The October 24 issue of The Source published by Melcrum features an article outlining core skills for communicators, namely:
Effective communicators know when to use the most effective communication channel. They know how to listen, understand shades of meaning or nuance, and even know “when not to communicate.”
2. Writing skills
Good writing is a great enhancer. It maximizes the impact of messages. All communicators know how to optimize their technical skills and develop a style that, simply put, drives the audience to action.
3. Business literacy
Senior management respect knowledge of business. Communicators are competent in budgeting, financial awareness, marketing theory and practice, business law, quantitative analysis and brand management.
4. Working in a wired world
Communicators understand that writing for the web is different from the traditional writing for print. They also understand the benefits and pitfalls of email. They use the corporate intranet to advantage.
5. Strategic insight
Effective communicators relate their communications strategy with the organization’s strategy. They have a communication plan that discusses the key issues. They have an understanding of cross-functional strategy and how the audience uses communication to achieve strategic goals.
6. Building strategic models
Communicators use communication mapping to promote corporate strategy and models, which help to identify opinion leaders and issues. They understand how people use models.
7. Issue identification
Communicators recognize danger zones before they become problems for the company or organization. They are media savvy and understand the emotional and rational aspects of the brand. They learn from both internal (employee surveys) and external (web activity, proposed laws) sources of intelligence.
Communicators know how to coach. Coaching could mean helping managers with a presentation or identifying weak points in skills and processes. Coaching demands skills in presentation and motivation, training needs analysis and an understanding of the way people learn.
Strategic alliances are a boon to the communicator and increase the value of the business. Communicators will never change the way people work if they can’t influence people. Key characteristics of influence include focus, awareness, judgment, accessibility and trust.
Communicators apply data to solve business problems and demonstrate cost-effectiveness. They know what works by employing measures of effectiveness. They focus on outcomes and use executive interviews and feedback management in addition to basic tools like surveys and focus groups.