Top 10 things communication professionals can do to prepare for the future

I apologize if my last post seemed a little bit doom and gloom. To make up for it, I decided to make a list of what communicators can be doing to prepare for the terrible things I outlined in the aforementioned post.

Top 10 things communication professionals can do to prepare for the future:

  1. Focus less on tools and more on trends. Software and new technologies will change before you can master them, so your time is best spent figuring out why things are popular in the first place so you will understand where we will go next.
  2. Pay attention to mobile media and begin preparing content for mobile use. The future of content is on the go.
  3. Hold on to the value from traditional media. Good storytelling and other elements rooted in legacy media will still be the basis of successful media in the future. Content will always be king. Media ethics and standards should always apply to every platform.
  4. Read more than just 140 characters. Tweets are good, yes. They are pathways or links to relevant information found somewhere else online. However, if we forget how to pay attention to something for longer than 30 seconds or how to write well, the media industry as we know it will dissolve.
  5. Maintain your digital reputation. Download whatever free software or analytics tool you need to follow your brand online. Your identity is being chronicled for the whole world to see and whatever you want to do in the future will depend on whether or not you have preserved your past.
  6. Help adopters understand big changes in online communication. With our rate of innovation, there needs to be more attention paid to those who are at the bottom of the technological learning curve.
  7. Do not ignore the digital divide. When you are striving to digitize all of your content and move it all online, don’t forget the millions of people who are without Internet access. No matter how hyper-connected we may feel sometimes, information access is still a privilege.
  8. Research outside of your comfort zone. Understand as much of the communications industry as you can. So many fields within media are merging now as traditional things like video and print are adapting for a computer or smart phone. Media convergence is upon us! Subscribe to an interesting blogger outside your field to stay informed.
  9. Keep one eye on what is coming next. Technology is developing faster than we can say “iFad.” Do not get bogged down in today’s trends without paying attention to our media culture as a whole.
  10. Schedule more offline time and in-face meetings. Online networking can only take us so far. Invest in your workplace, families and friends by meeting in person and taking the time to stop the 24 hour multitask cycle.
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