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.

Comms career truths

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:

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:

However, Michelle Garrett, owner of Garrett Public Relations, and the agency Reyes Entertainment pointed out communications can be complicated and stressful:

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:

It can be especially rough if you’re just the messenger, as Lindsey Tematt, social media intern at Page Communications, pointed out:

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:

To some, including internal communications specialist Claudia Preda, the yelling means people care:

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.

 

For John Janney, owner of Janey PR, that expertise translates into a Jedi-like ability:

Laura Jones, senior account manager for BrandContent UK, said it requires communicators to connect all the pieces to form a coherent vision:

For Elisha Pappacoda, chief executive at Coda Communications, and PR pro Greer Quinn, that requires a lot of behind-the-scenes work without kudos:

 

4. PR, marketing and communications pros have a lot of responsibilities.

With so many responsibilities and connections, communicators are constantly multitasking:

 

 

 

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:

Don’t forget about a packed schedule full of meetings, proposals and campaigns:

 

 

 

5. Storytelling, pitching and writing are crucial facets of the career.

For Hillary Young, owner of Hillary Young Creative, it’s all about storytelling:

That’s a common theme as PR and communications pros pitch their organizations’ stories and craft non-news into compelling content:

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:

Don’t forget that communicators must know how to write well, too:

 

6. Social media is a key ingredient to success.

Many communicators focus on connecting and engaging with their target audiences through digital platforms:

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:

 

What would you add to this list?

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