Communicating effectively is at the heart of all public relations activity. Experience is the best teacher, and our first jobs is never a “job” but a university which teaches us to build credibility and relationships along with important lessons on being professional and valued.
In a new series titled “Views from the Mill”(ennials), the youngest members of the PRecious Communications team share the one thing that they learnt about communicating effectively from their first job.
Be comfortable in your skin
The most important aspect of Public Relations is to build and maintain a reputation. What I learned about personal branding, from my first role as the Co-President of a student club, can also be translated into any organisation’s branding efforts.
Every brand has a personality. The key is to focus one’s communications strategies towards accentuating it. The vision, mission, and USP all need to be conveyed with clarity. Just like a person should stay true to oneself, a brand’s image should resonate with its culture and identity. With so many platforms being used to communicate, it is essential to ensure consistency between brand image and identity, or it can come back to haunt you.
Be yourself. Everyone else is taken.
Contributed by Aniket Gupta, Junior Client Executive at PRecious Communications
The ability to communicate well is like passing a ball
The strength and technique must correspond with the condition of the receiver. The wind, the size of the ball and the equipment are crucial too. From an outsider’s perspective, it seems simple, but to the professional footballer, it is complicated.
In the case of communication, the words, the medium, the tone, and the gestures used are all decisive. They are carefully selected, arranged and fused into a message while having the receiver in mind. We need to consider what is the best approach – an email, a text, a phone call or a face to face discussion – to achieve an objective for a single task. Now, when I see three sentences, I see thirty minutes of hard work.
Contributed by Azrin Bin Hamdan, Junior Client Executive at PRecious Communications
Effective communication is about active listening
My first job was that in sales, a conventional industry for every other teenager then. Thus, communication was vital in ensuring that I got that cold hard cash to spend on the things I wanted. While the importance of communication then was to ensure that a sale would go through, I have since learnt that effective communication also comprises active listening.
This allows communicators to understand their client’s pain points, which helps build rapport with their stakeholders. Similarly, by understanding their stakeholders’ communication problems, communicators can bring value to the relationships. It provides a winning scenario for both the communicator and the client.
Contributed by Brendan Lim – Junior Client Executive at PRecious Communications
Quick check-ins help you win
Robust communication flow is vital in effective productivity and operation. Research has shown that both lateral and workgroup communication leads to an overall improvement in performance. With that in mind, embarking on an internship in a public relations firm meant adapting to a fast-paced environment with information flows requiring quick responses.
To ensure I can deliver at PRecious Communications, I find that a simple gesture like scheduling frequent check-ins ensure that I can meet client deliverables. It may seem overwhelming initially with an unending list of clients and tasks. However, I find that making an effort to plan helps to simplify my work, and I can focus on delivering effective communication with clients.
Contributed by Jazin Wee, Junior Client Executive at PRecious Communications
Listen to understand instead of hearing to respond
In a quest to earn a quick buck, I embarked on a telemarketing journey. Never have I been so wrong about thinking that it was a straightforward job which involves reading off a script. I realised that telemarketing requires excellent communication skills, which I can assimilate to public relations.
Effective communication is essential in PR as it involves maintaining effective media relations and at the same time to be the voice of our clients. My first job taught me communication is effective when we convey information clearly and concisely. This encouraged me to pay attention to non-verbal communication cues since a bulk of knowledge stems from being empathetic. Not forgetting that communication is a two-way street, being a good listener is vital. This prompts me to look at the bigger picture and listen to understand instead of hearing to respond.
Contributed by Julina Tay, Client Coordinator at PRecious Communications
Communication is all about attention to details
Starting as a communications intern at Singapore’s Ministry of Home Affairs, I quickly realised that clients and colleagues don’t always provide enough details for a specific task. To perform my role to the best of my abilities, I had to find out as much information as possible that would or could be relevant to whatever was required.
It was essential to take time to contextualise and supplement my knowledge of the situation. This provided clear communication outcomes for all stakeholders. It allows me to make better-informed decisions to perform my tasks and to provide more relevant responses when required.
Contributed by Gabriel Tham, Junior Client Executive at PRecious Communications
Empathise and put myself in the client’s shoes
Much like my current job profile at PRecious, my first job was in the client servicing space, at a digital marketing agency. I had no prior experience in conversing with professionals on a daily basis, something that is a prerequisite for a client servicing job.
Over the thirteen-month journey, I had an opportunity to communicate with various types of clients – the ‘do it right away’ ones, the ‘take your time’ ones, the ‘quality over quantity’ ones, and of course – the toughest of the lot – the ‘quantity over quality’ ones. The importance of effective communication cannot be understated. The best way to communicate effectively is to analyse the person at the receiving end, empathise with them and tailor your responses accordingly.
Contributed by Rahul Mehta, Junior Client Executive at PRecious Communications