Dan Slee has compiled a list of 52 skills your communication team need to know and it’s rather accurate.
- Know your organisation’s priorities. Its priorities are the comms team’s priorities.
- Know how your team reports and contribute to that.
- Know how to evaluate.
- Be a specialist-generalist. Know the basic skills and have some areas you specialise in. You can’t know it all.
- Know what skills other specialist generalists have. Know their strengths and weaknesses and how they compensate your own abilities.
- Be a gate opener not a gatekeeper and know that frontline people can communicate with the right support.
- To know what an income target is and to either plan for them or offer evaluated comms savings.
- Know how to flag-up an issue of concern.
- Know you need to keep learning.
- Know your team’s communications strategy and plan.
- Know all the channels and what your audience is.
- Know when to work independently and as part of a team.
- Know how to manage a team.
- Know how to be the head of communication
Basic core skills
- Know it’s okay not to be okay.
- Know how to speak human.
- Know when to educate the client.
- Know how to be a diplomat, be small ‘p’ and big ‘P’ politically aware
- Know when and how to speak truth to power politely.
- Know how to listen to the public.
- Know basic media law.
- Know the value of internal comms.
- Know how to write a comms plan.
- Know how to interpret data.
- Know how to respond as an organisation in an emergency.
- Know how to look for the influencers who can influence networks.
- Know how to be able to communicate to the head and the heart.
- Know how to manage time.
- Know GDPR.
In creating content
- Know how to be a storyteller indifferent formats.
- Know the right content at the right time in the right place.
- Know how to be professional, warm and engaging.
- Know how to present.
- Know the jargon but communicate in plain English.
- Know how to write effective emails.
- Know how to write effective email campaigns.
- Know how to write a press release.
- Know how to be able to write for the web.
- Know how to create and run a survey.
In media relations
- Know what the key titles are, their circulation, readership and the demographic that consumes them.
- Know how to take, log and investigate a media query.
- Know the difference between ‘on the record’ and ‘off the record’ and be very, very careful with both.
- Know how to make a complaint about media coverage.
- Know where to find copyright free images.
- Know GDPR and how to record the permission of those who are photographed, update and maintain a model consent database.
- Know how to take and edit images with a phone or DSLR
- Know how to commission and work with a photographer
- Know how to select information and create an infographic.
- Know what branding is and why it is.
- Know the optimum lengths of video per channel.
- Know how to edit, shoot with a smartphone and add text and music to a video.
- Know how to plan and commission and external video.
- Know when a leaflet is the best solution and work with designers.
- Know when a newsletter or magazine is the best solution and how to liaise with designers.
- To know what data to look for and what data to count.
- To know what open data is.
In social media
- Know the social media channels, how your audiences use them and how to create content for them.
- Know and know how to deliver your organisation’s social media policy.
- Know when to get involved online and when not to.
- Know that social media isn’t all about evaluated calls to action.
- Know the Pareto Principle of 80-20 human v call to action content.
- Know that Facebook as a broad landscape rather than just your page.
- Know how and when to make friends with a Facebook group and page admin.
- Know how to join Facebook groups and pages as yourself.
- Know how customer services work with social media.
- Know how to respond to using social media in an emergency.
- Know new and emerging platforms and be able to experiment with them.
- Know how to create and schedule content at the right time.