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Become A Communicator

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Working As A Communicator

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

  • Stressful

  • $52,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Communicator 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 Communicator

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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Communicator Demographics

Gender

Female

56.4%

Male

31.7%

Unknown

11.8%
Ethnicity

White

71.5%

Hispanic or Latino

10.9%

Black or African American

8.9%

Asian

5.7%

Unknown

3.0%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

71.4%

Chinese

5.7%

German

5.7%

French

5.7%

Arabic

5.7%

Portuguese

2.9%

Mandarin

2.9%
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Communicator Education

Schools

Youngstown State University

14.2%

University of Akron

9.9%

Kent State University

9.9%

University of Phoenix

9.1%

Sinclair Community College

8.3%

Marshall University

7.1%

Stark State College

5.9%

University of St. Thomas (Minnesota)

5.9%

ETI Technical College

3.2%

Ohio University -

2.8%

Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania

2.8%

North Central State College

2.8%

Wright State University

2.8%

Kaplan University

2.8%

Ohio State University

2.4%

Art Institute of Pittsburgh

2.4%

Butler County Community College

2.0%

ITT Technical Institute-Youngstown

2.0%

Trumbull Business College

2.0%

Brown Mackie College-Akron

2.0%
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Majors

Business

24.6%

Criminal Justice

10.2%

Nursing

8.4%

Communication

6.1%

Psychology

5.5%

Medical Assisting Services

5.5%

Accounting

4.3%

General Studies

3.6%

Management

3.4%

Health Care Administration

3.4%

Education

3.2%

Graphic Design

3.0%

English

2.9%

History

2.5%

Marketing

2.5%

Computer Science

2.3%

Liberal Arts

2.3%

Computer Information Systems

2.3%

Cosmetology

2.0%

Public Relations

2.0%
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Degrees

Bachelors

33.5%

Other

32.8%

Associate

16.9%

Masters

8.4%

Certificate

4.4%

Diploma

2.5%

License

0.8%

Doctorate

0.6%
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Top Skills for A Communicator

  1. Phone Calls
  2. Customer Service
  3. Non-Profit Organization
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Answered telephone calls to satisfy the needs of the customers related to the acquisition of merchandise and setting of medical appointments.
  • Developed exceptional customer service and communication skills.
  • Recruited volunteers for non-profit organizations to participate in mailing envelopes to their neighbors for donations.
  • Dispatched appropriate public safety personnel and equipment to emergency and non-emergency calls.
  • Call center working for Verizon Wireless assisting customers with changing cell phone plans and upgrading phones and troubleshooting devices.

How Would You Rate Working As a Communicator?

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Top Communicator Employers

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Jobs From Top Communicator Employers

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