Today, we shine a spotlight on Kim Baker, who has been recognized for “Progress Collaboratively,” one of the ProgressPROUD core values we strive to embody every day.
By its very nature, communications is a collaborative field. Building and promoting a brand is a team effort—sometimes, the effort of more than one team.
As a Corporate Communications Director at Progress, Kim Baker is no stranger to collaboration. She and her team manage PR agencies and contractors around the world, working together to promote Progress and its people. Read on to learn more about Kim, her passion for travel and her affinity for This Old House in the interview below.
I grew up on an island in Maine, in a small fishing and lobstering community. I loved it there and still do, but I couldn’t wait to see more of the world. I was obsessed with a box of old National Geographic magazines in our attic, and decided I wanted to become a photojournalist. I traveled a lot as I got older, mostly throughout Europe, and spent my junior year in Paris before going on to study journalism. When it came time to find work, a grad school friend suggested I look at public relations opportunities—at least temporarily, until I could find a “real” job as a travel writer.
She went West to Los Angeles to work with celebrities, and I went East to New York to work for a California-based tech PR agency to help them set up their new satellite office. This was in the late 1990s, during the dot-com boom, and I was given a few B2B and B2C clients. The challenge was, I knew nothing about technology, but had decent writing skills and understood what reporters needed to craft a story. When I secured my first New York Times article, I was hooked. I spent years in tech PR agencies, specializing in healthcare IT and cybersecurity, until joining Progress’ corporate communications team in 2015, just after the Telerik acquisition.
Corporate communications doesn’t exist in a bubble. To do what we do successfully, we need the input and support of many internal teams, including product marketing, field marketing, sales, senior leadership, the People team and more.
Externally, my team manages ten PR agencies and independent PR contractors around the globe who are tasked with securing positive media coverage and boosting our brand awareness across regions and industries. They help us understand the local media landscape. Together, we collaborate to elevate our local spokespeople as experts and correctly position our products and brand to achieve maximum exposure.
No two days are alike, and I really enjoy that aspect of the role. My team is responsible for all aspects of media relations, crisis communications, analyst relations, customer advocacy and company awards. It’s wildly busy and fast-paced (I liken it to plate spinning or a game of whack a mole), but I’d be bored otherwise.
Its people. This is where I sound like a marketer (“People Power Progress”), but it’s true, in my experience. I’ve never worked with a more interesting, diverse or friendly group of people.
I moved back to Maine a few years ago, after realizing it will always be home. I’m a single mom to a ten-year-old daughter, Emma, and together we have one tiny cat and one 70-pound golden retriever. When I’m not working or chauffeuring Emma to her various activities, I like to read mystery novels and spend time outdoors—gardening, camping, kayaking and vacationing by the sea. We also live in a 1790 farmhouse, which I’m slowly renovating. (I watch a lot of This Old House!)
In another life, I’d be a photographer or documentary filmmaker.
I’m excited to see what’s next. One of the things I appreciate about Progress is how stable it is as a tech company—not many have been around for 40+ years—and yet it continues to innovate and bring on new technologies through its Total Growth Strategy. I’m interested to see where that takes us.
To get to know other Progressers like Kim, read more of our employee interviews here.
Jessica Kent is a writer and editor based in Boston. As a content specialist, she has the opportunity to write about the exciting things happening at Progress, as well as the amazing people behind it all. When she’s not working, you can find her reading, going for a run or attempting to learn the guitar.
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