As VP of client services, Stacy Delk wears a lot of hats — just the way she likes it. Whether she’s heads down overhauling a marketing strategy or tackling one of her many home-improvement projects, Stacy loves a challenge. I sat down with Stacy over coffee to hear about her many roles at Vehr and what issues keep her clients up at night.
Thanks for meeting me for coffee Stacy, I know your schedule is normally pretty packed. What are some of your roles at Vehr?
Sure thing, Max, it’s my pleasure!
At Vehr, I am vice president of client services and a counselor. In that role, I develop communications strategies, create messaging and content and provide objective advice or feedback. In its simplest form, I’m on call to plug in where needed. It’s hard to anticipate where my day will take me.
Aside from those responsibilities, I also support the Vehr marketing team and lead Vehr’s Digital Acceleration Team.
Can you tell me a little bit about the thought process behind the Digital Acceleration Team?
It is important to have a specific focus on digital because it is constantly changing. Take social media. All too often, we see a platform like TikTok seemingly come out of nowhere and by the time marketers realize its potential, the intended audience has moved on.
You can’t afford to take your eye off the ball. You have to constantly look at and evaluate how to best leverage trends and new tools.
You often assist clients with internal communications. What have been some common problems that keep your clients up at night?
Information flow and conversation management are age-old issues, though now we have the added complexity of an always on, super connected world. While technology can help share messages, it also amplifies conversations – good and bad – like never before. It’s very hard to stay on top of discussions, especially in global or multi-office corporations, and respond in a timely way.
And as you said, with the rise of new technology it’s not getting any easier …
Certainly not, it’s such a dynamic environment. Corporate communicators are juggling intranets, emails, messaging apps, social media, chats and online listening tools. We have so much access to information, yet the reality is, someone has to manage it and act upon it. Time saving tools still require time.
So how do you recommend these communicators juggle all of that responsibility on top of their day-to-day tasks?
It comes down to having a strong team of professionals with very specific tasks. You can’t just dabble in these responsibilities. You need someone who is focused on each of these channels.
If you’re managing a social media channel, you need someone dedicated to monitoring that channel all day, not just when the timing is convenient, if you want to get ahead of issues and capitalize on opportunities. To be vigilant and proactive, you either need the infrastructure of an internal team and the resources that come with it, or an agency like ours that can take the responsibility head on.
Taking a step back from your work, what are some of your passions outside the office?
I’m definitely a home improvement geek. I genuinely enjoy going to the hardware store. I’ll go in for one thing, and then just walk the aisles for fun. I also get very excited about interior design and decorating. I’m also fascinated by old tools. It all stems from my passion for fixing things.
Do you ever see any parallels between the “fixing” you do in home improvement and the work you do for clients?
All the time. A common theme between home improvement and addressing a communications obstacle is it’s easy for companies to get caught up in the overwhelming nature of a problem. Structural issues, half-finished projects, clutter — when all you see is a mess, the course of action is unclear.
While it is important to have a big picture goal in mind, it’s just as important to set realistic milestones. That’s why a third-party can be helpful. We provide a fresh set of eyes that cannot only visualize the potential, but also can help you evaluate what stays, what goes what’s needed to move things forward and what’s a realistic timetable.
It almost sounds like you’re doing a little bit of Marie Kondo work here…
Exactly. At the heart of our work, we’re helpers.
Sometimes we’re brought in to take a look at a very specific thing, like a website or social media channel, but through our conversations we often find that the root of the problem is something entirely different.
For instance, if a client’s social media presence is struggling, the problem may not really be confined to their Facebook page. The root could be an internal communications issue from the top down that’s causing the social team to post the wrong content or do it in an untimely manner. Often you need an outside set of eyes to give you counsel, because people can only see what’s right in front of them.
And now the final and most important question, what’s in your coffee cup today?
These days it’s always black coffee with a bit of sugar. And lots of it!