More notes from Paul Holmes’ talk on Future Communicators.
Everyone who’s done an interview for a junior or senior account handler or in-house PR / marketing person looks for a match with overt as well as their own ‘hidden’ criteria – this might be boldness, creativity, love for technology, the ability to think fast, apart from the more traditional writing skills and so on.
Another interesting part of Paul Holmes’ talk at the Future Communicators event was the four traits he considered indispensable for a PR / communications professional.
- Compassion: Often, you will have to bring the voice of the stakeholder into the room – and this room, in today’s crisis-prone era, might be the boardroom. Don’t get carried away by the legal, financial or operational point of view, and stay compassionate to the stakeholder without a voice.
- Courage: I thought this was particularly good. It will often fall to you to be the person who tells the CEO what he or she does not want to hear: the relationship implications of corporate decisions or actions. So be courageous: it is your job, and it is within your paygrade.
- Curiosity: Absorb new information, wisdom and new ideas like a sponge. Never reject anything just because it’s new: that’s the very reason to try it out.
- Credibility: To be honest, this should be integrity but I wanted one that started with a ‘c’. Be 100% truthful and honest, especially in this day and age where ‘fake news’ is a thing. I was really shocked the other day when two of the sales guys at my client said they understood that ‘marketing’ meant lying, but… No, folks. Marketing does not mean lying. And it’s down to all of us to give communications its credibility back.
A valuable check-list for communications professionals us as we grow in our careers and start engaging at more and more strategic levels.