The Importance of "Being a Sponge" in the Communications Industry
By Emily Morley
On my first day of my second semester in college, my “Intro to Public Relations” professor told our class that we must “be a sponge” if we want to be successful in the communications industry. I honestly had no clue what she meant nor did I have much of a clue about what the communications industry even was. Fast forward to three years, countless communications classes and even a few internships later, I am constantly reminded of the importance of “being a sponge” and striving to do something everyday to slowly build myself into a communications professional using the advice my professor gave me that day.
Doing what we do in this industry, it is of utmost importance to know what is happening in the world around us. Whether it is local or global, communications based, or national news and political topics, they can all be tied back to our field and feed our brains with information that will help us perform in our industry. We must be “sponges” and keep up with every trend, debate, and campaign going on. This means we must keep up with the news (shoutout to Loyola for the free New York Times subscription) and as professionals in the communications field, we must build trust with the people we work with. In order to build that trust and to be successful communication professionals, we must know what is going on in the world and industry around us and learn how to make sense of it. Being a “sponge” will also help us develop quick responses when crisis may occur with a client.
Some tips on keeping up...
Subscribe to New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other news outlets to keep up with national news.
Subscribe to industry-based publications such as PR Daily, Ad Weekly, and other publications to keep up with the most recent advice, campaigns, and more in the industry.
Keep up with local news and what people are doing this month in your city by subscribing to local event newsletters.
Utilize LinkedIn to see what news professionals are sharing.