Melissa Martin is guided by a simple maxim: we have one mouth and two ears, and should use them proportionally. “I always start by listening to what people are saying,” she said. “I let them speak, share everything, and then ask questions. Everybody has a story to tell, even if they don’t always recognize it.”
Melissa joined the ROI Communication team in 2019 after working for more than two decades in corporate communications, change management, employee engagement, executive communications and public relations, mostly for tech companies. That experience – translating technology into human terms – still shapes her approach to assisting clients.
“Often, people explaining technology or tech services tend to get into all the bits and bytes, but that doesn’t engage broader audiences,” Melissa said. “I recommend using stories to capture their attention, draw them in and inspire them to take action.”
Melissa launched her career in the telecom industry, establishing the first corporate communications function at 2nd Century Communications. Next, she joined Fleishman Hillard, where she advised a range of large tech companies on internal communications and public relations. Later, she spent a decade at Symantec, where she rose to become the company’s Senior Director for Corporate Communications. After leaving Symantec, Melissa led press and analyst relations at Virtual Instruments, served as Director of Executive Communications at VMWare, and ran her own consultancy.
Melissa traces her talent for communication to a peripatetic childhood, as her father’s career prompted several moves. “I was always the new girl, and had to put myself out there,” she said. At Texas A&M, where she earned a BS in Journalism, Melissa honed her writing skills. “It came easily to me, and I was always much happier with two essays and a term paper to write, rather than having to take a test.” One of her term papers was so good it was eventually featured in a college textbook.
When Melissa is not advising clients, she enjoys running, hiking, reading, traveling, walking her golden retriever, leading her older daughter’s Brownie troop and camping with her family. “Nature calms me,” she said. “If I’m in a quiet place, good ideas flow, and that makes me a better communicator.”