|Degree Level||Bachelor's degree; master's degree often preferred|
|Degree Field(s)||Communications, public relations, marketing, or related field|
|Experience||Required for management positions|
|Key Skills||Strong written/oral communications, research, proofreading, and leadership skills|
|Job Outlook (2014-2024)*||7% growth|
|Median Annual Salary (2016)**||$59,314|
Sources: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, **PayScale.com
Communications managers are responsible for conveying an organization's internal and external messages. They draft written materials, prepare presentations and communicate with employees. A bachelor's degree in communications, public relations or a relevant field and some experience are necessary for the job. Communications managers need excellent speaking and writing skills and must be proficient at working with others.
Communications managers correspond with employees and external stakeholders to keep them informed of company developments. They create strategies to increase employee awareness and promote productivity. Externally, they communicate with the media and other interested parties to announce new products and discuss organizational changes in a way that attempts to maintain a positive image of the company.
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Internally, communications managers ensure that employees are aware of changes and projects within the company. They distribute executive messages, prepare presentations and internal memos, and conduct meetings to share information. They may develop print materials and branding strategies for employee use. Depending on the organization's size, communications managers may direct marketing and public relations staff or provide communications coaching for employees.
Externally, they represent their organization to stakeholders, interested parties, and the public. Communications managers serve as the company spokesperson to the media and the general public. They develop and distribute materials that may explain or convey the company's policies or position on issues. Other duties may include issuing press releases, arranging interviews, and compiling press kits.
The majority of entry-level jobs in communications require a bachelor's degree. To advance into the position of communications manager, experience is required and a master's degree may be preferred. A major in communications, public relations, or marketing may prepare students for the job. Coursework may include oral, written, mass, and interpersonal communications, as well as language, psychology, and media studies.
Communications managers must have strong written and oral abilities. Leadership skills are necessary for directing staff and overseeing projects. These workers must also develop research and proofreading skills to ensure all materials are high quality and accurate.
Salary and Outlook
Most communications managers earned between $38,808 and $92,054 annually, according to January 2016 salary data from PayScale.com. The median income for this occupation was $59,314 per year.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in the field of public relations and fundraising management was expected to increase by 7% between 2014 and 2024. This is about as fast as the average for most other occupations.