How to Make Your Mark in Communications
Posted December 18, 2018, by Jenny
Humans are a storytelling species. Stories are one of the key ways we relate to and understand the world. The communication industry is all about telling stories. However, the way stories are created, published and managed is constantly changing. Today, for example, everything from digital media and streaming services to mobile technology and artificial intelligence are changing how creative ideas are brought to life for their audiences.
What do these changes mean for creative people keen to make their mark in the communication industry? Dr Travis Holland, the course director for communication at Charles Sturt University (CSU), identifies five key strategies to help anyone thrive in the future communication industry.
- Embrace tech
“Perhaps the major trend that we will continue to see influencing how the communication industries will change is the pervasive nature of the internet. Everything is transferring online – and the internet will continue to be the predominant delivery mode for all sorts of media. So data analysis and data visualisation are becoming important skills nowadays.
“Technology also opens up lots of opportunities for sharing creativity. Audiences may be niche on the internet, but those niches can be very large, with interests being serviced from around the world. Being able to find access to those groups is a very important skill – and offers great visibility for creative ideas.”
- Go multidisciplinary
“In communication courses, everything is becoming more interdisciplinary and more project-focused to reflect how digital media is informing all manner of content production. So graduates who have skills across forms – video, audio, content, technical ability – will see opportunities open up across different types of organisation: from media companies and public relations businesses to a radio network or sporting club.”
- Respond and collaborate
“Collaborating with professionals working across channels will also be important, in order to maximise audience reach. Collaboration is a skill that is becoming increasingly central to how communication professionals do their work. Often the audience is also part of the team. The internet allows rapid feedback from viewers (whether through comments, likes, shares and so on), which can influence what is produced next in that space.”
- Cross channels
“The communication industry is becoming much more creative and moving beyond traditional borders of, say, ‘this is a journalistic report’ and seeing the way information is used more fluidly across forms. This will see more people moving between sectors during their careers, perhaps from PR into journalism and other forms of digital media and creative writing.”
- Upskill regularly
“Professionals will need to be hungry to learn new skills, to keep on top of rapid developments. Take drones; now all major media organisations use them. So journalists are needed to use drones and apply journalistic ethics to their use. Even a few years ago, this wouldn’t have even been considered as a requirement in the industry.”
Tell your stories
All these strategies will help any budding communication professional to thrive in the future workplace – and ensure their stories get seen, heard or read. As Dr Holland says: “The through line of any communication professional’s work is the ability to tell compelling stories. And that’s always been the case – whether radio, film or television and now, online. You are telling human stories to other humans, and finding ways to get stories to people remains key.”
Is a career in communications your calling? Study with Charles Sturt University and see where their Bachelor of Communication (Digital Media Production) can take you, or check out our range of online communication courses.