Here’s how you can talk your way into tech!

14 || December || 2023

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#Issue 51

How to become a comms professional

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Greetings ET readers 👋🏾

In today’s edition, we’re taking a look at one of the more subtle ways to enter tech: comms. 

Many tech companies, or tech-enabled ones, have communications or content teams with different goals from content marketing and sales, to public relations. PiggyVest, for example, has a pretty nifty content team with skilled comms professionals who help people understand what the business does. If you’d like to learn more, then hang on tight. 

P.S: In next week’s edition, we’re bringing you 2024 predictions—and yes, one of them is that you will, unsurprisingly, discard your New Year resolution after one week. 👍🏾

Faith Omoniyi & Timi Odueso.

Tech trivia questions

Some trivia before we begin. Answers are at the bottom of this newsletter. 

  1. What was the world’s first digital and programmable robot?

Who is a communications professional?

Being a communication professional in tech is not the most popular skill out there, but it is a surefire way of entering into tech. Joyce Imiegha, a PR and communications professional, says that if you’re looking for significant room for creativity, autonomy impact and recognition for your work, then being a communications professional is the right way to go.

Joyce Imeigha

You must have heard the terms “content creator,” “content writer,” and “social media manager“, and while these roles appear eerily similar to what a communications professional does, they are different.

Joyce defines it as having the expertise, training, knowledge, and skills to effectively convey messages, build relationships, manage perceptions, and drive results to enhance organisational and individual goals through communication strategies and interactions.

Phew, you must be wondering all of these things for one person. 

Image source: YungNollywood

Put simply, a communications professional is someone who helps people understand and connect with a company. They act as the company’s voice, ensuring clear and consistent messaging across all channels. Communication professionals do this by using language, design, and other tools to create clear, concise, and engaging messages.

Now that we know who a communications professional is let’s delve into the skills you need to become a badass communications professional communicator. 

💡 Communications is an umbrella that covers all forms of an organisation’s internal and external communications. PR is just one slice of the cake that focuses specifically on enhancing the organisation’s image or reputation. 

So, a PR personnel ensures that the company looks good on the outside at all times, while a communications professional ensures the communication of a company’s message regardless of the circumstances. “In terms of functions, communications roles centre around creating content for specific channels and audiences, while PR roles involve media relations, storytelling, reputation management and crisis management,” Joyce said. 

Comms professionals take on different titles like Communications Manager, Public Relations Officer, Engagement Manager, or even Director of Strategic Communications.

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How it works

  • Skills needed: Writing, listening, public speaking, creativity, strategic, critical thinking, and interpersonal skills.
  • Gadgets needed: Laptop, internet access, pen and paper, and lots of coffee.

So now that we know who comms professionals are, what kind of tasks do they do? Here’s teh five most important things communicators do.

  • Developing communications targeted at employees or external stakeholders: This includes writing newsletters, announcements, and other materials for employees to keep them informed, motivated, and aligned with company goals. It may also involve developing press releases, social media content, and other materials to reach target audiences like customers, investors, or the general public.
  • Managing messaging across channels and audiences: Comms professionals maintain a consistent voice and message across all internal and external communication channels to build brand recognition and trust. They also adapt communication to different audiences and platforms to ensure it resonates effectively with each group.
  • Building engagement, trust, and loyalty for brands: This may involve using various communication channels and formats like podcasts or videos to make information accessible and engaging for different audiences.
  • Overseeing all internal and/or external communications strategy and messaging: A communications professional acts as a bridge communicating effectively between leadership and staff, ensuring both sides are heard and understood within a company. A comms professional also represents the company, serving as a spokesperson for the company to external audiences, such as the media or the public, upholding its values and reputation.
  • Finally, comms professionals liaise between leadership and staff or serve as public-facing representatives for all inquiries to the company. 

Money matters

So how much do comms professionals earn?Raise your hands if you’re not learning a tech skill for the money. No hands, of course 👀. “Generally, communication professionals can have competitive compensation packages, but they may not always match the salaries in certain technical or high-demand fields like software engineering, marketing, and so on,” Joyce tells me

While the salaries may not always match the salaries of high-demand fields, “the level of experience and expertise you bring to the role can impact your earning potential.” Senior or specialised roles often attract higher salaries and the level of education and relevant training can also influence earning potential.

So, Joyce’s advice to you is to embrace continuous learning.

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You can learn comms too

Check out some of these resources that can upskill you into a great communicator.

Internal Communications Fundamentals on Udemy
  • Price: $13 (Paid Certificate available)
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Tools Needed: Internet + phone
  • Level: Beginner
Get Course
Strategic Communications on Udemy
  • Price: $13 (Paid Certificate available)
  • Duration: 2 hours
  • Tools Needed: Internet + phone
  • Level: Beginner and Intermediate
Get Course
Understanding Corporate Communications on Coursera
  • Price: $49/Month
  • Duration: 3 weeks
  • Tools Needed: Internet + laptop
  • Level: Beginner
Get Course
How to Implement and Evaluate Communication Campaigns on Coursera
  • Price: $49/Month
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Tools Needed: Internet + laptop
  • Level: Intermediate
Get Course

Ask a techie

Q. I’m facing some difficulty in finding actual entry-level product management roles. How can I approach my job search? What sort of courses should I be taking and what skills should I be working on improving?

Finding entry-level roles can be quite challenging, especially for a niche role and fairly new role like product management. 

In job searching, you may need to keep your eye out on several job boards. Here’s a detailed list of African tech job boards that promote jobs like product management. You may also want to go the extra mile when applying for these roles; reach out to the hiring managers and ask them what kind of applicants they’re looking for or ask your network to refer you to open job roles. You can also check out other roles like “product owner” or “product specialist” which are monikers for product management.

For courses, you should look at Product Dive. It’s a 6–month product management course made by Africans for Africans and many great product managers on the continent, including those at Flutterwave and Paystack, learnt at Product Dive. Also check out Utiva and AltSchool, they have courses that will help build you as a skilled product manager. 

Finally, skills you need for product management include teamwork, leadership, and most importantly, communication skills. A product manager is the bridge between different departments and you need to learn how to communicate effectively. You can check out this conversation with a product manager on Centre Stage. 


That’s all we can take this week. Have any questions about working in tech? Ask away and we’ll find answers for you.👇🏾

Ask a question

Tech trivia answers

The first digitally operated and programmable robot was invented by George Devol in 1954 and was ultimately called the Unimate.

Jobs

There are more jobs on TechCabal’s job board. If you have job opportunities to share, please submit them at bit.ly/tcxjobs

Disclaimer: TechCabal is not affiliated with or associated with jobs and opportunities listed on all its job boards and newsletters. All applicants bear the responsibility of researching about the roles and companies they apply to.

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Faith Omoniyi Intern Reporter

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