The Importance of Being an Effective Communicator in Advertising


Fast Company recently posted an article with great tips for having a productive conversation. As we become more attached to our smart phones and other electronics, we begin to lose grip on how to have an actual face to face conversation. Whether it is through a text message or an email, we have grown accustomed to the convenience of instant, non-personal conversation. While these tools do make our life easier, in an industry such as advertising or public relations it is important to remember the basics, such as answering a phone call, being able to hold a verbal conversation and even being a great listener.

This article sparked an interesting discussion here at Matlock about the importance of being an effective communicator in the Advertising and PR community. We wanted to share some of our day to day tasks and how our communication skills affect these tasks.

Written Communication: While shorthand such as LOL may be an acceptable form of written communication among your friends, it is important to remember proper grammar and sentence structure for work at an agency. We must carefully choose the appropriate words and their placement to deliver a clear and concise message to our recipients. Good written communication skills are most important in public relations. A PR professional is often responsible for media relations, press releases and brand messages, all of which involve written communication. With proper written communication there is less room for misinterpretation. A single press release or brand message written by a PR professional will be seen by company employees, the press and the general public. It is important that the message is consistent, clear and free of grammatical errors as it is a direct reflection of the PR professional and the brand they represent.

Presentations: During your time at an agency you will give numerous presentations. Presentations are important because they provide information that others will use to make important decisions. It is important that you speak clearly, refrain from fillers such as “um” and “like”, and make eye contact. It is also important to be a great listener during this time as your input could be needed.

Telephone Conversations: Even with all the technological advances we have made with email and text messages, knowing proper telephone etiquette is still an important tool. When you need immediate responses from a client or staff member you will need to utilize your telephone. Remember to answer all incoming calls with a friendly tone. Announce your name to the caller and also ask for their name. Listen to the caller’s needs and take notes if necessary. Remember to speak to the caller in the same manner in which you would like to be spoken to and always keep it professional.

Non-Verbal Communication: This type of communication is important in all of the above tasks. Your voice tone and volume, facial expressions, and body movements such as hand gestures broadcast what words alone may conceal. You could be delivering the wrong message with body movements such as crossed arms or eye rolls.

What other communication skills are important in your everyday life?

Read the Fast Company article mentioned in this post here: