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Become A Communications Specialist

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Working As A Communications Specialist

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

  • Stressful

  • $52,588

    Average Salary

What Does A Communications Specialist 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 Specialist

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 Specialist jobs

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Communications Specialist Career Paths

Communications Specialist
Writer And Editor Marketing Specialist
Associate Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Account Executive Marketing Manager
Brand Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Writer And Editor Communications Manager
Communications Director
7 Yearsyrs
Communications Consultant Communications Manager Marketing Manager
Digital Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Sales Manager Senior Account Executive Public Relations
Director Of Publications Marketing
6 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Senior Account Executive Public Relations
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Operations Manager Account Executive Public Relations
Manager Of Corporate Communications
8 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Office Administrator Marketing Coordinator
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Marketing Director Sales Consultant Marketing Consultant
Marketing Lead
6 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Specialist Project Coordinator Marketing Specialist
Marketing Program Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Marketing Specialist Account Manager Marketing Consultant
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Marketing Specialist Marketing Manager Search Engine Optimizer
Online Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Communications Director Writer And Editor Public Affairs Specialist
Public Affairs Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Office Manager Account Manager Marketing Manager
Regional Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Communications Director Marketing Director
Senior Director Of Marketing
13 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Information Technology Project Manager Senior Manager
Senior Manager Of Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager Senior Product Manager Marketing Director
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Staff Specialist 3.7 years
Media Specialist 2.9 years
Public Relations 2.6 years
Specialist 2.5 years
Digital Specialist 2.2 years
Marketing Writer 2.1 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 11.6%
Cashier 4.8%
Editor 4.6%
Reporter 4.4%
Manager 3.5%
Top Employers After
Manager 5.1%
Owner 4.3%
Consultant 3.9%
Internship 3.8%

Communications Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

57.2%

Male

40.9%

Unknown

1.9%
Ethnicity

White

81.1%

Hispanic or Latino

10.1%

Asian

6.6%

Unknown

1.6%

Black or African American

0.6%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

55.6%

French

13.1%

Italian

4.6%

German

4.4%

Portuguese

3.9%

Arabic

2.8%

Japanese

2.5%

Mandarin

2.3%

Chinese

2.3%

Russian

1.5%

Korean

1.4%

Carrier

1.4%

Hindi

0.7%

Hebrew

0.7%

Swahili

0.6%

Bengali

0.6%

Vietnamese

0.5%

Turkish

0.5%

Tagalog

0.5%

Persian

0.5%
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Communications Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

