In order to be a good communicator, you need words.
But the words mean nothing without the people who inform them, who read and respond to them.
As a communications professional, you might find yourself writing a press release, editing an annual report, penning a feature article, or drafting a submission. It’s often a versatile role that tests your writing skills in a variety of ways. You might find yourself writing and re-writing the same story, and struggling for a new set of words to tell it. Or taking on a topic you know nothing about, and having to find new words that were never part of your vocabulary. Chances are you’ll be tested in different ways. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are: writing is never straightforward. It challenges you, time and time again.
Experience helps. It gives you the confidence to tackle the words and sentences, to aim for and build stories that will touch people and make them stop to think about what they’ve just read.
Experience tells you that every piece of writing tells a story. However small, it matters. You are writing it on someone’s behalf, for someone else to read. You need to consider your audience. And your client. What are you trying to communicate? What impact do you want your words to have?
Good communication matters because it is about people. It’s about getting the stories right. As a communicator, your role is to know and understand a story, from the perspective of the person telling it, and to give their story wings, to tell it in the best possible way. As a communicator, you also find yourself thinking about those people who will read the material you’ve written. You want to engage them. You want them to remember, and reflect.
It can be easy to become jaded, or to think that a single media release, or a single story, carries little weight. But that would be to forget that each story is part of a whole, and that it carries a little bit of our hopes and aspirations, a measure of what it is to be human. Every communication matters.