At Audacia, strategic communications are at the heart of what we do. When we work with clients, we need a 360-degree view of who they are. This doesn’t happen overnight—-it requires talent, experience, and our time-tested processes. Only with all of these ingredients can we capture the heart of a company in its value proposition and brand positioning.
In previous blog articles, we’ve introduced Sarah Deming, our Manager of Business Operations, and Sarah Gershman, our Executive Presence Partner. This time, we’re introducing Nick Ciantra, our Senior Strategic Communications Consultant.
Interview with Nick Ciantra: Senior Strategic Communications Consultant
Being able to speak accurately and authentically about where you are and where you’re going as a company is no small task. Here at Audacia, we’ve spent years perfecting the art of working with companies, their employees, and their customers. Only by collecting data from all of these stakeholders are we able to deliver the strategy and aligned communications package that companies need for their next big goal.
Nick is our Senior Strategic Communications Consultant. His background working with agencies in creative leadership roles at Fortune 100 insurance companies and Fortune 500 retail companies allows him to bring an experienced eye to his work with our clients. He is a meticulous researcher who can see the big picture while being “in the weeds” with clients. Nick knows how to seamlessly bring together our clients’ dreams and reality. In his free time, Nick enjoys playing guitar, skiing, and golfing.
Below are highlights from Nick about the value he brings to Audacia Strategies.
Q | Can you describe your role at Audacia Strategies and how you fit into the team?
I’ve been at Audacia for about a year, and I’m typically brought in to work on projects that focus on communications and branding. I work closely with our client groups at a senior level. Our work is largely behind the scenes while we work to approach the problems and opportunities our clients face. When we’re consulting with our clients, it’s a mix of market research, interviews, and fact-finding, and of course, looking for the opportunities they need and giving them those deliverables. It can be fun—in the early stages, no ideas are off the table.
As we get deeper into the work, I help clients articulate their vision, mission, value proposition, and brand positioning. In short, I shape how companies ultimately talk about themselves internally and externally. Our work with clients is about getting them to the heart of who they are. Much of this comes from the client. On our end, we help them share and synthesize the data. Eventually, we crystallize their brand positioning and how they think about themselves. It’s equal parts art and science.
Q | What is your favorite part about working with Audacia?
The team. They’re really people you want to work with. They’re not only knowledgeable and smart, but they’re also quality people. It’s a strong team, which is important when we go through intense periods working closely together for many, many hours.
We work with our clients on communications and business processes, and those strengths are definitely reflected within the team. We bounce ideas off each other and we’re able to be transparent about how we’re thinking about problems and opportunities. This is where the magic happens—not worrying about an idea being too “out there” allows new ideas to germinate. There’s a real open-mindedness that allows the best ideas to blossom. Brainstorming is a skill that not every organization has, but Audacia definitely has it.
Q | Can you describe a win or highlight from your time working with Audacia?
When we finished our work with Xator, the leadership team reviewed the work and they said, “This is exactly who we are.” Leadership told us that how we described them is exactly how they wanted to say it, but they weren’t able to get there themselves. Doing your research and working to understand the culture of an organization is key to delivering something like that—that’s the power of what we do. It takes listening, refining, and research to get to a final product that makes the client say, “That’s absolutely us. You nailed it. Can we use it at a trade show next week?” Ultimately, there were very few changes, it was so rewarding.
Q | Are there best practices associated with your role that you would like to share?
There is a process to walk through. People want to jump to the end, which is admittedly the exciting part. Even though communications strategy can be creative work, we need to be particular about how the process works. This means doing research, having conversations, and reviewing the data—we don’t get to a final result like Xator’s without this process. It is work and it makes the final result possible. Although it might seem tedious at times, it’s the secret sauce.
Q | What are the most important lessons you’ve learned working with Audacia?
Our clients hire us because they’re in a transition—they’re going through something that’s huge for the organization and typically, their priorities are shifting. On our end, we need to create value quickly. This means working fast, multitasking, and being nimble while producing high-quality work. It’s not a pick-one kind of situation.
Q | If there were one thing you wish you had known before you started working with Audacia what would it be?
The only thing, other than wishing I worked for Audacia sooner, is that Katy is a wonderful leader and motivator of people. You see how much her clients respect her opinion and her point of view. Katy’s way of seeing and doing things permeates the organization. Just like other companies, how the boss handles herself gets reflected within the organization. Katy’s stamp is on the organization in a really positive way; she’s smart, thoughtful, and a great person to work with.
What I would say to folks who haven’t worked with the team is that Audacia Strategies brings insight in an effective and cost-efficient way. If you’re going through a transition, or looking for an outside view, this is a really good team to work with.
Nick makes the secret sauce we bring to our clients possible, and we are so grateful for him and the experience he brings to this team. His perceptive and creative eye make our clients’ visions a reality; he is the creative lynchpin of our team.
To find out more about how our experienced team of experts can support your strategic vision and transformation, contact us today.