Marketing Communications Portfolio

07/08/2020 0 By indiafreenotes

For communications professionals developing a portfolio, less may be more. A targeted analog portfolio that includes eight varied samples in combination with a more expansive digital portfolio will help you stand out from the crowd in this highly competitive field.

In general, a good communications portfolio should demonstrate skills in leadership, writing, strategic thinking and client services. With each sample, include a paragraph or two that explains the organization, its challenge and how you solved that problem. Be specific about your role in the project. For example, were you a specialist on the team or the leader, or did you do all of it yourself?

Analog Portfolio

A good portfolio is curated, like a museum that pulls from its archives for themed exhibits, according to the Creative Group. Only the most relevant and best examples are chosen for each opportunity. In your analog portfolio, experts suggest including three writing pieces that demonstrate the breadth and depth of your experience, with at least two being specifically relevant to the position you are applying for. Five more samples might include examples of media placements achieved, at least one item that demonstrates social media savvy, a PR plan and research samples. Include evidence of active membership in a professional society and any awards or certifications.

Digital Profile

A digital profile represents a broader selection of your work, well-organized and updated regularly. A digital profile will be viewed by a variety of industries and clients, but that doesn’t mean you should include everything you’ve ever done. Always post a full biography, resume, list of clients (with their permission) and list of professional certifications, awards and organizations. Also include outstanding samples or links that demonstrate the range of your skills such as varied writing samples and case studies of problems solved or media coverage achieved.

Showcasing Your Talents

Appearance and organization count in both analog and digital portfolios. Each sample must be carefully labeled with the name of the client or a description of the client if anonymous the problem or challenge to be solved, the result achieved and your role in the project.

For digital portfolios, experts suggest the following:

  • It’s acceptable to use free websites, such as Weebly or WordPress.
  • Test the navigation for usability. This isn’t the time to use too many bells and whistles. Headings such as Resume, Professional Association, Case Studies and Samples are clear and easy to understand.
  • Optimize your portfolio so that potential clients and employers can find you easily.
  • Personalize your site to make it memorable, but avoid “fun” fonts or color themes that are more appropriate for a personal site.
  • Offer long or animated projects that take too time to download on a DVD.

Analog portfolios are best kept in a high-quality three-ring binder to allow you to easily customize for each opportunity. Specific suggestions for showcasing various types of communication samples include:

  • Newspaper and magazine articles: Original samples are best. Mount samples on a plain black background and use clear plastic protective page coverings.
  • Brochures/ads/press releases, newsletters: Include originals.
  • Social media: Include screen grabs and analytics.
  • Digital, graphic design, production or editing samples, including broadcast or online video: Include a CD and screen grabs.
  • Long or animated projects: Put on DVDs that have been virus checked.
  • Communication plans or projects: Include the original with sensitive information taken out. Clearly document results if the plan was implemented.
  • Media relations: Include case study, list of press coverage and samples, and demographics of readers/viewers.

A portfolio should show off your accomplishments to potential clients or employers. That’s the goal of any portfolio, whether you create it online or in hard copy. Portfolios were traditionally used by artists and designers, but in the modern business world they’re popular with professionals, from project managers to software coders.

Portfolio Contents

There are no absolute rules on what should go in a portfolio, but some common suggestions include:

  • Your CV.
  • Samples of your work.
  • A list of skills and accomplishments beyond those listed on the CV.
  • Any certifications you’ve earned.
  • Letters of recommendation.
  • News articles about yourself or projects on which you worked.

Work Samples

If you’re working in a visual field, your samples can include copies of your fashion, decorating or art work. A reporter, writer or editor can include published stories.

If you work as a project manager or IT professional, finding portfolio compatible samples is tougher, but doable. If your work involved bringing a product to market, photos of the product, with an explanation of your role, can help. A letter from your boss about how you brought in the project under time and under budget would be a great inclusion.

Picking and Choosing

You want your portfolio to make you look as good as possible. Rather than throwing all your work in at random, be selective. Everything you include should be something you’re proud of, but the opening pages in particular should focus on your best accomplishments. The last page should also feature a strong piece of work. In between the beginning and the end, choose selections that showcase the scope of your talents and accomplishments.

Web or Print

An online portfolio allows you to showcase a greater range of items for instance, film clips or links to websites you’ve designed and to present your items with multimedia, animation and other eye-catching visuals. It’s also much easier to update and add to a web portfolio, switching out one item with another that’s more impressive, or changing your contact information. Clients searching for people in your field can find your web portfolio without any effort on your part.

Hard-copy portfolios aren’t obsolete, though. They’re usable even somewhere without Internet access. It’s easier to talk to a client about your work if you’re showing him a portfolio instead of having him stare at a computer. If there’s sensitive work you don’t want to post online for everyone to see, you can use it in a hard copy.

The best solution is to have both types of portfolio. Then you can use whichever one seems best in a given situation.