We regularly ask communicators what they wish they had known before starting out in their communications careers and this week we thought we’d share a collection of their responses.
Here are six leading female communicators and the lessons they’ve discovered along the track of professional communications.
Don’t stress the little things – Vanessa O’Hanlon
To not stress about the little things. Take on everything you are offered – don’t let fear stand in the way. However you are feeling – everyone else feels the same, we are all human.
Just do it – Lauren Ayton
Just do it! I was so nervous before starting with science communication events; as a scientist, you are so used to specialising in specific areas, and it can be nerve-wracking to talk about your work without the jargon. A few years down the track, and I count science communication as one of the most rewarding and enjoyable aspects of my job; I’m glad I just gave it a shot!
Learn from others – Andrea Davies
Learn from other people within the industry. Find a mentor who is willing to share their experiences with you. Join an industry body like the PRIA or IABC. Both connect you to other people in the industry that you can learn from. LinkedIn is also a great tool for gaining industry insights and connecting with other communicators from across the world. Also, recognise your gaps and undertake learning and development courses to improve your understanding of the world.
Always ask – Kathryn Crawford
Always ask the question you’re worried makes you look stoopid. I’ve ended up looking far sillier than I needed to by being too embarrassed to ask the question in the first place.
Remember to communicate with staff – Diane Squires
I really underestimated the importance of internal communications in the overall communications mix. Organisations spend so much time and energy on media and stakeholder communications, but then fail to communicate with their own staff. Staff are at the forefront of customer engagement, if they don’t know what is going on, how can they support your messaging.
Numbers matter – Amisha Mehta
Numbers matter and go hand-in-hand with words to create meaning—data analysis and accounting are your friends. Do not avoid them.