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Communications Manager: Job Description, Duties and Requirement

Jan 27, 2020

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a communications manager. Get a quick view of the requirements as well as details about degree programs, job duties and salary expectations to find out if this is the career for you.

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Essential Information

Degree Level Bachelor's degree; master's degree often preferred
Degree Field(s) Communications, public relations, marketing, or related field
Licensure/Certification None
Experience Required for management positions
Key Skills Strong written/oral communications, research, proofreading, and leadership skills
Job Outlook (2018-2028)* 8% growth (for public relations and fundraising managers)
Median Annual Salary (2020)** $64,271

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.

Job Description

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.

Duties

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.

Requirements

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 public relations, communications, 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 are earning between $42,000 and $98,000 annually, according to January 2020 salary data from PayScale.com. The median income for this occupation is $64,271 per year.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment in the field of public relations and fundraising management is expected to increase by 8% between 2018 and 2028. This is faster than the average for all occupations.

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