Title: Chief Communications Officer
Location: Remote (Tennessee)
Preferred Pronouns: She/Her/Hers
Competitive, proud, impactful, multi-faceted, and nurturing are just a few words we’d use to describe our Chief Communications Officer, Jennifer Beugelmans. Read on to learn the different areas she and her team are responsible for, the project she’s most excited about, and one trait that people might be surprised to learn!
Tell us a little about your role and your team.
Let me start with my team – as they are among the best of the best and they motivate me every day to bring my best self to this role. Because my role as Chief Communications Officer spans a variety of responsibilities, my teammates have a variety of skills – from finance to employee communications, media relations and social responsibility, and they are located around the world. I love the energy they all bring to their roles and how they support each other. They are fun, intellectually curious and ambitious. I’m inspired by their dedication and in awe of their resilience. As Chief Communications Officer, I’m responsible for:
- Investor Relations, which focuses on communicating our story to Wall Street and providing this audience with the data and insights they need to understand and take action on our investment story.
- Internal Communications, which focuses on making sure our global team is kept up to date on corporate developments and providing Grouponers around the world with the inspiration and tools they need to drive performance and well-being.
- External Communications, this team manages our relationships with reporters and works on leveraging the media channel to tell our corporate story, position Groupon and our talented team as thought leaders and inspire merchants and consumers to participate in our global marketplace.
- Social Responsibility is the advocate for how Groupon, the corporate citizen, shows up in the world. We manage programs that impact everything from managing our corporate footprint to volunteerism to other ESG-related activities and everything in between. The world is rapidly changing and so is the mandate for this team.
Before getting into things, how has your day-to-day changed in light of Covid-19?
Our team was always small, but mighty, so the pandemic frankly added more complexities and needs to an already full dance card. That said, our team has risen to the challenge and as a result, we are supporting more projects, initiatives and campaigns than ever before. It’s a busy, but exciting time and we are energized by our ability to deliver results that will positively impact Groupon’s future. Given the interconnected nature of the work our teams are doing, we are focused on ways to make sure that we remain connected even though we’re separated by physical distance. Some of the ways we do this on a regular basis include a monthly team toast where we take time to connect and celebrate each other and various volunteer projects we work on together (virtually).
How do you manage a work life balance, and what has Groupon done to encourage that?
I don’t strive for balance, per se, I really focus on integration. If I need to steal time from “my life” to support work needs, I proactively seek out opportunities to pay back this “personal” debt and vice versa. I encourage everyone on my team to think this way and support their efforts to maintain a healthy integration cycle. I also go out of my way to remind them that they have to remain focused on their personal needs – it’s harder than ever in a remote environment given the boundaries between work and home have blurred considerably. They are all such hard workers that they never need the opposite type of nudge.
How has your experience in other roles helped you in your current position?
Before taking on the Chief Communications Officer role at Groupon, I held positions that helped me learn how to specifically focus on each of my core audiences. From Investor Relations to Public Relations to Corporate Communications – I honed skills that would allow me to communicate more fluently with my constituents. In addition to these skills, I found it helpful to have previous experience in a marketplace business model as well as experience that focused on consumers. Perhaps most importantly, early in my career, I was lucky enough to hold roles that spanned multiple industries – that each had their own unique characteristics, business model intricacies and jargon. Each time, I’d find the similarities between the old and the new to accelerate my learning curve. This gave me confidence that I had the capacity to learn new things quickly and that I could take on new challenges.
What project currently excites you the most?
This is a tough one! I’m excited to have the opportunity to impact the future of Groupon. We are at a pivotal point in our business development and my team is helping us to capitalize on our opportunities to transform our business into the destination for consumers looking for experiences and merchants looking for an always-on sales channel. Every day, we look for ways to demonstrate our growth strategy to external and internal audiences. Right now, this revolves around updating people on the progress we’re making against our goals, and championing the role of our marketplace in a post-COVID world. The idea of leveraging our abilities and being “difference makers” as I describe it to my team, is exhilarating.
What do you love about your job?
Without a doubt – my team is the highlight of my role. They are just terrific. Second place is in my role, I have a bird’s eye view of the business that allows me to understand our opportunities and drive change.
How would you describe your leadership style?
Nurturing. I hope. I thrive on helping others develop their path and I pride myself on being a staunch advocate who both provides candid and actionable feedback to my team while championing their successes.
What is one non-work activity or hobby that you’re into?
I love playing any type of team sport. Basketball is my jam, but I will try just about anything if it’s competitive.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want.
What’s one thing about you that surprises people?
I do not like public speaking, even though it’s a basic requirement of my profession!
What’s the first career you dreamed of having as a kid?
Doctor…until I realized I don’t do well with blood.
Rapid Fire Questions
You Make Me Feel (Like a Natural Woman)
Eggs Benedict (with a side of waffles…c’mon, it’s brunch!)
Queen of reinvention
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time” – Maya Angelou
Book! Too many…but a few oldies but goodies would be The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison; Catcher in the Rye by JD Salinger
Why pick one?
Catch up with old friends, read, play with my 2 golden doodles
Reality television for sure…I’ve not met a “Real Housewives” franchise that I won’t watch, yet