7 truths about a career in communications
We asked you to give us peek into a day in your life using a GIF, and you delivered. Here are several top takeaways from industry pros.
Summing up a communications career is a tall task, but a picture is worth a thousand words.
That’s why we recently asked on Twitter to explain a day in your life using a GIF.
Arvind Bining, social media manager for PR Ramp, and Katy Ringsdore, head of media relations at LoqBox, said the struggle to explain what you do is real:
— KatyRingsdore (@KRingsdore) September 22, 2020
— Arvind Bining (@arvind_bining) September 22, 2020
Despite the difficulty, dear readers, you rose to the occasion.
Here’s what we learned from you on Twitter about the roles, responsibilities, challenges, triumphs and myths of communications:
1. A communications career is exciting—but stressful.
Meg Sharpley, PR, social media and influencer marketing pro at North Strategic, and comms pro Laine Bodnar said on a good day, communications can be exciting or even glamorous:
PR & social on a good day pic.twitter.com/EQnkPjdE2u
— Meg Sharpley (@megsharpley) September 23, 2020
Managing and executing successful communications projects 😊 pic.twitter.com/dZq6qi6XEN
— Laine Bodnar (@itsLaineBodnar) September 22, 2020
However, Michelle Garrett, owner of Garrett Public Relations, and the agency Reyes Entertainment pointed out communications can be complicated and stressful:
I stay calm when everyone else is panicking. #PR pic.twitter.com/MRw7eTpt1R
— Michelle Garrett (@PRisUs) September 22, 2020
— Reyes Entertainment (@GabrielReyesEnt) September 23, 2020
2. Communicators own the crisis response.
Sometimes that might seem as if you’re spitting water on a grease fire, or running to stay one step ahead of an impending crisis:
Hahaha @PRSA can't even do it properly in a full sentence. But a gif… pic.twitter.com/a1nhazcjKZ
— The RebbitzMan (@Jkail1) September 22, 2020
Staying one step ahead of the next health crises … one tweet at a time. 😅 pic.twitter.com/SYWuAvximg
— CJ (@candidoxbandido) September 22, 2020
— Matthew Ellis (@MattEllis247) September 22, 2020
— Joseph Ramirez (@joeramirezmiami) September 22, 2020
It can be especially rough if you’re just the messenger, as Lindsey Tematt, social media intern at Page Communications, pointed out:
When people come for you in the DMs but you're just the intern: pic.twitter.com/4j2nvPFkl6
— Lindsey Temaat (@lindseyjeeean) September 23, 2020
However, as made clear by Ahmanielle Roussell, senior communications specialist at Cedars-Sinai, comms pro Michelle Beckford, social media pro Maria Orozco, and Maria English, PR manager for Premier—communicators have it handled:
The #internalcomms problem solver. pic.twitter.com/2NrWIp6AfY
— Ahmanielle (@AhmaniRoussell) September 22, 2020
Dealing with communication support for every crisis and for everyday developments; handling constant efforts for image building in the public domain. pic.twitter.com/BJwnCGF4K8
— Michelle Beckford (@MichBeckford) September 22, 2020
Using everything I got to handle it💪🏽 pic.twitter.com/bEFC9Yoq0j
— Maria Orozco (@Maria9Orozco) September 22, 2020
Bringing meaningful solutions and dialogue to the table — for team members, journalists & the market at-large! pic.twitter.com/hJ5ygnZOwf
— Maria English (@MariaRecupero) September 22, 2020
To some, including internal communications specialist Claudia Preda, the yelling means people care:
#InternalComms (only some of the time) pic.twitter.com/6Maz7egWPh
— Claudia Preda (@claudiampreda) September 22, 2020
3. A career in communications is all about image and reputation.
Whether crafting emotional and meaningful executive statements, executing crisis strategies, landing media coverage or boosting engagement on social media, it takes a lot of work to make organizations look good.
— Kayla McCain (@True_Kaylaisms) September 23, 2020
— Geneviève-Renée Bisson (@renee_bisson) September 23, 2020
— Kate (@thekatestewart) September 23, 2020
For John Janney, owner of Janey PR, that expertise translates into a Jedi-like ability:
— John Janney, APR ⭐ (@johnjanney) September 22, 2020
Laura Jones, senior account manager for BrandContent UK, said it requires communicators to connect all the pieces to form a coherent vision:
Pull together all the pieces of the puzzle from all the different people involved in an idea and make sure it’s delivered in the right way to the right people at the right time in the right tone pic.twitter.com/c9RVhkIPuj
— Laura Jones (@LJbrandcontent) September 23, 2020
For Elisha Pappacoda, chief executive at Coda Communications, and PR pro Greer Quinn, that requires a lot of behind-the-scenes work without kudos:
Life in government comms… pic.twitter.com/FB1dLAXF5y
— Elisha Pappacoda (@epappacoda) September 23, 2020
The kind of stuff that few see, but leads to stuff lots see. pic.twitter.com/La4P5e2agQ
