Publications Coordinator: Job Description and Requirements

Jan 16, 2020

Learn about the education and preparation needed to become a publications coordinator in this video. Get a quick view of the requirements, as well as details about the necessary schooling and job duties to find out if this is a career for you.

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  • 0:06 Essential Information
  • 0:30 Job Duties
  • 1:26 Job Requirements
  • 2:13 Education Requirements
  • 2:50 Salary & Job Outlook

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Essential Information

Degree Level Bachelor's degree
Degree Field(s) Communications, journalism, or related field
Experience Publishing field experience preferred
Key Skills Strong writing and communication skills; organizational, project management, and social media experience; computer skills including graphic design and desktop publishing; photography and image editing a plus
Job Outlook (2018-2028) 3% decline (for editors)
6% growth (for public relations specialists)
8% growth (for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers)
Median Annual Salary (2018) $60,000 (for public relations or communications specialists)
$59,480 (for editors)
$132,620 (for advertising, promotions, and marketing managers)

Sources: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Publications coordinators create and distribute publications for colleges, universities, businesses and other organizations. They fulfill a variety of duties, playing the roles of both marketing specialists and layout designers. While publications coordinator positions typically require formal education, employers also tend to consider experience, technological proficiency and creativity.

Job Duties

In general, publications coordinators oversee the production of various types of print and online materials, as well as performing marketing services, and are typically employed by universities and other institutions that produce and distribute multiple publications.

Responsibilities vary according to employers' needs, but most coordinators create and publish promotional materials, such as newsletters, brochures and reports. Some coordinators are in charge of managing staffs of larger, affiliated publications, such as magazines and newspapers, to ensure deadlines are met and the content meets publication guidelines.

Along with the layout of smaller publications, this position may involve writing articles, editing content written by others, and checking material to ensure it is accurate and free of plagiarism. Coordinators also might promote publications through various social networking services and must often meet printing and publishing deadlines.

Job Requirements

Requirements vary by employer, but most include at least a bachelor's degree and some work experience. Since publication coordinators also write content, job candidates should be talented and creative writers with experience in the publishing industry. They also should be organized and have the communication skills necessary to collaborate with other departments and staff members. Computer skills also are required in this profession. Other qualifications often include a working knowledge of desktop publishing and graphic design software.

Employers may prefer applicants with photography skills and knowledge of image editing software. In addition, this career demands scheduling flexibility since publication coordinators might need to work nights and weekends to meet deadlines.

Education Requirements

Employers typically favor candidates with a bachelor's degree, preferably in public relations, journalism, graphic design or another applicable field of study. While instruction in written communications is important, candidates also should have training in software used to format and publish materials.

A four-year degree program in public relations prepares students for both the marketing and graphic design aspects of the occupation. Courses may include:

  • Publication design
  • Advertising campaigns
  • Promotional writing
  • Media research methods
  • Mass communications
  • Marketing laws and regulations

Salary and Job Outlook

Publications coordinators fall into several occupational categories. For example, those who oversee publications of promotional materials may be called public relations or communications specialists. These workers made a median annual salary of $60,000 as of May 2018, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).Those who plan and coordinate material for books and magazines fall into the job category of editors. The BLS reported that editors made a median annual salary of $59,480 as of May 2018. In addition, the BLS reports a median salary of $132,620 for advertising, promotions and marketing managers as of May 2018.

While these careers have similar salaries, job growth for editors is expected to decline 3% during the 2018 to 2028 decade, while employment for public relations specialists is expected to grow at an about-average rate of 6%, according to the BLS.

Publications coordinators often earn a bachelor's degree, preferably in public relations, journalism, or graphic design, gain some entry-level work experience, and are expected to demonstrate a wide variety of creative, technological and managerial skills before being hired to create and distribute publications for universities, businesses and other organizations.

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