Onyinye Nwachukwu: Business skills for Comms professionals in 2024

Onyinye Nwachukwu is a Communications Associate at Mosron Communications.


Ever since I can remember, the position of CEO has always appealed to me. At first, I loved how fancy it sounded and when I eventually started my career, I enjoyed watching how the rest of the team responded to business ideas that came from the people who held this position. It was evident that CEOs were the heartbeat of the business and they always spoke on growth, positioning and new ideas.

As someone who is always bustling with ideas, I sincerely look forward to holding this position at a reputable organisation one day. Working at a Communications Consultancy that provides services to multinational companies has directly fed into this dream by providing me exposure to the intersectionality of all the teams involved in the business. As a professional with a background in Marketing, I’ve had to build skills across various departments as they are necessary to ideate the best strategies within Business Communications. 

So after doing some research, I rediscovered some of the skills needed by Communications professionals who want to impact the business. Let’s dive into them:

1.Sales and Marketing 

This goes without saying, but I will say it anyway. This is one of the teams you would work the closest with and understanding how success is measured in their line of work will help inform your Communications strategy and direction. Learning Sales and Marketing skills, like Closing, Copywriting and Digital Marketing will come through in assignments like press releases, Marketing and Advertising copies, interview questions and other communication materials for the executives at your organisation. Understanding the Sales and Marketing end of the business programmes your analytical thinking to a number-based one and so a result-oriented one. 

2. Business Analysis and Development 

What a business analyst does is recommend business solutions that directly address business needs and provide value to the stakeholders after carefully monitoring the relevant trends and data. As a communication professional, your ability to identify the business needs and possible solutions in your organisation would provide the confidence to speak to these needs when recommending communication strategies that you need management’s approval on. You can communicate to them the value these strategies provide and can set up the right KPIs to track to validate success.  

3. Leadership

In many organisations, the Comms unit is a team and every team needs a leader that can effectively steer the ship in the right direction. Building leadership skills, improves your team playing style and impacts your Internal Communication strategies. You are properly aware of emotions to consider and nothing passes you by within the team. You might not be a team lead or the head of a unit but you can learn to demonstrate this capacity by interacting with interns and other junior team members in a welcoming and supportive manner. As you advance in your career, you’ll face different scenarios that will require you to be a leader but you can start preparing for them now.

4. Project Management  

Planning campaigns, executing events and following up with third parties need a separate set of skills that helps professionals get things done effectively. Project Management skills would help you prioritise tasks, manage expectations, manage people and teach you problem-solving skills when you inevitably face hiccups while managing campaigns. While you may not have to get a certification, it won’t hurt to brush up on this skill by reading about it or watching a video or two. As a professional who intends to influence business decisions, delivering solid results will require that you’re a good Project Manager.

5. Basic Design Principles 

The first time I attempted the widely known HNG internship was with HNG cohort 3 and the first task for everyone was design-related. What I learnt from that task was how certain designs contributed to the messaging of the copy or the app buttons. What this did for me was that in my first year working, I contributed to app designs, wrote “how-to” articles for developers and got enlisted to write pop-up texts for new apps. The content of your copy can get lost in a bad design as everyone who reads it, spots the bad design and that takes centre stage. Learning basic design principles teaches you what words to highlight, how to interact with the designer of the communication material and what images would trigger the right response from your audience.


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