What do you do?
I’m sure every adult is used to being asked this question and it should be quite straightforward to answer it. I’m a Lawyer. I’m a Doctor. I’m an Architect.
For me, it’s not that simple because once I say ‘I am a Communications Professional’, what usually follows is another question – What exactly is that? That, ladies and gentlemen, is where it becomes tricky to answer.
Of course, I can give the simplified answer and tell them that I help the brands and organiazations I work with to properly communicate who they are and what they offer to their target audience, stakeholders and the public at large. But that answer is not quite complete. It doesn’t reflect the full picture of what my job entails; a job that could be quite unpredictable in the exact skill that is required of you.
Let me take you into a typical day in my life as a Communications Professional.
One day, I wake up with a brief to create content for a Corporate Website. Usually the timeline is quite tight but it’s not impossible for me to achieve. In the middle of this, I may get a call from another client who needs me to write a press release that needs to go to the press before the end of the day. Talk about pressure.
Just when I’m about to settle into this task, a private client calls to ask me to prepare a 1500-word speech for a high level event she will attend as a Keynote Speaker the next day. Wait, what? Why are you just telling me this? Of course, I can’t say this. After all, one of the reasons my private clients come to me is because they get excellent work under the tightest deadlines. I don’t encourgage it but it comes with the nature of the job.
If I’m lucky, the day ends with those three tasks. Other days, it may end with booking a strategy meeting to discuss the comms plan for another client’s conference/ event. Oh yes, I project manage client events. They usually won’t tell you this when you start out. I can never forget how I had to project manage a Book Launch and handle comms as well. I won’t go into the details of having to manage photographers, videographers, press people, executing photo shoots and the whole works. I’m grateful that my team and I didn’t flunk it but it took a lot from us!
So why do I love what I do as a Comms Professional? The answer is in the scenario I painted above. I love the fact that no two days are exactly the same. I love how my writing and research skills have been thoroughly stretched. I have gone from carrying out research and writing reports for a Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation Project to writing newspaper/ blog articles for clients. I have written personal articles. I have also written technical articles. In different fields, I must add. Finance, Real Estate, Technology, CSR…and much more. What that means therefore is that I literally get to learn new things every day.
I have been thrown into the deep so many times! From being asked to write the Script for a full documentary to writing a Concept Note that will ignite an all-round reform of one of the sectors of our economy, these days I’ve learnt I am capable of doing much more than I think I can do. This is the mindset I have – as long as it requires me to write, there’s no material or publication that I cannot excellently write. I guess that mindset is the reason why my ‘writing’ and comms porfolio is as heavy as it is!
Oh, I forgot one important thing. The ability to combine my passion with ministry is perhaps the greatest blessing of being a Communications Professional. I have handled comms for a number of Churches and I have also personally managed the online brand of two prominent Senior Pastors in Nigeria. Like I said before, it has indeed been a blessing.
Now let’s go back to that famous question – what do you do? I’d say I transform my world with my words. That’s my superpower and I absolutely love it!