Home / Industry / 6 Questions Professional Communicators Should Ask Themselves

Industry

6 Questions Professional Communicators Should Ask Themselves


Last week, I had the opportunity to attend an event with a couple of my colleagues put on by SideraWorks. The presentation focused on communicating and storytelling in a digital world, and it covered a lot of ground on the ever-changing way we connect with one another.

This isn’t a rehash of the event – no time for that. But toward the end of the event, the presenter told attendees that professional communicators should frequently ask themselves six questions:

1.       What do I communicate?

2.       Why do I do it?

3.       Who am I talking to?

4.       What won’t I compromise?

5.       How will I go about it?

6.       What’s most important, right now?

I work with a host of different clients, but a good chunk of my days are spent working to promote St. Louis as an entrepreneurial hub. After the presentation, I decided to give these questions some thought and answer them in the context of my work with startups and entrepreneurs.

Originally, I planned to keep the answers to myself. But I changed my mind and decided to share them publicly. So here are the answers I came up with to those six questions:

1. What do I communicate?

I communicate the amazing things that are going on in St. Louis’ entrepreneurial ecosystem. More investment dollars are coming into St. Louis than ever before. Amazing companies in software, life sciences and biotechnology are emerging. Programs such as Arch Grants and Capital Innovators are making it more enticing than ever to set up shop in St. Louis. I get to tell these stories on a daily basis. How cool is that?

2.  Why do I do it?

This was the easiest question of all to answer. I was born and raised in the St. Louis area. After high school, I told myself that I would never come back to St. Louis – that it was the most boring place on the face of the Earth. I went to college in Indiana and then lived in New York for two years as a business reporter. But as luck would have it, I somehow found my way back here.

After moving back, I interviewed with Elasticity, which emphasized the work it does within the entrepreneurial community. I have been able to witness the amazing economic transformation of the region, but it’s a story not told enough. I get excited every day to try and craft the message of a new St. Louis that can become a global economic leader.

3.  Who am I talking to?

I talk to people who have misconceptions about St. Louis. Those could be reporters, bloggers, readers – anyone who could use a change in perspective. The truth is, most people I have met in my 6+ year hiatus from the area know St. Louis primarily for three things: beer, Cardinals and the Arch. Yes, I am a Cardinals fan, and I enjoy a good beer now and then, but is that all we are about? Didn’t think so. We must become better ambassadors for St. Louis. If we don’t, no one else will.

4.  What won’t I compromise?

My integrity. Everything I try to sell is genuine and from the heart. If I don’t believe something is exciting,  I won’t try to convince someone else otherwise.

5.  How will I go about it?

There are many methods: News releases, written articles, social media, you name it. Each of these methods is merely just an outlet to tell great stories about the amazing work that startups are doing in the region.

6.   What’s most important, right now?

New economic life through startups is emerging and can continue to emerge in our home town, providing new wealth and vibrancy to a city that most non-natives don’t yet see.

For better or worse –TWA, SBC, McDonnell Douglas and Anheuser Busch, which once made up the bread and butter of St. Louis’s economy, isn’t coming back. Don’t get me wrong, large corporations continue to play a vital role in the St. Louis economy, but not to the same extent as when I was a child.

But in its place, a new, vibrant startup economy has emerged. That’s something that should make St. Louisans proud, and I plan on showing that off day in and out.

 

We as communicators frequently find ourselves stressed over the barrage of phone calls and unopened emails that need our attention. But we should occasionally take a short break and ask ourselves these six questions to better understand what we do on a daily basis and why it matters.

 

One Response to 6 Questions Professional Communicators Should Ask Themselves

  1. I happened upon ELASTICITY because I teach tennis at the Missouri Athletic Club and met Brian & Angela Cross a few weeks back.
    Thanks for sharing the six questions and your answers.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Please complete this line to post your comment. * Time limit is exhausted. Please reload the CAPTCHA.