As a former dancer of 16 years, ISG Communications Manager Katelyn Sonnee learned quite literally to be quick on her feet. Now a member of the team at ISG, Katelyn’s quick-thinking keeps her up to the challenge of helping guide effective and efficient communications with partners across ISG’s 12 markets.
What advice do you have for improving day-to-day communication?
Whether professionally or personally, I believe as a communicator the number one service you can provide is to listen. Practicing active listening allows you to truly hear the message people are trying to relay instead of diluting their intended meaning with your own past experiences and personal preferences.
What are the best lessons you learned from your dance career?
Apart from some sweet moves, I learned the art of team alignment and utilizing individuals’ strengths for the greater good. As ISG is one big team comprised of 290+ employee owners with nine offices, those were important skills to pick up!
What are the biggest challenges in Communications?
Communications is a unique specialty since it’s always evolving based on each individual’s understanding of their surrounding environment and personal experiences. You never use the same solution twice; while a deliverable or channel may be constant, the messaging, tone, and experience you provide through that communication piece ultimately alters people’s ability to be directly impacted. Communication is a science and testing the right solution can be a challenge, but it’s what makes this specialty so exciting! A solid communication plan based on your clients’ needs is the foundation for all client relationships and successful campaigns.
What do you enjoy most about your role at ISG?
Working within a 12 market structure provides a unique challenge to my role. I not only need to understand 12 overarching audiences, but I also need to know the niche audiences within each to develop the right solutions for ISG’s project managers, partners, and clients. While it’s a challenge, it’s also why I enjoy my job. I’m a nerd for understanding unique audiences and researching what makes people tick. Understanding exactly who people are allows us to be better at our job in every aspect!
You’re a self-admitted binge-streamer of “The Office.” Which character are you?
I think I’m a combination of Pam, Michael, and Angela. Pam for her ability to make people feel comfortable and connected, Michael for his unique sense of humor, and Angela because as much as I like to have fun, I also know the value of buckling down and getting the job done with no nonsense when needed!
What do you feel makes you a valuable asset to ISG and clients? How are you continuing to evolve your skillset?
My background is in client experience and project management, which lends itself both to ISG and the services I offer clients. In addition I know a lot about web design, Google Ads, and social media marketing from my old job at a web/social agency. I’m continuing to evolve my skillset by studying Strategic Communication at the University of Iowa, and am only one semester away from receiving my Master’s degree!
What advice would you give a potential employee?
Work for a company that shares your personal values. When this is the case you can feel fully connected to your work, which makes it easy to get up in the morning—and you save a lot of money on coffee. I share ISG’s values of responsivity, creativity, ingenuity, eagerness, and accountability, and its work-hard, play-hard culture, so I love working here!
You’re co-chair of the Wellness Committee. What’s has your favorite event been so far?
We’ve had some really fun events, but my favorite was “Game Lunch!” where we brought in board games and encouraged people to develop deeper relationships with their coworkers while spending time away from their computers.
What is something else people might not know about you?
I used to volunteer on mission trips through my church in Chuburna, Mexico, where we would put roofs on 25-30 houses in the span of five days. The last year I was a group leader where I got to guide a group of young women through their week on the mission trip. I’m also passionate about environmental sustainability and try to actively make adjustments in my everyday life that actively repair our environment. I have this super cool collapsible metal straw that I try to make all my friends get, it’s awesome!