General / PRSSA

Five Communication Tips that all PR and Journalism Professionals Must Practice

By: Madelyne Rosenberg

Eric Hanson spoke on Wednesday, April 9th, about his position as the Communication Director at Iowa City Area Development Group, a company that serves the workforce and economic development needs of interstate commerce companies in Iowa’s Creative Corridor. The Iowa City Area Development Group provides consultation about hiring, recruiting and staffing challenges to different companies and also builds connections with skills programs, career centers, job training, colleges, and universities.  

Hanson shared five communication tips that he picked-up throughout his journalist career, many being from his old job as a radio host at KCII in Washington, Iowa. He was excited to pass on words of advice to young students entering the workforce:

1. “The mic is always live”

Hanson used an example from when he accidentally swore on live radio after assuming the equipment was not working properly. It’s important to remember that your words are both powerful and permanent. What you write or say has a strong impact on your image and reputation.

2. “It’s okay to break format”

When dealing with situations that are emotionally demanding and impact a large group of people, it’s okay to break regular routine and plan according to the situation at hand. Always “trust your gut,” as Hanson said. If it feels like you need to be extra sensitive to your audience, be just that.

3. “Make sure you work your network”

Hanson stressed that it’s important to follow your communicators as well as your press. There are many ways to stay connected through Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Create multiple accounts and start building your network as a professional. 

4. “Make sure you know your message” 

It’s important to understand what you want to say before you share it with the public. Hanson advised to “trust in what you know and what you believe and people will give you that credibility.” It will be easier to know your message if you know your facts and what you are willing to share. 

5. “Take all opportunities that are thrown at you”

Before Hanson’s first job, he was applying as an intern to different companies that interested him. He applied at a radio station as a fill-in position for a few months while they searched for a professional who could take that position. As a rookie, Hanson was able to go behind the scenes, work with the radio team, and gain knowledge and skills that he probably wouldn’t have acquired if he didn’t ask for the position. Hanson advises to apply to any occupation you are even slightly interested in, and more.