The Importance of ongoing professional development for communicators

If you work in comms or any role based around communicating with others, chances are it is indeed the others who are on your mind most of the time. That is, of course, our life’s work – to be continually thinking about ways to get those key messages across to the target audience. As such, we often get caught up in the daily grind, taking a systematic approach, because it’s tried and true. This can be especially true in the public and third sectors, where resources are often scarce.

As professional communicators, it is, however, vitally important to take a regular look in the mirror and instead focus on THE communicator… AKA you! Anything short will result in burnout, boredom and a comms approach that could well fail to take into consideration the changing needs of the communities we serve. 

Here are a few key reasons why professional development is so important for communicators.

Professional development is personal development

Especially for communication specialists, professional development can refer to a whole wealth of experiences ranging from very work-specific courses such as the popular SEO Training Certification Course by Hubspot Academy to wildly more left-field activities like learning a new language or attending a self-development seminar. 

You will be amazed at how pursuing a hobby (seemingly) unrelated to your professional discipline can teach you valuable lessons that can be applied to work. Taking time to develop ‘passion projects’ will also leave you less likely to burn out and feeling more energized and inspired in general. ROI Marketing Associate Lee Tobin, for example, writes poetry in her spare time. This, she finds, provokes more inspired marketing outcomes. 

Not only that, taking the time to learn new skills and hear the experiences of others inspires confidence. The confidence to try new approaches. The confidence to push the boundaries. The confidence to innovate. We could all use a boost of confidence, at any age, and any stage of our professional journey. In fact, sometimes professional development can become even more crucial as we age and may find ourselves stuck in certain ways of working and behaving. It’s never too late to try something new or strive to be better versions of ourselves, professionally and personally. It’s one in the same. 

The landscape is evolving, constantly

Keeping up with the latest trends in communications may as well be a full-time job and, let’s face it, unless you’re a budding professional who graduated within the last year or two, you may not be up-to-date with best TikTok practices! On that note – it’s worth listening to your kids or younger acquaintances! They tend to be sources of great insight when it comes to these things. The young crowd absolutely should not be dismissed. They are the future and we must learn to communicate with them. 

Check out ROI’s blog on why ‘reverse mentoring’ is important: Why “Reverse Mentoring” is so important in the modern workplace (roioperations.co.uk)

Some ideas for training sessions could include:

Our partners Westco Communications recently put together this really handy resource on influencer marketing, an often untapped strategy in the public sector: 

All about influencer marketing (westcocommunications.com)

You’ll crack harder to reach niche audiences

Ongoing professional development could well be the key to cracking those harder to reach niches. The audiences we seek to attract are complex and ever-changing. We must pool our combined skills and knowledge to crack the code of reaching them. Hello…professional development days! 

In the meantime, it’s really useful to be following the insights of key thinkers in the communication field such as xxxx some inspiring people xxxxxxx 

There are also some useful online resources. LinkedIn Learning offers some great videos such as ‘Growing a niche content audience’. Sign up to the platform to find heaps on offer. 

Some other insightful articles:

A few other perks of ongoing professional development…

As Nelson Mandela once said, “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.”

We concur. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Lee Tobin, Marketing Specialist

Lee is a professional storyteller. She uses a storybook approach to emotively communicate your organisation’s core messages to your target audience. She especially loves social media and believes that comms should always be bold.

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