Communications offers an abundance of opportunities for people interested in this exciting field. From journalism, broadcasting, and to advertising, communication is vital to the economic success of all these endeavors. Today, the publishing industry in particular presents many exciting opportunities and new challenges for people interested in the intersection of technology and publishing. Emerging technologies have placed an increased value on people who possess an ability to read and write with a high degree of clarity as well as those people having increased computer proficiency, and the ability to translate those skills across many different platforms. As any tablet owner knows, the book reading public is alive and well. The electronic publishing of books and magazines across a multitude of platforms has allowed publishing to remain a strong and viable industry. Because of these evolving forms of communication, there is an increased need for people who can navigate with ease between the written and electronic world. Communications skills offer the knowledge and flexibility to navigate this changing world with ease.
One may be surprised to hear the word strategy with the communications field, but the need to bring a particular focus to market endeavors is what drives market success. The development of communication strategies in today’s complicated world involves organization across many facets. An organization’s comprehensive communication strategy is one that molds itself to an overall market vision. This strategy can be developed though multiple formats such as web, print, broadcast, and social media. If you add to this mobile applications and the development of software that companies use in-house in their day-to-day operations, someone with a communications background is vital to coordinate between all of these facets and the public at large and do so in a way that remains fluid, responsive, and assures long-term success.
Print media involves the communication with individuals not just across the design and production of printed materials, but also in the creation of electronic media. These might include newsletters, e-newsletter, annual reports, surveys, and regular e-announcements, not things that one might traditionally associate with “publishing”. These might also include bulletins and web articles to cover both internal company concerns and public, market driven outreach. This often involves the creation of original content as well as copyediting written materials provided from outside sources. All of these things require the communications individual to coordinate with many other individuals across different departments, firms, and competing interests. Add to this the fact that many of these facets have agendas that are often at cross purposes with each other, and you truly see the need of an individual with the responsiveness that only skills in communications can offer.
Many kinds of agencies fall under the publishing umbrella. Some of these are involved in the analysis of broadcast media. Others are involved with companies that own and distribute promotional material. These might also include communications agencies that provide research and measurement services for different stages of planning and execution in the development of published media. These might also involve media and market analysis that allows a client company a better understanding of its market landscape. In addition, the development of new methodologies, tools and services to solve internal business problems might be issues with which the communications individual needs to contend. These could involve primary and secondary research, crisis communications, and the addressing of issues involved in management analysis, brand and competitive assessments, and the influence of brand identification and media rankings on consumer awareness. While traditional media may not seem to warrant as intense a scrutiny in this kind of focus, the monitoring and analysis of broadcast and social media may have a traditional print outlet that includes digital footprint reports and an overview of web analytics. The communications individual needs to have the breadth to address so many different concerns. Finally, the publishing of fiction usually involves agencies that make use of some or all of the above mentioned issues, with the communications individual being required to wear many different hats in support of the overall company mission.
Even more exciting, people with communications specialties are often required to maintain a web presence for the companies that employ them. One might also be responsible with maintaining that web presence through a print outlet. While in the past the web was regarded as a singular identity with a more homogenous voice, today the web is characterized by an abundance of groups, and communities that find their voices across Facebook, Twiiter, YouTube, and Convio. This is only a sampling of the communication outlets available to individuals across the web, and there are other platforms that need to be engaged on a daily basis. Also, the communications individual needs to be confident in developing across mobile interactive platforms since the mobile platform is so ubiquitous to these webs of communities. Across this multi-platform divide, a need for familiarity of many styles of communications is vital. Aside from these more colloquial methods of communication, the more rigorous modes of communication of journalism, fiction, and academic writing all use separate style manuals that the communications individual needs to be familiar, and the mediums of Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter all have their particular vernacular that needs to be considered.
Communications is an exciting field. Publishing within the field of communications offers the individual a chance to engage the world across many different avenues, in a way that is bold, relevant and effective.
Tasha Newton writes for education blogs where you can read more about getting a online communications degree.