Head of communications at BrightDrop, Daniel Roberts leads internal and external communications at the GM-created startup focused on decarbonizing Earth through EVs, software, and eCarts.
With experience that spans the government, startup, and corporate sectors, Roberts has gained a wealth of knowledge in the areas of tech, policy, and crisis public relations. Most notably, his transition from government to the private sector was a challenge for him, but it contributed to his growth and understanding. It’s been the biggest challenge he’s overcome in his career thus far.
We caught up with Roberts to get his take on the future of the communications industry.
What book, podcast or other media do you recommend to other comms pros?
Roberts: I highly recommend Smart Brevity by Axios founders Mike Allen, Jim VandeHei, and Roy Schwartz. This book explains how to create messaging using short, concise, and visually appealing text and formatting.
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What’s your favorite tool you use regularly for work?
My go-to tool is the Notes app on my iPhone. I use it to keep track of my to-do list and take notes for meetings – knowing I’ll always have them, whether in the office, working from home, or on a plane.
What excites you most about the future of communications?
Seeing more young professionals understand their unique value. No matter how many changes we experience with social media, data tracking, or even the metaverse – communications is about having a pulse on culture and communicating in a way that resonates. Only people can do that, not computers.
What communications challenge keeps you up at night?
Keeping employees aware of and bought into our overall strategy and plan keeps me up at night. Team members are our biggest advocates and should always be top of mind when communicating about your organization.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in your career?
Transitioning from government to the private sector. It was a major challenge to decode the terminology and process differences while showing that the strategy and fundamentals were the same.
What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Your confidence is gained and lost on a day-to-day basis, so always bring your A-game.
Isis Simpson-Mersha is a conference producer/ reporter for Ragan. Follow her on LinkedIn.