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What Does A Communications Director Do?

A communications director is responsible for monitoring and supervising the overall media relations from internal to external communications. A communications director's duties include managing campaigns, providing organizational updates to the employees, supporting social media marketing, developing effective communication strategies to build the organization's reputation, and efficiently leading team members in handling events that represent the business. Communications directors must have strong leadership and communication skills to provide support for the company's daily operations and strategies.

Here are examples of responsibilities from real communications director resumes representing typical tasks they are likely to perform in their roles.

  • Assist in managing the Facebook and Instagram pages.
  • Develop and manage c-level strategic client relationships to grow revenue base.
  • Identify and manage reporting tools, metrics and measurement to track media coverage ROI.
  • Manage editorial content of the organization website, build and upload web pages via HTML.
  • Manage the marketing strategy and budget, including B2C acquisition campaigns focuse on out of home and DRTV.
  • Manage all digital marketing & tracking, including email marketing, SEM, blogging, social media, & e-newsletters.
  • Coordinate and produce special events such as the annual alumni reunion and alumni/donor recognition ceremonies.
  • Analyze conversions and open rates, make adjustments to ensure optimal ROI.
  • Draft news releases and advisories, op-eds, scripts for cable show and constituent newsletters.
  • Cultivate and guide marketing, creative staff in content creation for social, video, e-commerce and CRM.
Communications Director Traits
Leadership skills directly correlate with a person's ability to lead others toward success or an accomplishment.
Problem-solving skills is the way that one is able to effectively solve a problem in a timely manner.
Speaking skills is important to being able to communicate efficiently with multiple people regarding your thoughts, ideas and feedback.

Communications Director Overview

When it comes to understanding what a communications director does, you may be wondering, "should I become a communications director?" The data included in this section may help you decide. Compared to other jobs, communications directors have a growth rate described as "faster than average" at 8% between the years 2018 - 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. In fact, the number of communications director opportunities that are predicted to open up by 2028 is 6,300.

On average, the communications director annual salary is $76,573 per year, which translates to $36.81 an hour. Generally speaking, communications directors earn anywhere from $44,000 to $132,000 a year, which means that the top-earning communications directors make $88,000 more than the ones at the lower end of the spectrum.

Once you've become a communications director, you may be curious about what other opportunities are out there. Careers aren't one size fits all. For that reason, we discovered some other jobs that you may find appealing. Some jobs you might find interesting include a director, customer relations, director of public affairs, public relations manager, and communications/senior communications manager.

Communications Director Jobs You Might Like

Communications Director Skills and Personality Traits

We calculated that 8% of Communications Directors are proficient in Web Content, Press Releases, and Internal Communications. They’re also known for soft skills such as Leadership skills, Problem-solving skills, and Speaking skills.

We break down the percentage of Communications Directors that have these skills listed on their resume here:

  • Web Content, 8%

    Direct multiple editorial content management schedules while administering all aspects of communication including lead generation, follow-up, and nurture.

  • Press Releases, 8%

    Oversee agency efforts implementing volunteers and agency communications to include website content, brochures, press releases and all communications materials.

  • Internal Communications, 8%

    Lead internal communications events and communication forums, including cross-team collaboration with other communications professionals with the department across the Company.

  • Customer Service, 7%

    Design, develop and implement customer service and customer retention processes and continuously review procedures for streamlining and process improvement opportunities.

  • External Communications, 4%

    Developed and implemented internal/external communications initiatives designed to reinforce company's image and complement and contribute toward company's strategic objectives.

  • Project Management, 4%

    Experienced in direct client communication and project management, presenting concepts and overseeing project from initial requirements gathering through successful launch.

Some of the skills we found on communications director resumes included "web content," "press releases," and "internal communications." We have detailed the most important communications director responsibilities below.

