Are you a new communications professional? Maybe you’re thinking about pursuing a communications career but aren’t sure if it’s the right path for you.
Communications jobs are available in nearly all industries and a career as a co-op communicator can be rewarding and profitable. But what does it take to succeed as a corporate communicator?
Here are seven essential tips for how to succeed as a communications professional in any industry. Whether you’re a new communicator or want to take your communications career to the next level, these tips will help you achieve your career goals.
Working as a communications professional takes a lot of creativity but it also requires a strategic approach. Make your work invaluable by putting a strategic eye to every project. Don’t just maintain a co-op newsletter because that’s what has always been done. Instead, consider whether a newsletter is the best channel for releasing corporate news based on the co-op’s employee groups, information that needs to be released, and more. Developing targeted and effective internal and external communications plans requires understanding each project’s communications goals, the intended audiences, timeline, available communications channels, and more.
Along with taking a strategic approach to your communications role, stay organized by creating detailed plans and calendars. Develop detailed communications plans for every project and outline each plan within a content calendar. This upfront work will pay immense dividends by keeping everything on track and also by providing all stakeholders with an overall view of your communications efforts. Want to learn more about the importance of approaching your role with a data-first mindset? Check out our playbook, How to Use Data to Improve Internal Communications.
One truth you’ll likely soon discover about being a communications professional is that everyone has an opinion about your work. Whether it’s feedback on an intranet’s usability or the wording of an employee safety poster, opinions will fly at you from all areas of the co-op. To succeed as a communications professional and advance your career, be receptive to the ideas of others and learn to accept criticism with grace.
Not all opinions or advice you hear will be useful or accurate. However, resist the urge to tune out all feedback. Instead, stay open to feedback and accept the useful bits. Of course, if a coworker is downright rude regarding your communications efforts, stand up for yourself and calmly counter their thoughts with details on why a specific communications path was chosen. By staying open to criticism and remaining calm in the face of rudeness, you’ll prove yourself worthy of handling a bigger role within the co-op.
Communications jobs are available in nearly all co-op industries. One of the best ways to succeed as a communicator is to pursue a job within an industry that matches your personal interests. For example, if you aren’t personally interested in banking but pursue a job within a credit union’s communications team, you probably won’t find much joy in the work. That lack of job satisfaction will lead to reduced productivity and an overall lackluster career. On the other hand, if you’re passionate about food and pursue a communications career in that niche, your passion will shine through in your work.
One of the great things about working as a communications professional is that your role interacts with every co-op division. Whether working with the co-op’s safety manager to produce an employee safety communications campaign or coordinating with the leadership team to improve communications with the board of directors, your work can impact every area of the cooperative. As coworkers discover your value, expect your calendar to begin filling up with meetings to discuss everyone’s communication plan needs. Be unfailingly helpful through every project. Doing so will cause your name to pop up during conversations across the organization. The leadership team will soon start hearing those mentions of your name and of how helpful your work has been in every department.
One of the best ways to succeed as a communications professional is to speak multiple languages. This doesn’t mean that you should learn Spanish and French in addition to English, although that would be pretty awesome. Rather, it means that you must know how to approach the various divisions within a co-op and communicate with them in the most effective manner. For example, if the cooperative where you work includes field workers as well as office workers, each group of employees will respond to communications in different ways. If the co-op’s main communication channel is an intranet, you should expect the office workers to engage more with it than the field workers who have limited access to internet and a work computer.
A surefire way to lead a stagnant career is by failing to explore new ideas. Change is inevitable in every line of work. Be open to discovering new communication channels and test innovative methods of producing internal and external corporate communications. A willingness to learn and adapt to change can help rapidly advance your career.
A career as a communications professional can be rewarding and profitable. By taking a strategic approach to your co-op communications role, finding your niche, staying detailed and organized, and more, you’ll soon be well on your way toward success.
Looking for a guide to help you succeed as a communications professional? Learn more about our Cadenced Communicators Mentorship Program. Our mentorship program will help you discover and set a path toward your desired career goals and learn the essential skills needed to excel in the workplace. Through the program’s weekly coaching sessions, learning modules and goal milestone tracking resources, you’ll find the right cadence to excel in your corporate role, bring more value to the workplace, and quickly advance your career.
Cadenced Communications helps corporate leaders and communications professionals find the best rhythm of communications for their organizations.
Strategic and streamlined corporate communications bring organizational cadence by improving interdepartmental relationships, motivating employees, increasing productivity and more. Our useful tips, tools and resources are designed to help you begin improving communications in your company today.