— Greer Quinn (@Greerq) September 22, 2020
4. PR, marketing and communications pros have a lot of responsibilities.
With so many responsibilities and connections, communicators are constantly multitasking:
— Concept Marketing (@conceptmrk) September 22, 2020
— Sam (@Slake03) September 22, 2020
Publicist for over 90 dental specialists pic.twitter.com/1SmyTwmF1w
— Sara Neumann (@SaraNeumannPR) September 22, 2020
#WomenInPR and #Comms pic.twitter.com/PZ2D30TLyD
— Sand and Shores PR | Branding | Leadership (@SandAndShores) September 22, 2020
— BrownieCommunication (@browniecomms) September 22, 2020
— Gail S. Thornton (@GailThornt) September 23, 2020
That’s especially true if you’re part of a small team or a team of one, says Lisa-Michelle Kucharz, managing director of marketing and communications for YM & YWHA of Washington Heights and Inwood:
Never a dull moment with marketing, PR, and development on your plate at a small nonprofit agency. pic.twitter.com/9Lfj9MYf5F
— Lisa-Michelle Kucharz (@lmkucharz) September 23, 2020
Don’t forget about a packed schedule full of meetings, proposals and campaigns:
— Bospar PR (@BosparPR) September 22, 2020
— Haniya Shariff (@HaniyaShariff) September 23, 2020
— anindya wardhani (@naniiinnn) September 22, 2020
— 𝙩𝙖𝙩𝙞 🌟 (@tativibez) September 22, 2020
5. Storytelling, pitching and writing are crucial facets of the career.
For Hillary Young, owner of Hillary Young Creative, it’s all about storytelling:
I work with brands on becoming better storytellers and positioning themselves for success in their marketplace. pic.twitter.com/7sWn2IhxIj
— HilaryYoungCreative (@hyoungcreative) September 23, 2020
That’s a common theme as PR and communications pros pitch their organizations’ stories and craft non-news into compelling content:
I turn non-stories into headline news. Find that angle. pic.twitter.com/99Kfg2GEW5
— prdude (@prdude) September 22, 2020
Helping clients make “moovs” so that they shine bright! pic.twitter.com/un5LBKQeRB
— Moov Public Relations (@MoovPR) September 22, 2020
— Rachel Pratt (@Rachel_S_Pratt) September 23, 2020
Media monitoring + pitching. pic.twitter.com/FAB9pBQdbn
— LeAnn (@leannstweets) September 22, 2020
— Katie Walley-Wiegert (@o0KitKat0o) September 22, 2020
Successful media relations and storytelling efforts include additional responsibilities such as media training and controlling the narrative, shared by communicators Jamie Glavic and Ashley Byrum, along with Erica Hawkins, chief communications officer for the Ohio Department of Transportation:
— Jamie Glavic (@JamieGlavic) September 22, 2020
I’m the notes pic.twitter.com/Qpz7yJR12N
— Ashley Byrum (@AshleyMByrum) September 22, 2020
Read. Rewrite. Repeat. pic.twitter.com/HLEm30xAvF
— Erica Hawkins (@ericahawkins614) September 23, 2020
Don’t forget that communicators must know how to write well, too:
— Carol Ann Underwood (@caunderwood3) September 22, 2020
— Jennifer Jimenez (@jenniferalexaj) September 22, 2020
— Jana Spaulding (@jana_spaulding) September 23, 2020
— U r v i 🇮🇳 #WearAMask 😷 (@urvibarman) September 22, 2020
6. Social media is a key ingredient to success.
Many communicators focus on connecting and engaging with their target audiences through digital platforms:
+ LinkedIn and YouTube 🙃 pic.twitter.com/ln2lsvuQSU
— ☆༚✧˳⁺⁎amandadope⁎⁺˳✧༚ ☆ (@amandagrace316) September 22, 2020
I spend entirely too much time each day looking through reports, social mentions and page views for it to be healthy. pic.twitter.com/rL1uX2e0pQ
— Emerson (@Emerson_Belitz) September 22, 2020
— Dorothy Corbett (@dorcorbett) September 22, 2020
7. Meaningful communications efforts require strategic solutions.
No matter what your focus in communications, it all comes down to strategy.
That involves brainstorming sessions, charts, goal setting and more to tie your campaigns to business goals and ensure you’re reaching the right audiences with the proper messaging on the most effective channels:
Develop strategies, make plans and create content on different platforms to polish thought leaders and promote company. pic.twitter.com/BoLAmAgVot
— Christiane (@unecristiana) September 23, 2020
— Carrie Niess (@camann82) September 22, 2020
— Kiran Mistry (@iamthemistry) September 22, 2020
What would you add to this list, PR Daily readers?