Around the office with Accenture's Stacey Jones

A Q&A with the global corporate communications lead of Accenture.

What do you check first thing in the morning?
Email, which has arrived overnight from around the globe. Then — with coffee in hand — I move to the news of the day online: Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Financial Times, as well as the morning newsletters from Fortune and Axios. And, of course, our daily media monitoring.

What is your morning commute like?
It’s anyone’s guess. I might be on a plane, a train and/or in an automobile. It all depends on where I have to be. And, on a rare occasion, I work in my home office, with my dog at my feet.

What are the first few hours of your day like?
No matter what I think I’ll be doing, something else always comes up. No two days are ever alike — and it’s never dull.

How do you keep on top of industry developments given Accenture works with diverse businesses from all across the globe?
It’s all about the team. I couldn’t do it without them. They stay closely connected to our business and colleagues around the world, and they closely follow key local media. Plus, each of us regularly reads industry analyst reports, tracks our daily news monitoring and is deeply involved with our iconic thought leadership.

What is the office culture like at your company?
I love our culture, which spans our nearly 500,000 people in more than 120 countries. And we are a tight-knit corporate comms team — whether you work in Frankfurt, Germany, New York or Singapore, we thrive on collaboration.

Describe one personal item you have in your workspace that has special meaning to you.
That’s easy: The calendar I get on my family travels. The 2019 version is from our magical trip to Italy, and, in the midst of tight deadlines and a full inbox, it brings me a moment of zen.

How do you rally the troops when your team is under the gun?
I work closely with our teams around the globe, and I depend on senior leaders to galvanize them around top priorities. We always start with a vision of success and clarity on the role of each team member. Along the way, we celebrate our shared success and the individual contributions that make it possible, and we always validate that success with a strong set of metrics. Finally, since many efforts are a marathon — not a sprint — we invoke the “urgent card” only when it’s truly necessary.

Describe your most embarrassing early career misstep and what you learned from it.
As a cub reporter, I interviewed a nun for a story on a local parish. The newspaper’s policy was that sources couldn’t review articles, but I folded when the nun commanded me to send it to her in advance.

Red-faced, I had to explain why to my editor, but it was a great start to learning how and why newsrooms and journalists operate as they do.

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