  • Arguably the most important personality trait for a communications director to have happens to be leadership skills. An example from a resume said this about the skill, "public relations and fundraising managers often lead large teams of specialists or fundraisers and must be able to guide their activities." Additionally, other resumes have pointed out that communications directors can use leadership skills to "received overwhelmingly positive feedback from hr, corporate leadership and the presenter trainees. "
  • Another trait important for fulfilling communications director duties is problem-solving skills. According to a communications director resume, "managers sometimes must explain how the company or client is handling sensitive issues." Here's an example of how communications directors are able to utilize problem-solving skills: "perform all necessary hr functions including conflict resolution, annual performance reviews, and counseling. "
  • Communications directors are also known for speaking skills, which can be critical when it comes to performing their duties. An example of why this skill is important is shown by this snippet that we found in a communications director resume: "public relations and fundraising managers regularly speak on behalf of their organization" We also found this resume example that details how this skill is put to the test: "represented both internal and hr communications on the aol crisis management team. "
  • In order for certain communications director responsibilities to be completed, the job requires the skill "writing skills." According to a communications director resume, "managers must be able to write well-organized and clear press releases and speeches" As an example, this snippet was taken directly from a resume about how this skill applies: "managed media relations by cultivating relationships with media outlets, writing effective press releases, and proactively pitching/writing stories for publication. "
  • Another common skill for a communications director to be able to utilize is "communication skills." Managers deal with the public regularly; therefore, they must be friendly enough to build a rapport with, and receive cooperation from, their media contacts and donors. A communications director demonstrated the need for this skill by putting this on their resume: "established communications and marketing strategy, including development of public relations and community outreach program for new electric utility. "
  • Another skill commonly found on communications director resumes is "organizational skills." This description of the skill was found on several communications director resumes: "public relations and fundraising managers are often in charge of running several events at the same time, requiring superior organizational skills." Here's an example from a resume of how this skill could fit into the day-to-day communications director responsibilities: "anticipated and planned communication strategies for organizational changes and specific organizational events: new services, product launches and hr issues. "
  • See the full list of communications director skills.

    We've found that 70.0% of communications directors have earned a bachelor's degree. Furthermore, 13.2% earned their master's degrees before becoming a communications director. While it's true that most communications directors have a college degree, it's generally possible to become one with only a high school degree. In fact, one out of every eight communications directors did not spend the extra money to attend college.

    Those communications directors who do attend college, typically earn either a communication degree or a business degree. Less commonly earned degrees for communications directors include a journalism degree or a political science degree.

    Once you've obtained the level of education you're comfortable with, you might start applying to companies to become a communications director. We've found that most communications director resumes include experience from FPI Management, American Heart Association, and Anthem. Of recent, FPI Management had 37 positions open for communications directors. Meanwhile, there are 13 job openings at American Heart Association and 12 at Anthem.

    But if you're interested in companies where you might earn a high salary, communications directors tend to earn the biggest salaries at Microsoft, Adobe, and VMware. Take Microsoft for example. The median communications director salary is $141,346. At Adobe, communications directors earn an average of $140,985, while the average at VMware is $139,956. You should take into consideration how difficult it might be to secure a job with one of these companies.

    View more details on communications director salaries across the United States.

    The industries that communications directors fulfill the most roles in are the non profits and education industries. But the highest communications director annual salary is in the technology industry, averaging $108,512. In the retail industry they make $104,733 and average about $101,085 in the finance industry. In conclusion, communications directors who work in the technology industry earn a 40.7% higher salary than communications directors in the education industry.

    The three companies that hire the most prestigious communications directors are:

      What Director, Customer Relationss Do

      Director of Customer Relations is responsible for leading the design and improvement of an organization's overall customer service experience. Their duties include developing customer service budget, driving customer service process improvements, implementing customer service agents, managing email and telephony customer service routing, and creating training programs for customer service staff. They are responsible for improving customer service performance metrics, overseeing key change management projects, and establishing a customer service roadmap. The Director of customer relations also helps in developing recruitment initiatives to attract top talents.

      In this section, we compare the average communications director annual salary with that of a director, customer relations. Typically, directors, customer relations earn a $10,771 higher salary than communications directors earn annually.

      While the salaries between these two careers can be different, they do share some of the same responsibilities. Employees in both communications directors and directors, customer relations positions are skilled in press releases, customer service, and facebook.

      As far as similarities go, this is where it ends because a communications director responsibility requires skills such as "web content," "internal communications," "external communications," and "project management." Whereas a director, customer relations is skilled in "company policies," "customer relations," "donor database," and "government relations." So if you're looking for what truly separates the two careers, you've found it.

