So, who said corporate communications is boring? The first six months of any new global corporate communications role is often tough – a global network to navigate and a new chief executive to build a relationship with. More so when you are joining the mining industry, a notoriously issues-based sector with inherent reputation-related risks. When the first six months also involves the second biggest rights issue in history, the fatigue associated with successfully defending against a hostile takeover bid, some senior board level changes, a significant global workforce reduction, and a change in strategy from growth to curtailment, you know it is not exactly going to be all smooth sailing. Of course, communications related jobs have become a lot more interesting of late, with the global credit crisis and economic meltdown shifting the agenda. Relatively stable and solid industries are no longer solid and business decisions taken eighteen months ago seem strangely misguided given the swift and extreme collapse of the global economy.
Ensuring credibilty during turmoil
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Simone Niven is global head of corporate communications for the diversified and multinational mining and resources group RioTinto, a position she took up earlier this year. Prior to that, she was head of internal communications at Vodafone UK. She began her career in communications in 1993 as a communications officer at the Grains Research and Development Corporation. A graduate of the University of Canberra, Australia, she has lived and worked in Sydney and London.