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Become A Communications Associate

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Working As A Communications Associate

  • Getting Information
  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Interacting With Computers
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Mostly Sitting

  • Stressful

  • $55,682

    Average Salary

What Does A Communications Associate Do

Public relations specialists create and maintain a favorable public image for the organization they represent. They design media releases to shape public perception of their organization and to increase awareness of its work and goals. 

Duties

Public relations specialists typically do the following:

  • Write press releases and prepare information for the media
  • Respond to information requests from the media
  • Help clients communicate effectively with the public
  • Help maintain their organization's corporate image and identity
  • Draft speeches and arrange interviews for an organization’s top executives
  • Evaluate advertising and promotion programs to determine whether they are compatible with their organization’s public relations efforts
  • Evaluate public opinion of clients through social media

Public relations specialists, also called communications specialists and media specialists, handle an organization’s communication with the public, including consumers, investors, reporters, and other media specialists. In government, public relations specialists may be called press secretaries. In this setting, workers keep the public informed about the activities of government officials and agencies.

Public relations specialists draft press releases and contact people in the media who might print or broadcast their material. Many radio or television special reports, newspaper stories, and magazine articles start at the desks of public relations specialists. For example, a press release might describe a public issue, such as health, energy, or the environment, and what an organization does concerning that issue.

Press releases are increasingly being sent through the Internet and social media, in addition to publication through traditional media outlets. Public relations specialists are often in charge of monitoring and responding to social media questions and concerns.

Public relations specialists are different from advertisers in that they get their stories covered by media instead of purchasing ad space in publications and on television.

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How To Become A Communications Associate

Public relations specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree. Employers prefer candidates who have studied public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business.

Education

Public relations specialists typically need a bachelor’s degree in public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business. Through such programs, students produce a portfolio of work that demonstrates their ability to prospective employers.

Training

Entry-level workers typically begin by maintaining files of material about an organization’s activities, skimming and retaining relevant media articles, and assembling information for speeches and pamphlets. After gaining experience, public relations specialists begin to write news releases, speeches, articles for publication, or carry out public relations programs.

Other Experience

Internships at public relations firms or in the public relations departments of other businesses can be helpful in getting a job as a public relations specialist.

Some employers prefer candidates that have experience communicating with others through a school newspaper or a leadership position in school or in their community.

Important Qualities

Interpersonal skills. Public relations specialists deal with the public and the media regularly; therefore, they must be open and friendly to maintain a favorable image for their organization.

Organizational skills. Public relations specialists are often in charge of managing several events at the same time, requiring superior organizational skills.

Problem-solving skills. Public relations specialists sometimes must explain how a company or client is handling sensitive issues. They must use good judgment in what they report and how they report it.

Speaking skills. Public relations specialists regularly speak on behalf of their organization. When doing so, they must be able to clearly explain the organization’s position.

Writing skills. Public relations specialists must be able to write well-organized and clear press releases and speeches. They must be able to grasp the key messages they want to get across and write them in a short, succinct way to get the attention of busy readers or listeners.

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Do you work as a Communications Associate?

Communications Associate Jobs

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Communications Associate Career Paths

Communications Associate
Marketing Manager Communications Director Senior Copywriter
Brand Strategist
5 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Marketing Consultant Digital Marketing Consultant
Digital Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Communications Specialist Public Relations Manager Public Relations Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
Communications Coordinator Public Relations Manager Public Relations Director
Director Of Publications Marketing
5 Yearsyrs
Communications Coordinator Communications Manager Communications Director
Director Strategic Communications
11 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Communications Director
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Communications Consultant Communications Manager
Internal Communications Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Communications Director Public Relations Consultant Public Relations Manager
Manager Of Corporate Communications
7 Yearsyrs
Communications Specialist Senior Account Executive Public Relations Manager
Marketing & Public Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Marketing Specialist Marketing Consultant
Marketing Lead
6 Yearsyrs
Communications Consultant Marketing Manager Social Media Manager
Marketing/Social Media Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Coordinator Communications Coordinator Media Relations Specialist
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Editor Managing Editor Public Relations Specialist
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager Writer And Editor Senior Technical Writer
Publications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Marketing Director
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
Communications Director Director, Corporate Communications
Vice President, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Content Manager
Web Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Communications Associate?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Top Employers Before
Internship 18.2%
Reporter 4.5%
Associate 3.8%
Volunteer 3.8%
Assistant 3.1%
Fellow 3.0%
Top Employers After
Consultant 6.4%
Internship 6.0%
Associate 4.9%
Volunteer 4.7%
Manager 4.5%

Do you work as a Communications Associate?

