in the ability I’ve had to enhance the relationship of support for the hotel’s charity of choice, Ronald McDonald House Southern Alberta. We’ve integrated many fun, educative activities to raise awareness about the mission of the House to be a home away from home for sick kids and their families and raise funds at the same time.
Creative Director and public relations for The Heart Truth Fashion Show, an awareness campaign for The Heart & Stroke Foundation of Alberta launched on Sept. 22, 2012 at Eighth Avenue Place, where I will volunteer co-produce and direct the show for a second season in Heart Month on Feb. 15, 2014, at the same venue.
Director of Public Relations for PARK (Promoting Artists Redefining Kulture), a non-profit volunteer-based fashion and arts group in its fifth year of producing fashion and art events where 100 per cent of funds raised go back into the organization to host future events for the community and at no cost for participating designers or artists. Next event, PARKLUXE, will take place on Oct. 5, 2013, at TELUS Spark Science Centre.
Committee member/public relations advisory for Every Woman Festival in honour of International Women’s Day.
I have a secret water project that’s been in the works for nearly nine months now in support of the NYC-based non-profit charity: water. It’s evident I’m being forced to be patient with the right time and opportunity to bring it to Calgary. Their mission to bring clean and safe drinking water to every person on the planet is something I just have to help.
What to you is notable?
Being passionate about something – anything. It means giving back, making people feel special and, above all else, remaining humble.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
Origami handwritten notes (or iPhone).
Photos by Sydney Fream Studio