Note: the following article recently appeared in Catalyst, the official publication of IABC. The content was initially presented at a session at the IABC World Conference 2022.
By: Mike Klein, Monique Zytnik and Mabongi Dlamini
One of the big challenges that we as communication professionals face is that we don’t collectively appreciate the magnitude and significance of the contributions we make to business. We don’t fully illustrate how we can convert ideas into impact. To address this we developed an IABC 2022 World Conference session — “The Superpowers of Communication Professionals” — to give our most important skills the recognition they deserve and boost the confidence of our fellow incognito super heroes who put those skills into action. We want them to be able to confidently step out into the bright spotlight and draw attention with the value that we bring.
What are the superpowers of communication professionals?
We identified 11 distinct skills that merited discussion as “communication professional superpowers,” because they move beyond the transactional production and craft skills into being able to deliver impact at scale — things like amplification (the ability to increase the reach and scale of a conversation), contextualization (the ability to put individual concerns and events into a broader story or perspective) and mobilization (the ability to get people to change behaviors and take action).
As you would expect at an IABC World Conference, we were speaking with the converted, as 92% already believed that communication professionals have superpowers to some degree. We hope with this article that you reflect on your own superpowers and take up the challenge to encourage your fellow communicators to proudly wear their powers with pride.
In recognizing our superpower-grade skills, we essentially recognize communication pros as superheroes in our own right while, at the same time, noting that we also need to look at how we deploy these superpowers and respond to blockers that keep us from achieving superhuman success.
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