With nearly a quarter-century of experience in the field of public relations and corporate communications, Chintimini Meadow Keith, the senior vice president of corporate communications at Bozzuto, brings a wealth of expertise in various aspects of the industry, including marketing strategy, global collaboration, branding, crisis communications, and visual storytelling.
Her role encompasses overseeing comprehensive communication strategies across all divisions of Bozzuto. She is responsible for shaping the company’s public image, managing crisis situations, promoting corporate social responsibility, enhancing executive visibility, and ensuring a consistent brand message for the real estate company.
Medow Keith’s biggest challenge she’s overcome plays a part in her journey to embracing leadership roles in unfamiliar settings that have transformed her into a more resilient, empathetic, and inclusive leader and communicator, evolving from a less confident communicator into an undeniable comms pro over time.
Ahead of her session at Ragan’s upcoming Future of Communications conference, we spoke with Meadow Keith to get her take on the future of the communications industry.
What book, podcast or other media do you recommend to other comms pros?
I recently read Unreasonable Hospitality by Will Guidara. I found it to be fascinating on many levels. Having worked in and followed the NYC food scene for decades, I was immediately drawn in by the stories revolving around restaurants I have visited and chefs I have admired. I believe we can all take lessons from hospitality best practices on how to more meaningfully connect with our colleagues, customers and clients. Two books I always recommend, no matter the industry are Presence by Amy Cuddy and Mindset by Carol Dweck.
I try to listen to the Daily as often as possible and I am weirdly obsessed with financial and investing podcasts. This may not seem applicable to communications, but I strongly believe leaders in our industry must excel at both soft and hard skills. Communicators have to understand the financials that drive our business.
What’s your favorite tool you use regularly for work?
Well, Zoom of course. I also remain a longtime fan of Slack and Smartsheet. Oh, and our Digital Asset Manager (DAM).
What excites you most about the future of communications?
Now, more than in any other time in history, communications leaders have a seat at the table. We must take full advantage of this moment and ensure we are advocating for sufficient investment in communications as a business driver. This often requires an important mindset shift for communications practitioners, so that we fully comprehend the significance of our roles.
What communications challenge keeps you up at night?
AI governance, specifically as it relates to security and intellectual property. I fully embrace innovation, and believe it’s a delicate balance of fearless exploration and careful oversight.
What’s the biggest challenge you’ve overcome in your career?
Overcoming my scarcity mindset and shyness born from a childhood of poverty, and learning to acknowledge that I belonged in the spaces (such as executive meetings and board rooms) where I once felt completely out of place.
What is the best advice you’ve ever gotten?
Aristotle said, “To avoid criticism, say nothing, do nothing, be nothing.” This is so powerful. After all, not taking any risks in life is the biggest risk of all. Wisdom and life experience have taught me that it is far greater to risk being criticized for having an opinion than for having none at all.
Also, remember no one is thinking about you (your mistakes and shortcomings) as much as you are. Realizing this truth liberates us to focus much less on what others think.
Join Chintimini Meadow Keith at Ragan’s Future of Communications Conference on Nov. 6-8. She will speak alongside communications leaders from AARP, Ben & Jerry’s, Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control and more.
Isis Simpson-Mersha is a conference producer/ reporter for Ragan. Follow her on LinkedIn.