Find out the top 10 core skills you need to master as a communications specialist and what hard skills you need to know to succeed in this job.

A communications specialist takes charge of the internal and external communication with the primary role of creating and maintaining a positive relationship between the client and the public via media outlets by producing press releases, handling public relations, advertising and social media for the client. He/she also manages internal communications including newsletters and memos as well as drafting press releases for the media or website.

Duties associated with this position include creating and sending press releases of important updates about clients to media outlets; managing advertising on client's behalf; organizing press conferences or events where clients meet the public to create product knowledge and awareness as well as recent developments; handling request for information from media; liaise with marketing professionals for ad copies as well as carry out damage control in the event of bad publicity.

Core Skills Required to be a Communications Specialist

Core skills describe a set of non-technical abilities, knowledge, and understanding that form the basis for successful participation in the workplace. Core skills enable employees to efficiently and professionally navigate the world of work and interact with others, as well as adapt and think critically to solve problems.

Core skills are often tagged onto job descriptions to find or attract employees with specific essential core values that enable the company to remain competitive, build relationships, and improve productivity.

A communications specialist should master the following 10 core skills to fulfill her job properly.

Multi-Tasking:

Multi-Tasking allows one to juggle and perform more than one task at a time without losing track of what you are working on or dropping the ball.

A Communications Specialist must learn the trick of multitasking and help the staff balance the competing demands of their time and energy that they are expected to handle multiple priorities every day without compromising on the effectiveness of the work done.

Delegation:

Delegation is assigning responsibility or authority to another person a junior or subordinate to carry out specific activities while remaining accountable for the outcome.

A Communications Specialist must be equipped with skills on how to make the delegation work correctly to save the organization time and money and to allow the subordinate make wise decisions, skills, and motivation to become better and grow the company.

Planning and Scheduling:

Planning and Scheduling are the act of establishing a plan for a set of tasks that needs to be completed and including when they should be done.

A Communications Specialist needs creativity in balancing both planning and scheduling by clearing defining what and how activities will be carried out by when and who in particular to ensure there are a clear flow and accountability to every staff.

Enthusiasm:

Enthusiasm is an intense enjoyment or a lively interest in a certain thing with a zest and a strong belief that can be felt by those around you.

A Communications Specialist ought to be enthusiastic as well as create a friendly atmosphere that makes the staff comfortable with the surroundings, with the other employees to create a less passive working place.

Self Confidence:

Self Confidence is the ability to know who you are and what you are capable of doing which shows in your behavior, your body language, how you speak, etc.

A Communications Specialist must be confident enough to inspire confidence in others while encouraging them to handle daily tasks and their personal lives with self-confidence that will, in turn, produce a well-rounded individual.

Conceptual Thinking:

Conceptual Thinking is the ability to recognize a situation or problem by identifying patterns or connections while addressing the underlying issues.

A Communications Specialist must be a conceptual thinker who has a keen understanding of why things have to be done the way they are; he has to think at an abstract level and apply his insights to the situation across all facets to compete in the diverse and growing economy.

Using Common Sense:

Using Common Sense is the ability to see what is missing in a situation or a project and supplying it without necessarily being assigned or asked to do it.

A Communications Specialist needs to creatively train his employees always to see the missing element that is typically crucial in any workplace or project and take the opportunity to do business out of it.

Long Range Planning:

Long Range Planning is setting long-term goals and objectives for your business or project to ensure its growth and sustainability is reached by all the employees.

A Communications Specialist needs creativity in defining long-term goals that ought to be proactive, putting together a full employee focused management strategy that analyzes the major initiatives and translates them into functional goals that employees handle.

Organizational Skills:

Organizational Skills is the ability to make use of time, energy and resources available in the most efficient manner to achieve their goal.

A Communications Specialist should organize the work for the employees to ensure overall organization, planning, time management, scheduling, coordinating resources and meeting deadlines is handled most efficiently by each employee for both personal and professional growth.

Analytical Skills:

Analytical Skills is the ability to collect and analyze information, solve problems and make decisions according to the policies and regulations of the business.

A Communications Specialist should hire employees who use clear, logical steps and excellent judgment to understand an issue from all angles before executing an action depending on the objective and the methodical approaches to benefit a company's productivity.

Hard Skills Required to be a Communications Specialist

Hard skills are job-specific skill sets, or expertise, that are teachable and whose presence can be tested through exams. While core skills are more difficult to quantify and less tangible, hard skills are quantifiable and more defined.

Hard skills are usually listed on an applicant's resume to help recruiters know the applicant's qualifications for the applied position. A recruiter, therefore, needs to review the applicant's resume and education to find out if he/she has the knowledge necessary to get the job done.

A communications specialist should have a good command of the following hard skills to succeed in her job.

Communications Specialist: Hard skills list

Administrative
Analysis
Author Meetings
Blogging
Budgeting
Business Storytelling
Communications
Computers
Content Development
Content Management
Content Management Systems (CMS)
Content Review
Contracts
Copyright Laws
Copywriting
Copy Editing
Creative Writing
Desktop Publishing Software
Developmental Editing
Devise Structure
Digital Content Editing
Digital Media
Distribution
Drafting
Editing
Editorial
Electronic Design Specifications
Eliminating Jargon
Establishing Tone
Fact Checking
Feature Writing
Final Manuscript Production
Formatting
Grammar, Spelling and Punctuation
Grant Proposals (write grant proposals)
HTML
Identifying Audience
Identifying Theme
InDesign
Indexing
Interpersonal
Interviewing Techniques
Journalism
Journalist Ethics
Language
Layout Creation
Line-by-line Editing
Magazine Writing
Manuscript Creation
Marketing Communications
Marking Color Breaks
Marking Head Levels
Mark-Ups
Mechanics of Style
Media Writing
Microsoft Excel
Microsoft Office
Microsoft Word or Word Processing
Mock-Ups
Newsletters
News Writing
Online Editing
Online Research
On-line Search Techniques
Page Layout and Composition Techniques
Pagination
Presentation Writing
Print Writing
Project Editing
Project Management
Proofreading
Proofreading symbols
Proposal Writing
Publishing formats and Technologies
Research
Report Writing
Revising
Rewriting
Rhetorical Triangle
Rough Manuscript Edits
Social Media
Social Media Marketing
Spelling
Story Development
Strong Vocabulary
Structure
Structural Editing
Style
Style Manuals
Stylistic Editing
Substantive Editing
Technical Writing
Terminology
Tone
Typesetting
Vandyke Checking
Verbal Communications
Vocabulary
Voice
Web Content Writing
Web Publishing
WordPress
Working Sketches
Written Communications
Writing
Writing & Procedures & Documentations

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