According to the online educational platform, Study.com, the job of communications specialists is to establish positive associations with the public and mass media on behalf of their employers. This includes:
- Drafting and distributing press releases
- Organizing events
- Proposing and managing advertising
- Controlling information output
- Develop positive customer and prospect relationships for their employer.
Because of competition, however, today’s communications professionals need more business savvy with a greater ability to operate in the strategic realm. They need to contribute to the development, implementation, review and evaluation of the company’s marketing plan and assess brand development and brand imaging. Plus these professionals will identify, collect, analyze and use marketing data to the company’s advantage and manage all types of marketing projects.
As technology advances and the marketplace become more global, the demand for talented communications professionals will continue to rise. In fact, Study.com predicts the projected career growth for communications specialists will be 12 percent between 2012 and 2022. While a bachelor’s degree is generally required for these types of positions, it is only the start of what creates a successful career. What’s more important are the intangible attributes of the individuals who perform these business-critical initiatives.
Skills of Great Communications Professionals
Here’s our list of the most important and desired skill sets:
1. Excellent oral and written language proficiency. Beyond spelling and grammar, communications skills require collecting and sharing information in a meaningful, educational and persuasive way. This involves the ability to listen, interpret, brainstorm and identify opportunities and solutions for the challenges that exist.
2. Powerful articulation. The ability to articulate the vision, expectations and then set the tone and strategy for accomplishment is essential. The individuals who do this successfully demonstrate a passion for their work, the ability to collaborate and then decide on a course of action.
3. Strong interpersonal skills. Being able to work in a positive way with people of all ages, cultures and personalities is critical in a global and diverse workplace. The individuals who have these skills work toward promoting a team spirit and healthy morale among their colleagues. They are collaborative and inclusive, while demonstrating integrity, reliability and professionalism. In this way, they earn the trust and respect of co-workers and management alike.
4. Self-starters. Employers seek out self-motivated individuals who don’t wait to be told what to do and how to do it. These individuals, who need little supervision, not only strive to meet expectations but exceed them. They are the ones who take on stretch assignments and demonstrate a desire to grow. These individuals get the job done on time regardless of the roadblocks or challenges they experience. They are creative, innovative, resourceful and flexible.
Do You Have What It Takes?
The ability to communicate effectively with prospects and clients is directly tied to an organization’s success. This makes the communications department one of the most critical functions in any company. To succeed, communications professionals need to make the shift from tactical experts to strategic advisers. Today’s multi-channel, multi-directional communication environment is increasingly complex. That’s why the next breed of communications experts will need to tune out the “noise” and see the forest (long-term strategic goals) for the trees.