Four media skills that comms professionals need
“When I first started working in journalism, I was given the advice to write for my 12-year-old cousin. If they don’t understand what you have written, start again.” – David Pembroke, CEO & Founder
At contentgroup, a big portion of our team is made up of media veterans and journalism graduates who have all transitioned into communications roles. From media to comms roles, there are many traditional skills that when applied to a communications role, result in efficiency and consistency gains.
Here are four skills taken from our media experience that apply to your role in communications.
Storytelling to engage your audience
Storytelling is a tool used to capture an audiences’ attention through content that will engage with them on an emotional level.
Though used more in columns and opinion pieces, reporting also uses elements of a storytelling approach to bring the reader into the story. This skill is the back bone of quality writing.
Effective for both internal and external communications, storytelling is an important trait for quality content creation that boosts engagement and increases brand awareness. Storytelling in external communications is a bridge that connects you with your audience and internally helps your employees connect with your brand. You can learn more here.
Simplifying complex information
Similar to using storytelling to engage your reader, the skill of simplifying complex information is just as important.
Putting news into terms a 12-year-old can understand helps with the accessibility of complex information that the public need to understand (think an important social policy or program). Simplifying information makes it easier to express key messages and build a strong connection with your audience.
Standard of quality
News outlets offer a standard of quality and a unique approach to news that stands out against their competitors, even though they cover the same stories. What distinguishes them from one another is their style, opinion and stance on contemporary issues.
Think about your own consumer habits; you might go to The Economist for their style, tone and comprehensive approach or if you’re looking for political opinion you might choose The Australian for their stance on contemporary issues.
Similarly, in the communications field, producing content at a consistent standard is crucial. Maintaining a quality standard ensures communication channels are coherent with their key message.
With newspapers, radio shows and the evening news going out daily, as well as the 24-hour news cycle online, it’s crucial to keep ahead with consistent, timely content for each timeslot and continue at a required frequency.
The result of these strict deadlines is communicators able to work at a fast pace and deliver concise writing outputs that combine skills like storytelling, inserting key messages and keeping it at a high standard. This timeliness can be applied to a range of tasks, from copy writing to strategic planning, and will serve you well in all aspects of the comms industry.
Bringing it all together
Applying these traditional media skills to your career in the communications industry leads to efficiency within your role and consistent high-quality, timely content.
If the skills we’ve touched on in this blog resonate with you, visit our careers page.
Also published on Medium.