      Directors, customer relations really shine in the technology industry with an average salary of $113,688. Whereas communications directors tend to make the most money in the technology industry with an average salary of $108,512.

      The education levels that directors, customer relations earn is a bit different than that of communications directors. In particular, directors, customer relations are 11.8% less likely to graduate with a Master's Degree than a communications director. Additionally, they're 0.7% less likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      What Are The Duties Of a Director Of Public Affairs?

      Directors of Public Affairs are executives who manage the public relations and communications initiatives of the company. They oversee all external communications that are intended for broadcast. They create guidelines on the proper crafting of communication materials that will be published or broadcasted. They also lead the public affairs department in networking activities and industry events. Directors of Public Affairs must be level-headed, calm, and creative. They should know how to communicate with the public, handle crises, and create successful brands.

      Now we're going to look at the director of public affairs profession. On average, directors of public affairs earn a $31,283 higher salary than communications directors a year.

      Not everything about these jobs is different. Take their skills, for example. Communications directors and directors of public affairs both include similar skills like "press releases," "internal communications," and "external communications" on their resumes.

      While some skills are similar in these professions, other skills aren't so similar. For example, several resumes showed us that communications director responsibilities requires skills like "web content," "customer service," "project management," and "powerpoint." But a director of public affairs might use skills, such as, "government affairs," "public policy," "health care," and "policy issues."

      On the topic of education, directors of public affairs earn higher levels of education than communications directors. In general, they're 7.0% more likely to graduate with a Master's Degree and 0.7% more likely to earn a Doctoral Degree.

      How a Public Relations Manager Compares

      A public relations manager is responsible for monitoring the public relations department to boost its brand image and attract potential clients through press releases and media coverage. They work closely with the marketing team, developing marketing campaigns and promotional strategies for creating brand awareness. Public relations managers maintain the company's presence on various social media platforms, responding to the customers' inquiries and concerns regarding the company's goods and services. A public relations manager must have excellent communication and leadership skills, especially in identifying business opportunities to increase revenues and profitability.

      Let's now take a look at the public relations manager profession. On average, these workers make higher salaries than communications directors with a $16,723 difference per year.

      Using communications directors and public relations managers resumes, we found that both professions have similar skills such as "web content," "press releases," and "internal communications," but the other skills required are very different.

      As mentioned, these two careers differ between other skills that are required for performing the work exceedingly well. For example, gathering from communications directors resumes, they are more likely to have skills like "customer service," "project management," "key stakeholders," and "executive communications." But a public relations manager might have skills like "key messages," "communications strategies," "public relations strategies," and "crisis intervention."

      Public relations managers make a very good living in the media industry with an average annual salary of $137,075. Whereas communications directors are paid the highest salary in the technology industry with the average being $108,512.

      When it comes to education, public relations managers tend to earn lower education levels than communications directors. In fact, they're 6.9% less likely to earn a Master's Degree, and 1.9% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.

      Description Of a Communications/Senior Communications Manager

      A communications/senior communications manager specializes in handling and overseeing internal and external communications within a workplace, ensuring accuracy and timeliness. Their responsibilities typically revolve around developing strategies for better workforce and public communications, crafting marketing materials such as press kits and newsletters, and coordinating with other departments to create new materials and opportunities for marketing. A communications/senior communications manager may also participate in managing social media operations and launching strategies for product launches and events. Furthermore, as a manager, it is essential to lead and encourage the team, all while implementing the company's policies and regulations.

      The fourth career we look at typically earns higher pay than communications directors. On average, communications/senior communications managers earn a difference of $23,562 higher per year.

      While their salaries may vary, communications directors and communications/senior communications managers both use similar skills to perform their jobs. Resumes from both professions include skills like "web content," "press releases," and "internal communications. "

      While some skills are shared by these professions, there are some differences to note. "community outreach," "oversight," "spokesperson," and "graphic design" are skills that have shown up on communications directors resumes. Additionally, communications/senior communications manager uses skills like strategic communications, executive leadership, sr, and communications plans on their resumes.

      In general, communications/senior communications managers reach lower levels of education when compared to communications directors resumes. Communications/senior communications managers are 5.8% less likely to earn their Master's Degree and 0.4% less likely to graduate with a Doctoral Degree.