Industry Expert Merril Diniz shares tips for those who want to make a career in Content & Communication
Introducing the first of our Industry Experts, Merril Diniz, Head of Communications - SHEROES, and Writer at Heart! Read on to know what she has to say about her role, what keeps her going, and the advice she has for those of you who want to make a career in Content & Communications.
And if reading this makes you want to make a second career in the field of Content & Communications, apply to us today! (*details given below).
1. Tell us what your role at Sheroes is, and what are the day to day activities you perform as part of it?
At SHEROES, I have an eclectic role - PR, community building, growing the SHEROES platform's tech blog, and engaging with our impaneled Champions as well as publishers and partner organisations. I constantly try to bring thought leadership and creativity to everything I do, and keep shifting gears between these various areas to make sure I contribute to our growth as much as possible.
Being a writer at heart, I also make the time to write articles about women-centric topics which I feel are not getting the kind of attention they deserve, for instance, women and wealth creation.
On a generic level, I have always wanted to work at a tech company with a social relevance, and on a specific level, for a business that benefits women, and SHEROES is that perfect mix. SHEROES platform is re-imagining the internet for women, and I get to be a part of this beautiful revolution.
2. Tell our community members about the skill-sets needed for this role.
At the heart of all these roles is a passion for content creation and a genuine interest in women's issues/ aspirations. In terms of skills, social media-savviness, and good verbal and written communication skills are a must. Also, working in thought partnership with colleagues who bring diverse skills sets and perspectives to the table. However, the most important emerging skill for me is growing a "product" mindset; this is especially important if you work for a company that's building a game-changing tech-enabled platform - Airbnb, Uber, SHEROES app are some examples.
3. How did you get into this field?
At age 12, I began writing a diary inspired by the book "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" by the author Judy Blume. In the book, a young girl is on a quest to find God, and journalling helps her navigate this journey. In college, I was a Physics student but gravitated towards the Communication Club started by Professor Sherlyn from the Arts stream. She encouraged me to express myself, and with her belief in me, I began writing satirical columns for the local newspapers in Goa about student elections and other themes. Getting paid for this work instilled confidence in me that I could pursue a career in this direction. I headed to Pune University for a mass communication course, then worked in Mumbai and Delhi for television, digital agencies, media and print businesses, and finally find myself working for a social platform.
4. What advice would you give to women who want to make their second careers in this field?
- Try to seek out content spaces that are underserved as there is market demand there. For example, writing on finance is an underserved area.
- Go deeper into your content domain and be an expert in it. If you are creating content for a non-profit, then a deeper understanding of social issues will help you deliver superior content. If you are building financial content, make sure you're an expert in that domain and keep updating yourself. If you're already an expert in a space such as sustainability, law or career counselling, why not leverage this domain knowledge and explore becoming a content developer in these spaces?
- In terms of craft, keep honing your language, tone and presentation of content so it appeals to your target audience. Emojis, memes, video and other fun things can help us communicate better, and make our storytelling more engaging, not to mention, fun.
- Keep building your technology/ digital/ social media skills via online courses. Alongside, it's good to also create opportunities for hands-on experience. For instance, if you want to grow social media skills, you could volunteer to manage an entrepreneur friend's digital footprint. Community building and video content skills are also in demand.
- Build your understanding of SEO but don't make your content a slave to it. Be authentic and intuitive about the impact you're trying to create.
I'll end by saying that the equity of "experience" in this field is not as high as say in the field of law. Freshness of thought, ideas, approaches are constantly in demand, and those exploring second careers must use this to their advantage.
5. What have you set your sights on next?
An inclusive world is close to my heart, and finding ways in which SHEROES platform can become increasingly inclusive is my passion. Encouraging women with disabilities, trans women as well as women from marginalised spaces to explore all aspects of their growth and be part of a non-segregated online world, is something I'd like to support. I am also planning to learning Chinese, get super active on the SHEROES Hindi app, and dabble with fun video content.
We at FlexiBees have placed such talented career returners like you across a variety of functions & skill-sets like Marketing, Digital Marketing, Public Relations, Investment Banking, Inside Sales, Business Development, Technology, Content Writing, Graphic Design, etc. We are committed to creating meaningful options for you. Go to https://www.flexibees.com/for-job-seekers.html and register with us, so we can reach out to you when we get any requirements that match your skills.