Expedia Group’s Tiph Turpin talks leadership, showing up and telling compelling stories

Expedia Group’s VP of Global Employee Communications on the importance of being there for your people, issues management and more.

Tiph Turpin, Vice President of Global Employee Communications at Expedia Group, has been named one of Ragan’s 2023 Game Changers, sponsored by Omnicoman honor that recognizes trailblazing leaders in the communications and PR industries.

Turpin was promoted in October 2022 from her previous role as senior director of employee communications and engagement. Before joining Expedia, she worked at Mars for six years, holding several key comms positions including senior director of Board and Mars Leadership Team Strategic Initiatives.

Turpin also worked in communications at Lockheed Martin and as an assistant professor at Georgetown University where she created executive strategy curriculum. Over the course of her two decades in the industry, Turpin has held a host of other comms and public relations roles throughout her illustrious career.

She has a Ph.D. in Mass Communication and Media Studies from Howard University.

To set the stage for her recognition at Ragan’s Future of Communications Conference, Nov. 6–8 in Austin, we asked Turpin to share her advice for future comms leaders, challenges to prepare for and more.

What is your best tip or advice for communicators looking to pursue leadership roles?

Connecting with a leader that you greatly admire, not only their skill set in terms of expertise but how they show up with the people around them. What insights do they think about? What risks do they assess? Because that is something that you can also apply for the work that you’re doing.

What is one challenge communicators should be prepared to face in the next year?

I think over the next year being really thoughtful about issues management and reputation management, particularly as it relates to the issues of political consideration (is important). Have a plan for how you navigate issues related to your company’s reputation … whether it’s a decision tree or matrix and having those working groups across functions to make sure that you’re set and ready.

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

Being able to tell a compelling story around a topic. Whether that means you’re convincing an executive to go with a recommendation, whether you’re storytelling to an employee base about what your company is doing or talking with reporters about the achievements of a company, being able to convey in a compelling way a point of view that moves people and influences people is still going to be a very important skill.

What is one mistake you made in your career? How did you solve it and what did you learn from it?

A mistake I made in my career was when I first came back from my maternity leave.

I have two kids now. But when I came back from my first leave, I kept thinking of my contributions in terms of volume of time spent versus the quality of time spent. And a leader who I really, really admire and respect said, “I am getting emails from you all hours of the night, you have a newborn at home. You’re focusing on the wrong thing.”

He gave me the advice of what I needed my superpower to be going forward was being incredibly efficient with my time. And to focus not on what was at the volume of hours spent, or how long was I working on something. But more looking at my impact and increasing my impact and also increasing my efficiency.

How important is going beyond the status quo in DE&I-related comms and ensuring these values show up in internal stories and messaging?

I think it is critical. It’s been a topic that is near and dear to me for my entire career from an identity perspective and also from a corporate perspective. I think it is the minimum expectation from employees. It was always the right thing to be focused on and centered on. Being really holistic about inclusivity and its variety of forms and formats. And then in instances you haven’t considered everything, take that feedback and adjust.

Don’t miss your chance to celebrate Turpin and more Ragan’s 2023 Game Changers , sponsored by Omnicomat our Future of Communications Conference, Nov. 6–8 in Austin, as well as our satellite Comms Week events in cities across the U.S. and U.K.


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