Communications Associate Demographics

Gender

Female

66.8%

Male

31.6%

Unknown

1.6%
Ethnicity

White

60.8%

Hispanic or Latino

15.3%

Black or African American

12.9%

Asian

7.2%

Unknown

3.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

50.0%

French

15.5%

German

4.4%

Russian

4.0%

Italian

4.0%

Portuguese

4.0%

Arabic

3.6%

Hindi

2.4%

Mandarin

2.4%

Japanese

1.6%

Bengali

1.2%

Carrier

1.2%

Hebrew

1.2%

Swahili

0.8%

Gujarati

0.8%

Cantonese

0.8%

Greek

0.8%

Urdu

0.8%

Swedish

0.4%

Turkish

0.4%
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Communications Associate Education

Schools

American University

10.4%

New York University

9.6%

George Washington University

8.1%

University of Phoenix

6.6%

University of Maryland - College Park

5.1%

Villanova University

4.8%

Georgetown University

4.8%

Syracuse University

4.5%

Northwestern University

4.5%

Columbia University

4.5%

University of Southern California

4.2%

University of Texas at Austin

4.2%

George Mason University

4.2%

Towson University

4.2%

Michigan State University

3.6%

Arizona State University

3.6%

DePaul University

3.6%

Pennsylvania State University

3.3%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.3%

Northeastern University

3.3%
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Majors

Communication

19.6%

Business

13.9%

Journalism

8.6%

Public Relations

7.8%

Marketing

7.5%

English

6.3%

Political Science

5.9%

Psychology

4.5%

Management

2.9%

Business Communications

2.5%

Writing

2.4%

Social Work

2.4%

International Relations

2.2%

Sociology

2.1%

Nursing

2.1%

Finance

2.1%

Health Care Administration

1.9%

Agricultural Public Services

1.8%

Law

1.8%

Criminal Justice

1.7%
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Degrees

Bachelors

48.1%

Masters

30.2%

Other

12.0%

Associate

3.7%

Certificate

3.5%

Doctorate

2.0%

Diploma

0.5%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Communications Associate Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Communications & Public Affairs Associate Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Jan 10, 2011 $85,000
Senior International Communications Associate Guttmacher Institute, Inc. New York, NY Apr 18, 2016 $85,000
Senior Communications Associate Kadmon Corporation, LLC New York, NY Sep 06, 2014 $80,000
Senior Communications Associate Kadmon Corporation, LLC New York, NY Sep 15, 2015 $80,000
Associate, Communications Tipping Point Community San Francisco, CA Dec 09, 2016 $80,000
Internal Communications Associate Dropbox, Inc. San Francisco, CA May 16, 2016 $67,683
Communications Associate/Specialist Baidu USA LLC Sunnyvale, CA Jan 08, 2016 $66,706
Communications Associate Global Health Strategies LLC New York, NY May 21, 2012 $65,000
Senior Communications Associate Independence Care System New York, NY Dec 18, 2014 $65,000
Senior Communications Associate Independence Care System New York, NY Jan 04, 2015 $65,000
Communications Associate Pacific Investment Management Company, LLC New York, NY Jan 09, 2016 $63,000
Research and Communications Associate Funders for Lesbian and Gay Issues, Inc. New York, NY Aug 11, 2014 $53,500
Communications Associate 10012 LLC New York, NY Oct 01, 2015 $52,500
Communications Associate Design Central, Inc. Silver Spring, MD Oct 01, 2012 $52,000
Communications Associate Pew Research Center Washington, DC Feb 12, 2011 $51,000
Communications Associate The Johns Hopkins University Baltimore, MD Jan 21, 2011 $50,398
Communications Associate The New America Foundation Washington, DC May 31, 2014 $45,000
Project and Communications Associate Women's Environment and Development Organization New York, NY Jun 29, 2015 $45,000
Project and Communications Associate Women's Environment and Development Organization New York, NY Feb 01, 2016 $45,000
Communications Associate Qatar Foundation International, LLC Washington, DC Sep 11, 2013 $45,000
Communications Associate Qatar Foundation International, LLC Washington, DC Sep 16, 2013 $45,000
Corporate Communications Associate Boston Biomedical, Inc. Cambridge, MA Aug 25, 2016 $45,000
Communications Associate New Venture Fund Washington, DC Aug 20, 2015 $44,741 -
$55,000
Communications Associate, Media Outreach Rainforest Alliance, Inc. New York, NY Sep 22, 2012 $44,000 -
$48,000

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Top Skills for A Communications Associate

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  1. Web
  2. Press Releases
  3. Outreach
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Managed web content for www.nreca.coop and www.ourenergy.coop.
  • Fielded media queries, developed press releases and fostered relationships with news organization representatives.
  • Implemented community outreach programs through targeted advertising campaigns across digital, social and media channels.
  • Lead facilitator improving stakeholder identification, analysis, tracking and feedback through an online relationship management program.
  • Curated the Social Security Works Facebook page by posting pictures and articles that communicate the philosophy and message of the organization.

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Top Communications Associate Employers

Jobs From Top Communications Associate Employers

Communications Associate Videos

A Day in the Life -- Communications Associate

Bell PMP - A Day in the Life of a Media & Communications Associate Promotional Video

Career Advice on becoming a Senior Associate - Corporate Law by Helen A (Full Version)

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