As the year has rolled into its third week, I asked myself today what value can I offer? Not what I am currently offering, but can offer. I guess it is a question you always have to ask yourself as a consultant as you start new conversations with potential clients and with older clients with who you are about to have the price revision conversation. We always adjust for inflation, and well, after a year in most cases you have grown and will offer more value which is only fair to be acknowledged in the pay cheque as well as an occasional pat on the back and kind words. But not just consultants, humans in general, the laws of evolution are clear, evolve or die, or in my case, grow your skills and offering or become redundant and dispensable.
I had written an earlier post touching on the quality of life which I will brush up on and share with you in due course. For now, I am more concerned with value addition to the communication field. Communication is not astrophysics, it generally feels like everything that can be done, has been done. There are just iterations here and there. Maybe that’s how accountants feel. Thanks to the pandemic human resource professionals and recruiters had a pandemic shock globally that forced them to innovate and also amalgamate how they work.
It is always very mesmerizing for me to see how entertainers stay relevant especially musicians. Look at Usher and Beyonce who have been performers since they were children. How in the world do they stay relevant decades later? Not just in terms of the music they produce, but also in their craft, they are mature and interests and experiences also shift. How do they do it?
I have only worked in communication for 15 years going on to 16 years and each year, every couple of months I am constantly asking myself what else to offer aside from developing a new communication strategy, annual report, social media management or developing success stories, the occasional photography, voice production or advertising for my clients.
Then the innovation bug hits, I create new communication solution packages test them, it works and then for a season it is on the rave and then people pull away. Why? It is a lot of work, communication by its nature is non-stop work. It requires dedication.
That’s why I always sing the song to my clients, like a specialised surgeon, you need a seasoned communication officer or manager to run communication for your organization. But it’s always the cost people don’t want to incur, but desperately need the benefits of having one. The irony!
When I speak of communication as a field, I mean every aspect of it, strategy, public relations, content creation, audio-visual production, crisis management, media management, advertising, copywriting, editorial work etc. You probably know a person who works or practices one or a few of these. When done well organisations enjoy trending on social media ( which at times doesn’t always work in their favour. That’s another discussion for another day), get more funding for compelling storytelling pitches, draw in more traffic to raise revenue and so on.
The fruits are sweet, and like those roots of education, this takes hard labour – it’s bitter. Sleepless nights and dealing with irrational demands. No matter how much satisfaction I have found in the work I do, it always reaches a point where there’s a need to grow. Grow stronger and further to offer something the market and eventually the globe will need.
What’s next for me in the communication space? Time will tell.