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Communications Directors Career

Career Description

A Communications Director plans and directs communications programs designed to create and maintain a favorable public image for employer or client; or if engaged in fundraising, plan and direct activities to solicit and maintain funds for special projects and nonprofit organizations.

Common Work Tasks

  • Handle organizational functions such as media,  community, consumer, industry, and governmental relations; political campaigns;  interest-group representation; conflict mediation; and employee and investor relations
  • Maintain cooperative relationships with the public and with representatives from print and broadcast journalism
  • Evaluate advertising and promotions programs for compatibility with public relations efforts and serve as the eyes and ears of top management
  • Arrange and conduct programs to keep up contact between organization representatives and the public
  • Produce internal company communications—such as newsletters about employee-management relations and company reports
  • Observe social, economic, and political trends that might ultimately affect the firm, and they make recommendations to enhance the firm’s image on the basis of those trends
  • Prepare annual reports and write proposals for various projects
  • Keep the public informed about the activities of agencies and officials
  • Assist company executives in drafting speeches,  arranging interviews, and maintaining other forms of public contact; oversee company archives; and respond to requests for information
  • Handle advertising or sales promotion work to support marketing efforts

Other Job Titles

Communications Directors are also known by other titles,  including:

  • Press Officer
  • Press Secretary
  • Media Specialist
  • Information Officer

Education,  Training, and Experience

Education and Training
 
Employers prefer a bachelor’s or master’s degree in public relations or journalism. The applicant’s curriculum should include courses in advertising, business administration, public affairs, public speaking, political science, and creative and technical writing.

Experience
     
Persons interested in becoming a communications director should be mature, creative,  highly motivated, resistant to stress, flexible, and decisive. The ability to communicate persuasively, both orally and in writing, with other managers,  staff, and the public is vital. These directors also need tact, good judgment,  and exceptional ability to establish and maintain effective personal relationships with supervisory and professional staff members and client firms.

Salary

The median annual salary of a Communications Director is $86,000. The top 10 percent earn more than $145,000 annually, and the bottom 10 percent earn less than $45,000 annually. Median earnings in the industries employing the largest number of communications directors are:

  • Advertising and Related Services - $118,350
  • Management of Companies and Enterprises - $107,480
  • Colleges, Universities, and Professional Schools - $87,900
  • Local Government - $74,710
  • Business, Professional, Labor, Political, and Similar Organizations - $100,720

Job Outlook

  • 2006-2016 Employment growth:  17%
  • Number of new jobs created 2006-2016: 8,400
  • Employment 2006 : 50,000
  • Employment 2016:  58,000
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