In a new series, RGD highlights the exciting and diverse careers of in-house RGDs. Our first feature is Laura Piché RGD, Manager of Global Marketing at The Redpath Group.
Name: Laura Piché RGD
Company Name: The Redpath Group; Mining Contractors and Engineers
Job Title: Manager, Global Marketing
When does your typical work day start and end?
I love the word “typical”! My office hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. with an hour for lunch. However, seeing as my role services Redpath’s worldwide operations, I am at the ready to help most time zones, which can stretch anywhere from 3:00 a.m. to midnight, depending on where the work is, and any given request. When Redpath Canada is preparing dinner, Redpath Australia is already hard at work the next day! I travel often and my work at mine sites is usually a 12-hour shift.
What’s the first thing you do when you get to work?
Every day, before I walk into my office building, I mentally acknowledge all of the men and women who work underground every day, all over the world. I pledge that I will do my best, working on surface, to match their hard work underground. It’s a cycle – underground personnel and surface personnel truly depend on each other. I am grateful that my work takes me into both environments, which heightens my appreciation for both. Once at my desk, I greet my team of two talented graphic designers, fire up my computer, and target the priority email in need of an answer, attachment or action that I couldn’t perform on my cell phone the night before.
List the 5 things you spend the most time on during a typical work day and allot them a percentage amount (adding up to 100%).
Reviewing creative 15%
Vendor engagement 05%
Developing creative 05%
Of all of the tasks you complete during the day, what is your favourite? What is your least favourite?
My favourite task would be solving a customer’s issue, be that how they advertise upcoming training, recruitment advertising, deploying an incentive program, etc. I like seeing their problem from another point of view and developing suitable collateral to make their task easier, resulting in a savings of time, money and stress. My customer’s reaction is always the carrot I chase: “Ohhh! I had no idea; I never would have considered that!” When someone says, “You think differently”, I take that as an endorsement of design skills.
My least favourite task would be the ongoing conversations valuating the benefit of effective design. That simply exhausts me. Phrases such as, “Laura, can you put the lipstick on this – make this pretty – jazz this up – make it pop” without consideration of a designer’s point of view at the get-go, when the project was being developed.
See the irony? I love the investigation process of helping to solve people’s challenges, yet the benefit of design toward effective communication, may be overlooked. Opportunities are missed on projects having travelled too far down the road. Unfortunately, at that destination, the expectation is that design will just augment an aesthetic with no time to strategize deeper.
Do you have any strategies to keep up your productivity/inspiration over the course of the day?
My team and I really enjoy play. We participate in design challenges, either spur of the moment within the department or structured as we’ve enjoyed online (highly recommend. We take an afternoon break, for say, 15-20 minutes and shift our focus to the challenge and away from the everyday – so great!). We also know that creativity exists far beyond Adobe software! No kidding – it’s true! We’re relentlessly curious, we ask off-the-track questions to anyone in our path; we grow fresh herbs in the department (there never seems to be enough thyme in the day), crochet, enjoy impromptu interstitials of Show and Tell of personal memorabilia, get out of the office for training or site visits and we laugh…. A LOT.
Are there any tasks that you like to do at the end of the day? That you feel you must do before you leave?
You know those little red circles with numbers in them on your cell phone, the ones anchored to icons? Well, you won’t find ANY on my phone at the end of the day!
How has your job changed over the last year, 5 years, if at all?
My job focus is contingent on the market value of ore. If the mining industry is at reduced capacity, our marketing efforts are geared toward keeping top of mind in the global marketplace and at-the-ready for the next opportunity, along with developing training and reference materials. If the mining industry is ramping up, we shift to recruitment, and promoting our innovation and continuous improvement solutions. All along, we always promote our services and benefits through print, online, internal, external, tradeshows, apparel, fleet equipment, sponsorship avenues, conventions, technical papers and more.
Finish these sentences:
I can’t go a day without … checking in with social media and our audience engagement.
One thing I wish I knew when I started my career is that … the education of the value of design never ends, at any level of any organization. There is a constant stereotypical point of view that design is easy, anyone can do it, and it’s often expected to be completed for little to no cost or time. When I started my career in 1986, I expected others to have more understanding of graphic design as an integral part of doing business. This has not been my experience.
In my job, I wish I had more time for … showcasing the value of design to departments that may not recognize possible opportunities to further their objectives.