Shana Bryant

Those who know me have heard me talk about my community liaison work occasionally. Let me catch you up for the newbies before we jump into what exactly it is that a community liaison does.

I have been working with different community organizations as a liaison for several years now. It’s something that I fell into based on my experience working in healthcare, alongside non-profits, and as a teacher. I am passionate about helping others achieve because I know the sense of accomplishment of seeing things through to fruition. With that, I have been serving as a community liaison across Boston, serving as the human link between organizations and the people they serve.

Now that you know a little more about me, let’s get into the wild world of being a community liaison. Who knows, maybe I can inspire you to help serve your community.

What is a community liaison?

To get it down to the nitty-gritty, a community liaison interacts with the local community on behalf of an organization. Often, these organizations include things like the police department, schools, government, or charity organizations. These places need people like me to ensure everyone’s voice is heard. Especially in Boston, the social hierarchy can often affect the message sent from either side. That’s why a community liaison is needed to bridge this gap and ensure both sides hear one another. I am responsible for informing community members about important issues that concern them and even act as their advocate. See, being a community liaison isn’t that complicated. I’m almost like an interpreter, speaking the language of business and the people.

What does a community liaison do?

A community liaison acts as a translator, managing communication between the public and an organization. Usually, a community liaison plans training and meetings, provides information, and answers questions at press conferences. Sometimes, they support a community by translating information into another language, providing resources for the elderly or ill, or helping families of service members stationed abroad. I spend most of my time meeting the people in the communities I serve. We give power to our people. Here is a list of additional things you can find me or any other community liaison doing every day. 

  • Communicate with the public on behalf of a company or organization
  • Deliver press or media releases in a public forum
  • Attend and speak at meetings
  • Research and write reports and other correspondence to facilitate communication
  • Identify communication issues 
  • Keep a contacts list with relevant people from other agencies or companies
  • Meet with people from other agencies, companies, or organizations
  • Foster positive relationships with other professionals in the industry.

What skills does a liaison officer need?

I can tell you from experience that one invaluable skill is patience. Community liaisons usually work in fast-paced environments and rely heavily on communication. If this is something you might be interested in, it’s essential to be proactive and good at problem-solving. I know I have stressed communication skills, and more is coming, but it truly is an integral part of the job. Let me expand on each of these things a little more. 

Communication

I keep telling you this is one of the most critical skills a liaison officer needs. The majority of a liaison officer’s role is to communicate with other people or organizations. So you will need to address the public with straightforward and easy-to-understand messages.

Problem-solving

Liaisons do face problems in their day-to-day tasks that require solving. I am usually responsible, so I have gotten good at figuring out how to resolve issues quickly. 

Self-motivated

A liaison needs to be self-motivated because you usually won’t have a team or boss to report to. Although liaisons are often involved with a public relations department, they typically don’t report to them either. It’s up to you to find the motivation to do daily tasks and take care of your responsibilities.

Public-speaking skills

A large part of many liaison roles is public speaking. Whether you’re addressing a company or speaking directly to your community. You must have the necessary skills to convey your message successfully. Some of these public speaking skills include:

  • A clear voice
  • Good voice projection
  • Well-paced speech
  • Eye contact
  • Confident yet relaxed stance
  • Easy to understand language

Organization

Being organized is an essential skill for many different jobs and day-to-day life. Liaisons are no different. You need to be organized to stay on top of your workload. You will often work in busy, fast-paced environments that require good organization skills to keep on schedule.

Conflict resolution

Many liaison jobs involve conflict resolution. Whether this is within a company or to do with the community. It’s vital to have excellent conflict resolution skills as a liaison to handle potential problems, and you know they’ll appear.

Why Become A Community Liaison

A career as a community liaison is best for those who want to work with different people, which is one reason I love it so much. It is also a fantastic start for people who want to work at the grassroots level and determine their communities’ concerns. I think this is a very fulfilling career both professionally and personally because it puts me in a position to help and make a difference in many people’s lives.

Conclusion

Being a community liaison is one of the most fulfilling jobs I’ve ever had. It’s impressive to see how, when we work together, we can create something beautiful and valuable that didn’t exist before. If you want to make a difference in your community and feel appreciated for your efforts, becoming a community liaison may be the perfect job for you. Follow me on social media or sign up for my newsletter to learn more about what it takes to be a great community liaison and how you can get involved in your neighborhood or town. Together, we can build better communities!