If 2020 has taught us anything, aside from how to wash our hands and exactly how easily viruses can spread, it is that clear, concise, and easy to follow communication is key.
While every government struggled to contain the coronavirus pandemic, it became very clear very quickly that good communication was needed. The scientists needed to communicate with politicians and politicians with the public. At each level, communication needed to be appropriate and clear.
Did you ever stop to consider who the people behind the forms of communications were?
The Professional Communicator
Behind every great ad campaign, speech, memo, and training guide is a person or a team of people whose job it is to communicate effectively with an audience. Their job is to ensure that whatever message they are sharing is explained and shared in a way in which the audience can understand.
It’s in the choice of words, the timbre, the flow, and it’s a measure of success when the intended recipient gets it without confusion.
In fact, the very crux of communication is ensuring that your audience understands your message. You know the saying, “If you can’t explain it to a six-year-old, you don’t understand it.” You will hear that quote in communication circles and organizations like the Plain English Campaign.
What Qualifications Does A Professional Communicator Have?
Professional communicators come in all kinds of disguises, from copywriters to online community managers and marketing professionals to journalists. In general, most communications professionals have a communication degree and possibly a background in marketing or public relations.
Contrary to popular belief, to be successful in a communications field or degree, you don’t need to be an extrovert; there are plenty of introverts that make fantastic communicators.
In fact, professional speechwriter Simon Lancaster shared in his Ted Talk, “How To Speak Like a Leader,” that great communication can be achieved with just six narrative techniques of rhetoric. This allows practically anyone to develop the skill of speech writing and further develop their use of persuasive language.
It’s skills like persuasive language and argument building that communication professionals learn when they seek a communications degree.
The Best Jobs For Communicators
A communication degree would be of great benefit for the jobs listed below. However, a degree is not the only way to get your foot in the door.
Social Media Manager
The world of social media changes on an almost daily basis. All the time new social networks are created. While most fail, some really succeed at pushing new boundaries and disrupting the market, like TikTok, for example.
Being a professional social media manager isn’t just about knowing the social networks inside out though. It’s about adapting your methodology for the task at hand and taking a very analytical approach to every piece of content you create or sign off on.
The question every social media manager should be asking is, “what is the purpose of this content?” Asking that question every time will ensure that you have a clear idea of why you are creating a piece of content and how you can adapt it to communicate the intent with your audience in the best possible way.
Hot on the heels of a social media manager is a general marketing professional. This job class covers a wide range of job roles, from marketing assistant, executive, and manager to brand strategist and content editor.
At every level of the marketing professional career track, communication is a vital aspect, both in communicating your message to your customers and audience and in communicating your work to the wider teams within your organization.
Today’s marketing professionals may come from many different educational backgrounds. While many have a specific communication degree, others may choose a degree in English or psychology. Each degree offers the professional a different aspect of communications training.
It may seem strange to put a graphic designer role on a list of communications jobs, but in truth, communicating through good graphic design is just as much of an art as it is a science. It’s so closely related to the rest of the jobs on this list that it’s a natural fit.
The role of a graphic designer can be described simply as a visual communications expert. They need to understand the message that they are communicating and what the most important elements of the message are. They also need to decide how to display that message so that it is quickly recognizable.
While it may be up to a copywriter in your business to decide on the wording of your next social media image post, it’s up to the graphic designer to ensure that the graphics are laid out in a way that represents the brand and the brand voice.
Public Relations Specialist
One of the most popular jobs that comes to mind when most people think about roles for communicators is a public relations (PR) specialist.
Working in PR is not an easy career choice. It can involve unsociable hours and a high level of stress depending on your client. Many entry-level PR jobs are very poorly paid, but some of the more progressive agencies and roles are bucking that trend.
Once you get to the higher levels of the PR career ladder, though, the job becomes a lot more enjoyable and a lot more varied!
A public relations specialist may be involved in all kinds of communications. This may involve some level of social media interaction, events, community outreach, and managing media relations. It’s an exciting and fast-paced world that isn’t for the faint-hearted!
A role that is completely different from a PR specialist is the role of a learning coordinator. A learning coordinator’s main task is to effectively communicate training and learning across a business.
This may take the form of coordinating events, workshops, on-site and off-site learning, inductions, and even training materials.
A good journalist should be able to approach a topic with an open mind and find out all of the details from research and interviews before writing a story for their readers. The mark of a good journalist is in good communication with the people they interview and the readers they educate.
The role of an editor is to ensure that what is written will be communicated in a clear, concise way.
For example, if your business was an impartial news website, the editor’s job would be to ensure that the articles you were posting did not specifically lean left or right politically. Rather, they should state the known facts in an impartial way.
A content creator’s role can be varied or niche, depending on the discipline. Their job can cover all forms of communications from creating videos to building websites to product photography and creating and executing a social media strategy.
Communication plays a huge role in the job of a content creator. These professionals work hard to speak with and listen to their clients and to turn their client’s message into a piece of content that can communicate the message effectively with the audience.
One of the most popular jobs for someone with a communication degree is that of a copywriter. You will see their writing on billboards, packaging, and in articles.
Copywriters have a way with words; they understand how to convey emotion and how to use alliteration. They can put the idea of buying a product, supporting a cause, or hiring a service into the mind of their readers.
Copywriters are wordsmiths, and communication is their bread and butter.
The Future of Communications
There is not one, perfect job for all communicators. And not all natural communicators want to be tied down to one job.
The world of work and marketing is changing rapidly. In the future, we can expect more people to have portfolio careers. This is where professionals move around to similar jobs rather than sticking with one job for the entirety of their working life.
Becoming a good communicator comes naturally to some people. For others, it’s a skill they must develop. Taking a communication course or earning a communication degree can be a really good way to build your skills. Learn from communication experts to get a taste of what could be your next career path.