NBCUniversal’s Morgan Painter-Effron on the power of asking questions

And one opportunity she says you must embrace in the year ahead.

Morgan Painter-
Effron is VP of Corporate Communications for NBCUniversal. She has been with the company for seven years, steadily climbing the ranks from her job as digital content manager to her current leadership role.


She began her work life in public relations for Gogo, working in media relations and overseeing communications strategy. 


To honor her recognition as a Gamechanger, we asked Painter-Effron to reflect on her career and offer advice to a new generation of up-and-coming communicators. 


What is one challenge communicators should be prepared to face in the next year, and what is one opportunity they may be able to embrace? 


With the introduction of AI and rapidly evolving technology as well as social media and misinformation that can spread like wildfire, communicators need to be diligent in getting the facts right instead of being first. This makes our roles more important than ever to storytelling with purpose and great responsibility. 


The field of communications continues to evolve more and more with various platforms introduced regularly. In terms of opportunity, really getting to know and understand your audiences – where are they spending time, what content are they looking for and engaging with, and most importantly – using that to create content that resonates with them. I love seeing brands lean into their fanbase or audiences to create engaging content with their audiences in mind. 


What do you think will be the most important skills for communicators to master in the next five years? 


Shorter attention spans and more platforms to consume information will make it harder to get eyeballs. Being creative when it comes to storytelling, leveraging engaging video content as well as making your stories stand out can help. Focusing on what is unique about your brand or business that engages your audiences to spend a little bit longer consuming your content. 


What’s your best tip or piece of advice for communicators looking to pursue leadership roles? 


Ask questions. When I started my career, I felt like asking too many questions made me look like I wasn’t prepared. There’s no way I could have known half of what was talked about with little to no experience. The more information you can retain from leaders to gain an understanding of what they are working on, what they may be prioritizing and how you can help contribute to those goals, the more successful you will be. 


What is a mistake you’ve made in your career, and what did you learn from it? 


Recognize that making mistakes is human and nobody is ever going to get it 100% right all of the time. We all work and move in such fast-paced environments. I make it a priority to take the time to reflect on why the mistake was made and how to avoid it in the future. As a leader, it’s also important to own my mistakes and create an environment where my team knows we can try and fail on occasion and that’s all a part of learning. 



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