Defining the Role of Marketing Communications Specialist – What Kind Do You Need? (Part 2 of 2)

So, you need to hire a Marketing Communications Specialist and you’re just not quite sure where to begin. You’ve been looking through online profiles and have realized that there are a lot of different types of MarCom professionals with various backgrounds and skill sets. How do you know which Marketing Communications candidate will work best within your team?

In our previous post, we discussed some basic Marketing Communications concepts, defined the MarCom purpose and process, and shared a few commonly used terms and channels used in the role. In this article, we’ll further define the role of the Marketing Communications Specialist by discussing some common MarCom misconceptions and give you some insight on what makes for a great candidate.

Common Marketing Communications Misconceptions

The Focus Should Be on the Company

Marketing Communications is not about the company – it’s about the customer. As Candee Wolf notes, “the best MarCom professionals are those who can think like the customer.”

All MarCom Professionals Are Generalists

There can be many variations of Marketing Communications professionals. There are generalists and specialists, those who work specifically in digital or traditional, and even professionals who work have combinations of these skills and more!

MarCom Is Only External

As mentioned above, there are many types of MarCom professionals – that includes those who specialize in working with external and/or internal audiences. Candee points out that internal employees are also an audience segment that plays a significant role in branding. Therefore, MarCom plans need to address both external and internal audiences as appropriate.

MarCom Is About Advertising

Although advertising is one important part of Marketing Communications, it should not be the only tactic used. MarCom is all about utilizing multi-channel approach and ensuring that the channels used are also the ones that your audience uses.

Questions to Ask Yourself Before Hiring a Marketing Communications Specialist

Before you set out to hire a MarCom specialist, you should have a good understanding of your business needs and the type of candidate you’ll be looking for to fulfill those needs.  You can start the process by answering these four questions:

  1. Do you need a generalist or a specialist?
  2. Should this person be tactical or a strategist – or both?
  3. How much writing will this role involve? Will you need to supplement this role with someone who specializes in writing?
  4. Does this person need to have any other specialized skills like copywriting, design, or social media knowledge?

Top 3 Qualities to Look for in Any MarCom Candidate

Once you’ve found the right type of Marketing Communications Specialist  to help you attain your goals, there are some additional things you should look for in your MarCom candidate, according to Candee:

  1. Excellent communicator
  2. Curious and passionate about the customer experience
  3. Big picture thinker with an eye for detail
  4. Ability to collaborate
  5. Great at project management
  6. Knowledgeable about a broad variety of communications channels + how & when to use them

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