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Posted on May 31, 2016)
Skills You Need to Become a MarCom Professional
By Prof Ramola Kumar
(Dean, The Delhi School of Communication)
To become a Marketing Communication professional we need to have a wide range of skills. Defining Marketing Communication, I would say it is the process of integrating marketing and communications using various tools of communication to create and build corporate and/or brand imaging across the spectrum of business and media. Marketing Communication, therefore, includes not only Marketing, Research & Communication theory but also Advertising, Public Relations, Journalism, Entertainment Management, Film Production and other related subjects.
Career success in this broad spectrum will entail the support of other critical skills acquired to build your advantage, apart from technical knowledge.
Below are a few lead points to build your Careers cape:
1. Build your Communication Skills – apart from learning about verbal/non-verbal communication theories it is imperative to:
• Extend your language i.e. use the same word such as, playing, in various situations and in various ways. This can be done by playing word games/Scrabble and Cross-word.
• Check and re-check your grammar in all your communication. Build a habit of reading, comprehending what you read, and you should be able to recall by key issues what you have read. Then learn to read vertically and horizontally, looking for key words important for your work. Build speed in focused reading. Time your reading capability.
• Edit your work. Learn & apply the 6 Cs and 5Ws in all Communication.
• Be Concise, Complete, Courteous, Correct ,Considerate and Clear. Avoid repeating the same issue. Be succinct – get to the point. The communication must answer the 5Ws and 1H – Who, What, When, Where, Why and How.
Who – whom is the communication for?
What – what is the key issue of your communication or plan?
When – time period for being considered.
Where – where is the action taking place?
Why – the need for this communication?
How – how will you communicate?
• Learn basic Power Point (ppt) presentation skills. Remember, there should not be more than 4-5 words per slide and each point should not be more than 3-4 words. The impact must be “powerful”, with a high recall. Also, the font should be consistent for headline and other subject lines. Support your ppt with graphs, tables, pictures. Use appropriate background for the slides, depending on the subject.
2. Develop Multi-tasking skills.Many entrepreneurs assume that multitasking is the best way to increase their productivity. If you are working on several different tasks at the same time, you will always accomplish more, right?
So, make it a point to brush up your Analytical skillsand your Creative Thinking capabilities.
Learn to analyze situations or problems critically. Develop the ability to “think-through” issues. Learn to identify the problem, grasp key issues of the problem. Think & integrate your knowledge, interpret available data w.r.t your expertise while arriving at various alternative choices. Look at and use your resources effectively, while making the final decision. Learn to read graphs, pi-charts, tables and analyze & interpret data required for your day-to-day operations.
Make sure you build your strategic creative thinking ability. Firstly, it’s important to think ‘out-of-the-box’. This is going to single you out and also keep you ahead of your colleagues. Also learn some basic softwares,useful for doing simple office work. Understand the effect of colors, design and emotions in communicating messages.
If you can multi-task, you should also be able to adapt to various situations, and that will take you several rungs up the performance ladder!
3. Use your Body Language in a positive, expressive manner. Smile, and the world smiles with you. A tired, lazy body will project a negative image. Stand tall, firm & confident – knowing your subject matter in detail.
4. Dress should be professional. Avoid jazzy jewellery& noisy shoes in the office. For gentlemen, a black outfit requires black shoes and brown outfit, brown shoes.
• Dressware should be comfortable, gently appealing, yet sobre. Official party dress should also be elegant, graceful. Eventually, your clothes should not come in the way, while you work.
• All official dressware should be suitable to the industry & the occasion. Find out from friends and colleagues what color, form & styles suit you and build such a wardrobe.
5. Build strong relationships. Become a people’s person, a team player, and eventually develop strong leadership qualities. Build a strong emotional quotient and strengthen existing relationships. Remember, as Lord Krishna said, “Friendship sustains all relationships. Be empathetic & sympathetic. Help & be-helped with care and respect”.
Also, start networking and build your network from now. For, you can never say when someone can help you out!
6. Learn to negotiate - only then will you win the battle. In your communication keep in mind:
- Communicate your critical issues with firmness
- Listen to the other party’s thoughts
- Propose a win-win situation
7. Prioritize your work on a monthly/weekly/daily basis and confirm, re-affirm your schedule with concerned parties. Communicate these to your superiors. Always return office calls immediately or leave suitable messages.
8. Keep some soft skills in mind such as: being Positive, Self-motivated, Proactive, gently Assertive, Focusedand Self-disciplined.
9. Continuously keep yourself updated. Upgrade your knowledge base constantly. Be aware of what is happening in the industrial environment; this will definitely keep you competitive.
10. To conclude, be open to learn-unlearn-relearn and evolve in a holistic manner!
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