20.5%

Strayer University

5.3%

University of Maryland - University College

5.1%

Michigan State University

4.9%

Temple University

4.9%

West Virginia University

4.8%

Liberty University

4.7%

American University

4.5%

Florida State University

4.3%

Virginia Commonwealth University

4.2%

University of Missouri - Columbia

4.0%

Webster University

4.0%

George Washington University

3.8%

University of Texas at Austin

3.8%

Pennsylvania State University

3.7%

University of Georgia

3.6%

University of South Florida

3.6%

Syracuse University

3.5%

Arizona State University

3.5%

Community College of the Air Force

3.4%
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Majors

Communication

18.7%

Business

17.5%

Journalism

7.9%

English

6.5%

Public Relations

6.2%

Marketing

5.5%

Criminal Justice

5.1%

Psychology

4.1%

Management

3.4%

Political Science

3.0%

Education

2.6%

Writing

2.5%

Graphic Design

2.5%

Computer Science

2.3%

Nursing

2.2%

Computer Information Systems

2.2%

Information Technology

2.0%

Electrical Engineering

1.9%

Health Care Administration

1.9%

General Studies

1.9%
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Degrees

Bachelors

44.4%

Masters

21.9%

Other

18.1%

Associate

8.8%

Certificate

4.5%

Doctorate

1.4%

Diploma

0.7%

License

0.2%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Communications Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Communication Specialist Activate Strategy Inc. New York, NY Dec 31, 2016 $137,800
Communication Specialist Activate Strategy Inc. New York, NY Nov 21, 2015 $137,800
Trade Communications Specialist Nitron Group Corporation Greenwich, CT Jan 18, 2016 $120,000
KN Communications Specialist McKinsey & Company, Inc. United States Waltham, MA Sep 27, 2015 $103,202
Technology Communications Specialist JP Morgan Chase & Co New York, NY Aug 11, 2016 $103,000
Media and Communications Specialist Headspace, Inc. Santa Monica, CA Oct 31, 2016 $100,000
Communications Specialist 99 Cent Only Stores Los Angeles, CA Jul 09, 2015 $92,061
Communication Specialist Brazilian American Systems Inc. New York, NY Nov 23, 2016 $88,150
Communications Specialist Admerasia, Inc. New York, NY Jun 17, 2015 $86,902
Multimedia Communications Specialist PCH International USA, Inc. San Francisco, CA Sep 02, 2015 $84,000
Communications Specialist Research Foundation of Cuny New York, NY Jan 09, 2016 $82,299
Communications Specialist Research Foundation of Cuny New York, NY Sep 01, 2016 $82,299
Online Careers Communication Specialist Google Inc. Mountain View, CA Mar 08, 2016 $82,000
Communication Specialist Showpad, Inc. San Francisco, CA Jun 06, 2016 $80,000
Communications Specialist Yoshimoto Entertainment USA, Inc. Santa Monica, CA Jan 12, 2015 $58,430
International Business and Communications Specialist Consortium Tours of North America New York, NY Sep 19, 2015 $58,000
Communication Specialist E Focus Inc. Industry, CA Feb 22, 2016 $57,408
Communications Specialist Taiwan Center Foundation of Greater Los Angeles Rosemead, CA Dec 24, 2015 $57,408
Communications Specialist East West Bank Beverly Hills, CA Nov 12, 2015 $57,408
Media and Communications Specialist Coquette Productions, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Jul 15, 2015 $57,200
Communications Specialist Italian American Chamber of Commerce Chicago, IL Sep 25, 2016 $57,096
Communications Specialist Taste Analytics LLC Charlotte, NC Jul 09, 2016 $56,000
International Communication Specialist BEDD Group, LLC Washington, DC Sep 29, 2015 $44,891
Communications Specialist Hasna, Inc. Washington, DC Aug 17, 2015 $44,891
International Communication Specialist BEDD Group, LLC Washington, DC Sep 30, 2015 $44,891
Communication Specialist BBI Law Group, P.C. Herndon, VA Sep 23, 2015 $44,891
Communications Specialist Healthcare Business Intelligence Solutions, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Aug 17, 2016 $44,845
Communications Specialist Rosemont Property Management LLC New York, NY Jul 23, 2015 $44,824
Communications Specialist (Film) Unite Here New York, NY Sep 28, 2016 $44,818
Communications Specialist BUEI, LLC DBA Mentora College Washington, DC Feb 18, 2016 $44,741

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Top Skills for A Communications Specialist

WebContentNon-EmergencyCallsPressReleasesCustomerServiceProceduresVideoSafetyIntranetFacebookCommunicationsEquipmentTwitterCommunicationStrategiesPhoneCallsInternalCommunicationsSpecialEventsPowerpointAnnualReportDataEntryProjectManagementExternalCommunications

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Top Communications Specialist Skills

  1. Web Content
  2. Non-Emergency Calls
  3. Press Releases
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Utilized Contribute software to publish newsletter as web content along with other documents, reports, press and promotional material.
  • Dispatch law enforcement services for response to emergency and non-emergency calls using standard broadcasting procedures and rules.
  • Managed communications for local grantees by writing and editing newsletters and press releases.
  • Delivered customer service and built customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  • Developed user procedures manuals and communications targeting Agency Administration and Field Marketing offices.

Top Communications Specialist Employers

Communications Specialist Videos

Career Advice - PR and Corporate Communications

Career Advice on becoming an Internal Communications Manager by Sophie M (Full Version)

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