She is also the Co-Director for IABC/Calgary Career Services and supports the Company of One program for freelancers and consultants who run their own businesses. We chatted about why she enjoys working in this field, and she also shared her insights around trends and advice for communicators as we continue through 2022.
Our messaging and how we’re delivering those messages is constantly changing. We now need to understand multiple facets of reaching audiences, much more so than in the past.
– Alyssa Berry
It gives you holistic access to your organization, more so than other positions. Communicators are able to view the organization through a 3,000-foot lens as opposed to focusing on an individual role or area. I think that it can give you a better understanding of the organization and how it functions.
I also like that you can think that you’re going to be working on something that day but then things change, and you end up working on something completely different. Sometimes it’s not always great, because you want to stick to timelines, but I also like the possibility of something new coming my way.
In your experience, how has the pandemic impacted communications?
I’ll look at this question from two views.
What I’ve heard from friends who are working in corporate communications, the biggest change they’ve experienced is utter exhaustion, especially early in the pandemic. The brunt of so much of what is happening at their companies, messaging-wise, has as fallen on them. A lot of organizations have realized how heavily they rely on their communicators over the last two years, probably more so than they have in the past.
From my experience working with clients, what I’ve discovered is that lot of what we do is listen to and support clients when their businesses are failing or they’re facing professional or personal issues.
And for me, that’s been hugely impactful on my mental health. I think during this time, a lot of communicators have taken on the empathetic, supportive role for others, in addition to their work.
What kinds of communications trends do you think we’ll see in 2022?
Communicators will have to have a larger breadth of skills; it will be harder to be focused solely on one area.
Communications are becoming more digitized even more quickly, so communicators need to consider not just how to create messaging across various digital platforms but also how to make it as engaging as possible on all of these platforms. Our messaging and how we’re delivering those messages are constantly changing. We now need to understand multiple facets of reaching audiences, much more so than in the past.
What is some advice for communicators moving forward into the new year?
Take care of yourself.
Ensure that – especially working from home – you have a clear, delineated work-life balance.
At the end of your set workday, whenever that might be, turn your computer off. If your company is expecting that you work 24/7, then you should be having a conversation with them about how to create a healthier workplace with boundaries.
Ask for help.
While communicators work on many projects and have a wide array of skills, we can’t be everything to everyone.
Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Even if you’re the one communicator in your company, know when to get help – call someone to help with social media or write content or whatever you might need support doing.
Always, always, always keep learning.
Take courses, read books, or listen to podcasts about your work.
We don’t know everything, and we need to learn what’s new, what’s changing. Also, take classes or read about topics that interest you personally, even if they’re not work-related. Take some photography or creative writing classes – or anything that is a creative outlet for you – make sure to have your own interests that you’re catering to as well.
Thank you, Alyssa, for sharing your insights and for all your work with IABC/Calgary!