Communicating in the Digital World

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By Katherine Davis, Digital Account Service Intern

As the digital account service intern, I have realistic expectations of what I should know and what I will learn. Anyone familiar with an account service role can tell you the important connection it forms between clients and the agency. I get that. I like communicating ideas. However, something I am unfamiliar with is translating. If “translator” is not a skill you expected to need in an account service position, well, join the club. At ALLOY, I have discovered that all communication is not created equal. Thankfully, after my first week on the job, I realized my department is not planning on leaving me in the dark.

My responsibility stretches further than sharing ideas in different settings. It is important to know your audience. The “who” matters. Speaking with engineers and developers is significantly different from speaking with those in the creative or PR departments. I can say the same sentence to five people and each can interpret differently: translate. As a translator, you need to know what concepts should be clarified and what should be simplified to layman’s terms. The agency needs to know what the client wants and the client needs to know the agency’s capability of transforming ideas into results.

The “how” is important, too. Have you ever been told, “It’s not what you said, it’s the way you said it”? This is vital in a digital account service role. Sentences are frequently shorter and more direct when speaking to those in the tech world. In a lot of ways, it is like learning another language. There’s no need to sugarcoat things. Social ques that some may interpret as brash are just a more efficient means of getting a point across. On the opposite side of the table, you must transform the brevity of engineers into an explanation of what is being accomplished to the client and others involved.

So, what does this mean for communicating as a digital account service intern? I am learning to pick up on all the lingo. Slowly but surely, I am developing a personal lexicon of tech terms. I am absorbing what I can and letting the ALLOY team be the experts on the rest. I know I will never be a software engineer, but if understanding a few key concepts helps to better facilitate a client’s needs, then I am going to take in as much as I can. This summer, I hope to gain a holistic perspective of the departments so I can improve the collaboration and communication between different personalities and capabilities.