Red Stripe's Dianne Ashton-Smith was recently promoted to the post of head of corporate relations. In an email interview, The Gleaner asked Ashton-Smith about her plans for the new job.
The petite dynamo is satisfied with her career path to date and hopes to continue seeking ways to leave a lasting legacy by positively impacting everyone she meets. Her professional life has always been aligned with strategic development and sustainability of corporate social responsibility agendas.
"I'm immersing myself in the new role and expect to make an impact for the next three to five years," Ashton-Smith said.
As head of corporate relations for a company with a diverse range of products, services, operations, customers and staff, Ashton-Smith stresses that her core function is to ensure that Red Stripe's strong and explicit corporate brand remains dominant. "Internally, the brand represents our identity, externally, it represents our image and reputation - the sum total of the community's perceptions of, and experiences with Red Stripe, its services and products," she told The Gleaner.
"My role will be to maintain this vibrant brand, around which positive relationships have been built, and which will stand you in good stead during adverse times," Ashton-Smith said. She derives most satisfaction from bringing to life the Diageo Learning for Life programme. She takes pride in its clear synergy with the Diageo purpose of 'Celebrating Life every day, everywhere'.
For young persons wishing to enter the field of corporate communications, Ashton-Smith says: "Be sure you love it and it will never seem like work. If you like what you do, you'll be good at it ... you will consistently hone your skills. Set goals, stay on top of trends, master the English language, understand that communications in the 21st century is more than the memos, publications, and broadcasts," she said.