Discover a Day in the Life of a Communications Manager
In this blog, we explore a career as a communications manager working in the agrifood industry.
Our EIT Food Day in the Life series is an educational resource aimed at young people and professionals who are interested in the agrifood job market. We profile a wide range of careers in the agrifood sector, interviewing professionals to find out what their job is like, why it is important, and how you could take up the profession.
You will learn:
- What a typical day is like as a communications manager
- The main responsibilities of a communications manager
- Why this industry matters to our wider food system
- How you can take up this career path
Meet Laura Elphick, a communications manager at EIT Food.
She tells us what life is like working in communications, and how you can train to get involved in this area too.
What does a typical day as a communications manager involve?
Laura’s role involves creating engaging content to use on different communication channels to reach and engage with people about EIT Food’s activities. This includes creating different forms of content such as, articles, blogs, presentations and videos and disseminating the content online and offline. Summarising the overall purpose of this daily activity, Laura explains:
“A big part of communications is telling your audience a story. So essentially I’m creating a narrative and raising awareness of EIT Food and telling the story of what we do”.
Why is communications an important industry to work in? What are the biggest challenges in the sector?
Working in communications in agrifood is important because it involves giving an audience information about how people produce and consume food, to encourage the transition to a healthy and sustainable food system. Consumers are key drivers of changes in the food market, and understanding their behaviour is a key part of why Laura sees the sector as so important:
“I have a passion for consumer behaviour…I’m really interested in understanding people’s attitudes and behaviour towards food production and food consumption.”
The biggest challenges in the sector is reaching and engaging with an audience who already receive lots of content each and every day:
“People are exposed to so much content on a day-to-day basis, it’s a bit like information overload sometimes. The main challenge for me is breaking through that noise. I need to make sure that I’m creating interesting content that ticks our goals, but also that’s useful for the reader. I don’t want to create something if it’s not actually going to benefit anyone in any way.”
Ultimately, the greatest challenge and the most important one for Laura is finding a way to have a positive impact on her audience.
“I might go home at night and think, maybe at least one person has read that article and thought, you know what, I’m going to make some changes in my life!”
What projects does a communications manager work on? For example, what are you working on at the moment?
Laura’s work is extremely varied, as she often works on multiple projects simultaneously. The types of tasks Laura works on include creating engaging content, organising events and leading communications projects and campaigns. A specific project that she is currently working on relates to the article you are reading right now: EIT Food’s ‘Day in the Life’ series. For this project, Laura identifies people working in the agrifood industry who are passionate about their job and then works with these people to produce a video about their profession. The videos are designed to showcase the variety of careers the food system has to offer and inspire people to pursue a career in the sector.
Importantly, Laura wants people to learn about the amazing opportunities the agrifood sector has to offer. While the sector faces challenges such as feeding a growing population sustainably and helping the sector to mitigate against climate change, this lends itself to exciting jobs in technology and innovation to help to solve these challenges.
Laura summarises the purpose of the series:
“The series is not just about focusing on particular different careers, but more widely encouraging people to be part of this change which is needed to make the food system healthier and more sustainable.”
How can I get involved in this area? What pathways are there into your role?
A career in communications can take many forms. Many of the skills needed in communications are transferrable and can be developed in other types of jobs. An interest in marketing can help with a career in communications however, and knowledge and experience in marketing can help people to get a communications-based role.
As Laura explains:
“There are different pathways into a job in communications. You can take a more academic route where you might do a degree in something like marketing, public relations, journalism or economics. But you don’t just have to take that university route: work experience is really important and there are lots of apprenticeships on offer too.”
Being a good communicator is useful for any job and for a job in communications, it’s important to develop knowledge and skills of how to create consistent messaging and how to target your audience. Building on these skills can make you an invaluable asset because, ‘essentially every company needs someone who’s skilled in communications.”
What is the best part of the job?
For Laura, though there are many enjoyable elements of her job, the best part is using her creative skills to produce content that ultimately has a tangible impact on people’s behaviour and, consequently, society:
“The best part of my job is content creation. I love creating articles and blogs and really cool social media posts that people are going to see online. It’s nice to know you’re working for a company that wants to make a big difference to society.”
Laura sums up being a communications manager in three words:
About EIT Food’s Day in The Life series
EIT Food’s Day in the Life Series is a video series that explores the variety of careers that our agrifood system has to offer. The aim of the series is to raise awareness of the range of high-skilled and highly rewarding jobs that the food and farming sector has to offer and inspire younger generations to consider one of these careers for themselves.