The communications industry is one that is vast and multifaceted with so many intertwined sections. While you try to carve a niche for yourself, there are other areas that also require that you have basic knowledge about them as well. With the influx of tasks that flood your desk on a daily basis, literally and figuratively, it is easy to get carried away in a lot of activities. This also makes you prone to certain mistakes.
As a communications professional who wants to be exceptional in this field, you have to be intentional about the kind of work you do which also affects the results you produce. You want to develop a track record of excellent work delivery and this means giving little or no room for mistakes. When you know what some of these probable mistakes are, then you can be on the lookout for them and learn to avoid them.
How to Avoid Common Mistakes Communications Professionals Make
It is normal to make mistakes but with the right dose of intentionality and diligence, these mistakes can be greatly minimized. Knowing how to avoid or deal with these mistakes is essential to standing out in whatever organization you find yourself in.
Here are five common mistakes communications professionals make and how to avoid them;
- Not being assertive
Assertiveness is simply being able to express your thoughts and opinion in a positive and confident manner. A communications professional should be able to give their opinion or advice on a topic or situation. This is much better than always sticking to the status quo because you are afraid your opinion will be rejected.
Do not be cowed by the fact that you probably occupy a junior role or have a lower level of experience as compared to your other colleagues. You are there because you have something to offer and by all means do so. Also, note that assertiveness does not equal being aggressive. It is very important that your opinion is politely communicated.
- Not taking responsibility
You cannot afford to sit and wait for instructions all the time nor should you stick to the tasks assigned to you without making further contributions. Actions like this make you easily replaceable and will rob you of the chance of creating a unique imprint in your organization.
Take ownership of the role you occupy by thinking of better ways, methods and strategies which you can suggest to the management. Be willing to go the extra mile when carrying out tasks assigned to you. This is what gives your work the extra touch and distinguishes you from the crowd.
- Sticking to only one skill-set
A professional should not only be exceptional in one or more aspects of their industry, but also have knowledge about related areas. For instance, just because you have been employed to manage the company’s social media page does not mean that you cannot learn about blogging or email marketing.
Diversifying your skillset helps you to maintain relevance across different sections and opens you up to more opportunities outside of your area of specialization.
- Not thoroughly editing your documents
How you present your work speaks volumes about your level of expertise. You cannot afford to have grammatical, spelling, or even punctuation errors in your documents. It greatly undermines your professionalism and could be a major turn-off for clients or superiors in your organization.
Before you turn in that document or send that email, thoroughly read through and edit to make sure there are no typographical errors. Ensure the document is properly formatted with titles and paragraphs in place.
- Sticking to a one-size-fits-all approach.
While there are various strategies and templates that are commonly used in the course of your job as a communications professional, there is no one-size-fits-all approach. Every individual client or organization has peculiar features and characteristics that must be considered when working with them.
If a strategy worked for company A, it might not deliver the same results for company B, even if they have similar problems. Their industry, target audience, products or services could vary and impact the outcome of the campaign. So, you must avoid the ‘template mentality’ and be willing to try out new or different strategies.
Just as stated earlier, making mistakes are inevitable. However, they can be reduced to a point where they rarely happen. Avoiding these common mistakes would help you to improve your skills, stand out in your organization and become a communications professional people love to work with.