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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

  • $53,000

    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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Communications Associate Jobs

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Communications Associate Career Paths

Communications Associate
Communications Specialist Account Executive Marketing Manager
Marketing Program Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Communications Specialist Editor Marketing Manager
Brand Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Communications Specialist Executive Assistant Event Manager
Events Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Consultant Owner Marketing Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
Consultant General Manager Marketing Director
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
Consultant Owner Communications Director
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Communications Coordinator Editor Public Relations Manager
Manager Of Corporate Communications
7 Yearsyrs
Communications Coordinator Editor Communications Manager
Internal Communications Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Communications Coordinator Communications Consultant Communications Manager
Communications Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Senior Account Executive Public Relations Director
Public Relations And Communications Director
7 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Content Writer Staff Writer
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Marketing Specialist Marketing Manager/Project Manager
Digital Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Marketing Specialist Marketing Communications Manager
Content Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Marketing Coordinator Writer Managing Editor
Publications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Account Executive Marketing Specialist Digital Marketing Specialist
Online Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Coordinator Digital Marketing Specialist
Digital Marketing Strategist
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Coordinator Public Relations Specialist
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Communications Consultant Senior Editor Content Manager
Digital Content Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Communications Consultant Communications Manager Social Media Manager
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Marketing Communications Specialist Public Relations Specialist Public Information Officer
Public Affairs Manager
6 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 Careers Before Communications Associate
Internship 18.5%
Volunteer 4.0%
Associate 3.5%
Reporter 3.4%
Cashier 3.2%
Assistant 2.9%
Fellow 2.8%
Top Careers After Communications Associate
Consultant 6.5%
Internship 6.3%
Associate 5.6%
Volunteer 5.0%
Manager 4.4%
Director 3.4%

Do you work as a Communications Associate?

Communications Associate Demographics

Gender

Female

59.8%

Male

28.6%

Unknown

11.6%
Ethnicity

White

59.9%

Hispanic or Latino

15.9%

Black or African American

13.4%

Asian

7.0%

Unknown

3.9%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

51.5%

French

15.9%

German

4.9%

Russian

3.6%

Italian

3.6%

Portuguese

3.6%

Arabic

3.0%

Mandarin

2.7%

Hindi

1.9%

Japanese

1.6%

Bengali

1.1%

Carrier

1.1%

Cantonese

0.8%

Chinese

0.8%

Hebrew

0.8%

Urdu

0.8%

Swedish

0.5%

Swahili

0.5%

Turkish

0.5%

Gujarati

0.5%
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Communications Associate Education

Schools

New York University

12.4%

American University

9.6%

George Washington University

8.2%

Georgetown University

6.3%

University of Phoenix

6.3%

University of Maryland - College Park

5.3%

Pennsylvania State University

5.1%

University of Texas at Austin

4.7%

Columbia University

4.5%

DePaul University

3.9%

Michigan State University

3.7%

Temple University

3.7%

George Mason University

3.7%

Syracuse University

3.5%

Villanova University

3.4%

University of Southern California

3.4%

Northeastern University

3.2%

University of California - Berkeley

3.1%

Southern New Hampshire University

3.1%

Towson University

3.1%
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Majors

Communication

18.3%

Business

14.1%

Journalism

8.1%

Public Relations

7.8%

Political Science

6.8%

English

6.8%

Marketing

6.5%

Psychology

4.5%

Management

3.1%

Sociology

2.9%

Social Work

2.4%

Business Communications

2.4%

International Relations

2.4%

Writing

2.3%

Nursing

2.1%

Criminal Justice

2.0%

Health Care Administration

2.0%

Liberal Arts

1.9%

Fine Arts

1.9%

Public Administration

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

50.3%

Masters

27.7%

Other

11.5%

Associate

4.5%

Certificate

3.6%

Doctorate

1.8%

Diploma

0.5%

License

0.1%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$53,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$36,000
Min 10%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$53,000
Median 50%
$78,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Facebook
Highest Paying City
San Francisco, CA
Highest Paying State
Washington
Avg Experience Level
2.0 years
How much does a Communications Associate make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Communications Associate in the United States is $53,702 per year or $26 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $36,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $78,000.

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
Associate, Communications Tipping Point Community San Francisco, CA Dec 09, 2016 $80,000
Senior Communications Associate Kadmon Corporation, LLC New York, NY Sep 15, 2015 $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
Senior Communications Associate Independence Care System New York, NY Jan 04, 2015 $65,000
Senior Communications Associate Independence Care System New York, NY Dec 18, 2014 $65,000
Communications Associate Global Health Strategies LLC New York, NY May 21, 2012 $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
Project and Communications Associate Women's Environment and Development Organization New York, NY Jun 29, 2015 $45,000
Corporate Communications Associate Boston Biomedical, Inc. Cambridge, MA Aug 25, 2016 $45,000
Project and Communications Associate Women's Environment and Development Organization New York, NY Feb 01, 2016 $45,000
Communications Associate The New America Foundation Washington, DC May 31, 2014 $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
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

  1. Web Application
  2. Press Releases
  3. Community Outreach
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Configured and Deployed Web Application on Tomcat Server.
  • Fielded media queries, developed press releases and fostered relationships with news organization representatives.
  • Developed new strategic alliances with key community stakeholders, increased library visibility at community outreach events by 20%.
  • Lead digital and social media activities through our corporate Facebook, Twitter and Linked In platforms for the US Vaccines business.
  • Assisted in coordinating hospital-wide special events to increase visibility within the community.

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Top 10 Best States for Communications Associates

  1. Virginia
  2. California
  3. Connecticut
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Washington
  6. Alaska
  7. New Jersey
  8. Massachusetts
  9. Nevada
  10. New York
  • (256 jobs)
  • (825 jobs)
  • (90 jobs)
  • (27 jobs)
  • (155 jobs)
  • (7 jobs)
  • (127 jobs)
  • (241 jobs)
  • (26 jobs)
  • (400 jobs)

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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