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Become A Communications Department Head

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Working As A Communications Department Head

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

  • Stressful

  • $137,829

    Average Salary

What Does A Communications Department Head 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 Department Head

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 Department Head Jobs

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Communications Department Head Demographics

Gender

Female

50.0%

Male

46.5%

Unknown

3.5%
Ethnicity

White

60.5%

Hispanic or Latino

12.5%

Black or African American

11.9%

Asian

10.4%

Unknown

4.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

28.4%

French

19.4%

Mandarin

7.5%

Russian

6.0%

Chinese

6.0%

Italian

4.5%

German

4.5%

Arabic

4.5%

Portuguese

3.0%

Swedish

1.5%

Vietnamese

1.5%

Azerbaijani

1.5%

Danish

1.5%

Turkish

1.5%

Norwegian

1.5%

Armenian

1.5%

Greek

1.5%

Carrier

1.5%

Lingala

1.5%

Hakka

1.5%
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Communications Department Head Education

Schools

Johns Hopkins University

7.0%

University of Phoenix

7.0%

University of Texas at Austin

7.0%

University of Maryland - College Park

7.0%

Central State University

5.3%

University of Colorado at Colorado Springs

5.3%

New York University

5.3%

Wayne State University

5.3%

Park University

5.3%

University of Southern California

5.3%

Michigan State University

5.3%

Kent State University

5.3%

University of Delaware

5.3%

Syracuse University

3.5%

University of Maryland - University College

3.5%

Western Carolina University

3.5%

Saint Joseph's University

3.5%

University of Connecticut

3.5%

Emerson College

3.5%

University of Washington

3.5%
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Majors

Communication

13.8%

Business

12.9%

Journalism

9.8%

English

8.0%

Psychology

6.2%

Marketing

5.8%

Public Relations

4.9%

Management

4.0%

Biology

4.0%

Education

3.6%

Political Science

3.6%

Computer Science

3.1%

Criminal Justice

3.1%

Health Care Administration

3.1%

Fine Arts

2.7%

Nursing

2.7%

International Relations

2.7%

Liberal Arts

2.2%

General Education, Specific Areas

2.2%

Biochemistry, Biophysics, Molecular Biology

1.8%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.6%

Masters

26.5%

Other

17.9%

Doctorate

3.8%

Associate

3.6%

Diploma

3.6%

Certificate

1.8%

License

0.3%
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Internship
Temporary

Real Communications Department Head Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Head of Global Communications Novartis Vaccines & Diagnostics Cambridge, MA Dec 07, 2009 $260,000
Head, Global Communications CFA Institute New York, NY Oct 01, 2012 $258,700
Head of Communications Sequoia Capital Operations, LLC Menlo Park, CA Jan 27, 2012 $177,736
Head of Communications A Medium Corporation San Francisco, CA Jan 04, 2016 $173,000 -
$180,000
Head of Communications A Medium Corporation San Francisco, CA Apr 01, 2016 $173,000 -
$180,000
Head, Global Communications CFA Institute New York, NY Oct 02, 2009 $161,720
Head of Communications Angelo, Gordon & Co., L.P. New York, NY Sep 19, 2016 $150,000
Head of Communications Everalbum, Inc. San Francisco, CA Oct 26, 2015 $140,000
Head of Communications/Office Confederation of British Industry Washington, DC Dec 03, 2012 $104,800
Head of Communications Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. San Francisco, CA Mar 25, 2011 $100,550
Head of US Communications and Publicity Domino Recording Company, Inc. New York, NY Nov 08, 2016 $85,000
Head of Community Mind Your Health New York, NY Aug 01, 2013 $80,000
Head of Community Getaround, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 20, 2016 $75,000
Head of Community Getaround, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 19, 2015 $75,000
Head of US Communications and Publicity Domino Recording Company, Inc. New York, NY Aug 11, 2014 $75,000

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Top Skills for A Communications Department Head

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  1. Communications Strategy
  2. Personnel
  3. Procedures
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Directed Personnel in Schedules and Maintenance procedures.
  • Experienced with Sterile Manufacturing Operations including Standard Operating Procedures, Documentation, and Sterile Core Garbing Qualifications.
  • Transcribed player/coach quotes for press releases, official team blog, and feature stories.
  • Developed GMO and Crisis Communications plans.
  • Participated in circulation desk duties and customer service.

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Top 10 Best States for Communications Department Heads

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Virginia
  3. Connecticut
  4. Washington
  5. Rhode Island
  6. New Jersey
  7. Nevada
  8. New York
  9. Massachusetts
  10. California
  • (154 jobs)
  • (229 jobs)
  • (85 jobs)
  • (159 jobs)
  • (20 jobs)
  • (100 jobs)
  • (24 jobs)
  • (336 jobs)
  • (248 jobs)
  • (1,012 jobs)

Top Communications Department Head Employers

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Jobs From Top Communications Department Head Employers

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