A director of communications is responsible for handling a company's public image, serving as a representative. Given the nature of the job, traveling, coordinating events, and making presentations should be expected.
Communications directors, often called public relations directors, oversee communications within a company or organization, and they also represent their employer to the public. The job typically requires a bachelor's degree in an area of business or communications as well as strong writing and public speaking skills. Work experience in communications or public relations is another common requirement.
|Required Education||Bachelor's degree in public relations, business or another relevant field|
|Other Requirements||Strong writing and public speaking skills; related work experience|
|Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)*||7% for public relations and fundraising managers|
|Median Annual Salary (2015)*||$104,140 for public relations and fundraising managers|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Job Description for a Communications Director
Communications directors typically head up and organize a team of communications consultants responsible for representing the business or organization to the outside world. Besides the corporate world, these professionals find employment in nonprofit organizations and universities, as well as in the field of politics, where they represent different governing bodies, including as high as the presidency of the United States. Very often, communications directors serve as the public face for their place of employment.
Job openings for public relations managers and specialists were projected to experience 7% growth for 2014-2024, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is about as fast as the average growth expected for all careers. Public relations and fundraising managers earned a median salary of $104,140 as of May 2015, according to BLS data.
Depending on the organization, business or government branch they work for, communications directors can have a range of duties. These include writing speech and press releases, promoting special events, scheduling interviews for CEOs or presidents and giving interviews on behalf of the organization they represent. In their capacity as representative to the outside world, communication directors may also be required to work with departments of advertising and marketing, as well as web designers and financial representatives.
Many employers require communications directors to travel while making appearances and attending meetings on behalf of their organization. Some companies allow communications directors to build their own team to work with, while other companies will have a group already in place.
Most companies or organizations prefer to hire communications directors with a bachelor's or master's degree in advertising, communications, public relations or a similar area of study. Courses in this program should include marketing, public speaking, administration and instruction in various writing styles. Strong job candidates have several years of experience in the communications or public relations field. Communications directors should possess strong writing, editing, and public speaking and leadership skills, along with the ability to work with other employees.
To become a communications director, an undergraduate or postgraduate education must be completed in communication, public relations, or related discipline. Prior experience in communications is often preferred by employers. Since communications directors are often face to face with the public, writing and public speaking skills are vital.