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. 👍🏾
& Timi Odueso
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.
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.
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.
Ask a question
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.👇🏾