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What skills do you need for a job in corporate comms?

21/08/2013

Corporate communications has become an extremely important part of how businesses operate in recent years, for a variety of reasons. External reports aimed at stakeholders and potential customers are crucial for companies that want to maintain some control over how they're perceived by the wider world.

Similarly, internal communications are an important way of keeping a well-informed, engaged workforce that feel they have a degree of sway in how their employers are operating.

With this in mind, people working within the industry need to be aware of how their role is changing, with technological shifts and new attitudinal approaches both re-aligning the position of corporate communications specialists.

Robin Farr, communications manager for WestJet Airlines, recently highlighted some of the skills that workers should take on board if they want to succeed in the sector.

Writing on Ragan, she argued that the most important part of corporate communications is taking on board the ethos or culture a particular company wants to get across in its branded material, both internal and external.

"It might be safety, the bottom line, sales, being a top employer. Whatever it is, you need to be able to identify it and eat, sleep, and write it," argued Ms Farr.

For instance, the tone of communications issued from Innocent Drinks will naturally differ from those of law firm Pinsent Masons - however, it is the subtler differences in style and approach that good communications experts will need to take on board if they are to stand out from the crowd.

Being aware of technological changes in the industry is also important, added the expert.

"Internal communications is becoming increasingly technical. From intranets to mobile apps to QR codes, corporate comms is trying to keep up with the Joneses in the outside world.," she concluded.

While traditional skills such as a distinctive writing style remain important, they are no longer sufficient on their own - the sector has become more complicated, meaning the talents involved are now more varied.