Individuals interested in becoming a director of internal communications should have prior work experience, excellent communication skills, and a bachelor's degree. A director of communications often develops internal correspondence, delivers presentations, and handles public relations activities.
The chief job of a director of internal communications is to work with executives and human resource managers to help them maintain a positive relationship with employees. These professionals also write and edit speeches, which are showcased during company events or meetings. Communication skills are a must to succeed as one of these directors, and students usually need to have at least a bachelor's degree in a field of communication. Courses these programs may offer include persuasive writing and speech. Since these directors have a lot of managerial duties, ample work experience is often required to become one of these professionals.
|Education Requirements||Bachelor's degree|
|Other Requirements||Several years of work experience; leadership skills|
|Job Growth (2014-24)*||7% (Public relations and fundraising managers)|
|Annual Mean Salary (2015)*||$119,390 (Public relations and fundraising managers)|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
Job Duties of a Director of Internal Communications
Top executives, as well as marketing, human resources, legal and IT managers, rely on the director of internal communications to research, write and distribute corporate communications in an objective and timely manner. Because the director of internal communications leads the direction, vision and values of the company to all employees, he or she must consider the means and methods of delivery in developing a communications strategy. The director of internal communications partners with other public relations, advertising and marketing staff to make sure internal communications match the public image the company has created.
The director of internal communications is often responsible for writing speeches and scripts for company events, presentations and videos, which may then be delivered by top management. He or she also writes and updates company calendars, intranet, Internet web pages, online or print magazines and newsletters, social media and podcasts. Human resources and IT departments deliver information about changes in policies and procedures through internal communications with advice from the director of internal communications, who must understand how to effectively communicate to an employee audience. A director of internal communications may also provide labor relations advice in the case of contract negotiations or discussions of employee benefits.
Supervisory and management tasks of the director of internal communications include overseeing associated public relations staff by hiring, training and evaluating their performance. He or she also develops overall communications planning and strategies, and helps set the budget for public relations activities.
Requirements to Become a Director of Internal Communications
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that public relations management positions, including director of internal communications, were filled by applicants with either a bachelor's or master's degree in a communications field such as journalism or public relations. Courses may cover topics in public opinion and persuasive writing (www.bls.gov). Additionally, the BLS noted that managers were most often promoted to higher positions after completing advanced training and education, which may include managerial courses or programs provided by the employer or through an academic institution. Aspiring directors of internal communication may also look to the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) for continuing education courses and certification, which may bolster management expertise and increase advancement opportunities (www.prsa.org).
The BLS also reported that employment of public relations and fundraising managers is expected to increase by 7% from 2014-2024, which is about as fast as the national average. These workers earned an average salary of $119,390 per year as of 2015.
Job openings often reflect the need for extensive work experience to accompany a bachelor's degree in marketing, communications, journalism, public relations, business administration, English or a liberal arts field. Often, employers emphasized job experience, with most requiring at least seven years and some expecting 10-15 years, with several years in a management capacity. Variations in the type of education expected by employers in recent job postings reflects the need for exceptional communication skills, an advanced understanding of audience and the ability to apply public relations knowledge to communications strategy, which prospective directors of internal communications can learn through a variety of academic programs in communications-intensive fields.
In 2015, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an average annual salary of $119,390 for public relations and fundraising managers. They are responsible for handling a wide range of leadership functions, such as managing employees, developing communications strategies, and coordinating all public relations activities. Most employers require candidates to have at least a bachelor's degree, preferably in communications, along with experience in the field.