Bio: Jodi Freedman, ABC is a strategic communications leader with deep experience in internal communications. She is currently working as Manager, Enterprise Communication at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Prior to that, she was an internal communications leader at Bose Corporation and worked in communications roles at Harvard University.
Jodi earned her BA from Brandeis University and MA in Communications from Emerson College. She is a Melcrum Internal Communication Black Belt Partner and Prosci Certified Change Practitioner. She actively volunteers with the International Association of Business Communicators as well as two non-profit community organizations. She lives in the Greater Boston area with her husband and two teenagers.
What are the things that drive or motivate you the most in your work?
“I initially got into communications work because I loved to write, and then found myself fascinated by the dynamics of organizations. I chose to specialize in employee/internal communications because I like telling stories and enabling conversations that connect people, create clarity, and improve understanding. All these things help build better workplace cultures and enable groups of individuals to work more effectively together to achieve common goals.
I’ve come to have a deep appreciation for the power of communication to move people to do something, feel something or believe something—and an understanding of the consequences of communication failures. So I’m motivated to think strategically about communication and solve problems that matter. Listening is key. I try to learn something new every day. The more I understand about people, teams and situations, the better I’m able to make a difference with my work.”
“Self-care” was a HUGE buzzword for 2020, especially for those that were disproportionately impacted by Covid-19, many of whom were women. What do you think self-care will mean for you in 2021?
“As a communicator at an academic medical center, the spring of 2020 was a giant blur of work and exhaustion for me. I knew I had to do something different so that I could maintain my own health and sanity.
So, I switched up my exercise routine and extended my daily meditation. I made sure I got outside every day and good sleep every night. To mitigate against that feeling of isolation, I scheduled walks with masked and distanced friends. I planned for healthy meals and amused myself by plating pretty lunches when I had time between meetings.
My 2021 version of self care has started with these habits firmly in place, and the intention to continue them all. Next up: working on getting my creative mojo back. By taking care of me, I’ll be a happier, healthier person and a better mom and wife.”
We have a Madam VP now! Do we still need Women’s History Month?!
“Our country’s history is largely “his” story, so we do still need this. We need other perspectives and stories to be shared. The more we understand each other, the less afraid we are of each other, and the better we’re equipped to work together to solve the serious problems we collectively face as a country.”
There is so much content out there. What career advice for women have you heard/read/listened to that you really valued?
“If you could just find someone willing to pay you for it, you could probably make a career out of simply reading all the career advice that’s out there!
The bottom line for me is that you have to take the advice that makes sense for who you are and what you want to achieve at a given time. Recognize that over the course of your career, you will grow, and your goals may change, and that’s OK. So while today you might be focused on working hard to break a glass ceiling, you may discover next year that what you really want is more flexibility and fewer hours. Understand your own definition of success. Don’t strive to be the CCO because that’s what you think a career should lead to. Be open to new ideas, and be true to what matters to you.”
What role did Emerson play in preparing you for your career?
“When I decided to pursue a career in communications, I had a liberal arts degree and a few years’ experience in the field. I realized that I would benefit from further education, and felt that Emerson would give me a mix of management science and creative flair that would help me succeed. It was a good hunch.
The experience of studying for my masters’ degree while working forced me to sharpen my time management skills. Professor Ted Hollingworth challenged me to step outside of my comfort zone and find my personal path to leadership. And I found my classes thought-provoking. Crisis communications was eye-opening, and my entrepreneurship class came in very handy when I briefly worked as an independent communicator.
I particularly enjoyed my cross-cultural communications class, which I credit with providing me a deeper understanding of differences in how people think and interact with each other. Approaching differences with healthy curiosity, and building connections across cultures in a respectful way, has been foundational in my work.”