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Co-founder of Carrera Partners, Christine Khor, explores the top 10 skills and employment trends to emerge in Australia for communications professionals.

  • The ability to prioritise

With less resources and more conflicting demands the strategic comms person needs to be able to know how to prioritse for best “bang for buck”.  It is better to do less well, than a lot poorly.

  • Emerging skills – the adaptable comms person

There are two key skills here. First, without a doubt, technology and the need to be able to adjust strategies and communication styles to be more creative, and engage through these different channels.  Second, sociology – there's an increasing need to understand human behaviour in order to research, analyse, plan and influence.

  • Skills in demand

Post GFC, the role of the investor relations manager has heightened considerably and these skills are in demand.

  • Communicators must also be good leaders

Employers are placing more emphasis on behavioural competencies such as resilience, and creative and lateral problem solving skills.  The issues that business’ are facing are not “as they were” and all employers are looking for people who can navigate and lead during times of change and chaos.

  • Strategic and clear communication is essential in times of change

With increased business restructuring, mergers, acquisitions, branch closures etc increased thought needs to be placed on consistent and clear internal and employee communications.

  • Social Media – ignore it at your peril

Thanks to social media, organisations are under increasing pressure to be transparent – whether they like it or not – as the traditional methods of planning and controlling the messaging are being lost.  Your “community” – employees, suppliers, customers, distributers   – all have the ability to make comments about you anonymously and to the masses.   The ability to keep track of all this communication and then to minimise impact is becoming a bigger issue for all communicators.

  • Measurement and new technology

Comms professionals already know measurement is important to influence outcomes and like all parts of a business, must be able to show value for money. Social media and new technologies can provide a wealth of data and statistics, but it is how this is used and analysed that will be key.

  • Choose your channel wisely

From formal corporate to conversational style writing, or speaking to suit the press release, web, video etc.  Communicators must be able to match the message and tone to the medium to achieve seamless, impactful messaging

  • Step outside the communications box

Commercial acumen is key.   Knowing your business and understanding the big picture is critical.  What happens in Australia and even global trends could and should impact what you do and say.

  • Grammar and spelling

It sounds basic but with the speed in which we are operating as well as with all the different forms of technology, grammar and spelling are often secondary to the “getting something out”. Take the time to review what you have written before pressing send.