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Become A Community Relations Director

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Working As A Community Relations Director

  • Communicating with Persons Outside Organization
  • Establishing and Maintaining Interpersonal Relationships
  • Communicating with Supervisors, Peers, or Subordinates
  • Thinking Creatively
  • Getting Information
  • Deal with People

  • Mostly Sitting

  • Make Decisions

  • Stressful

  • $89,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Community Relations Director Do

Public relations managers plan and direct the creation of material that will maintain or enhance the public image of their employer or client. Fundraising managers coordinate campaigns that bring in donations for their organization.

Duties

Public relations managers typically do the following:

  • Write press releases and prepare information for the media
  • Identify main client groups and audiences and determine the best way to reach them
  • Designate an appropriate spokesperson or information source for media inquiries
  • Help clients communicate effectively with the public
  • Develop their organization's or client’s corporate image and identity
  • Assist and inform an organization’s executives and spokespeople
  • Devise advertising and promotion programs
  • Assign, supervise, and review the activities of staff

Fundraising managers typically do the following:

  • Manage progress towards achieving an organization’s fundraising goals
  • Develop and carry out fundraising strategies
  • Identify and contact potential donors
  • Create and plan different events that can generate donations
  • Meet face-to-face with highly important donors
  • Apply for grants
  • Assign, supervise, and review the activities of staff

Public relations managers review press releases and sponsor corporate events to help maintain and improve the image of their organization or client.

Public relations managers help to clarify their organization’s point of view to its main audience through media releases and interviews. They observe social, economic, and political trends that might ultimately affect their organization, and they recommend ways to enhance the firm's image based on those trends. For example, in response to a growing concern about the environment, the public relations manager for an oil company may create a campaign to publicize its efforts to develop cleaner fuels.

In large organizations, public relations managers often supervise a staff of public relations specialists. They also work with advertising, promotions, and marketing managers to ensure that advertising campaigns are compatible with the image the company or client is trying to portray. For example, if a firm decides to emphasize its appeal to a certain group, such as young people, the public relations manager needs to make sure that current advertisements are well received by that group.

In addition, public relations managers may handle internal communications, such as company newsletters, and may help financial managers produce an organization’s reports. They may also draft speeches, arrange interviews, and maintain other forms of public contact to help the organization’s top executives.

Public relations managers must be able to work well with many types of specialists to report the facts accurately. In some cases, the information they write has legal consequences. As a result, they must work with the company's or client's lawyers to be sure that the information they release is both legally accurate and clear to the public.

Fundraising managers oversee campaigns and events intended to bring in donations for their organization. Many organizations that employ fundraisers rely heavily on the donations they gather in order to run their operations.

Fundraising managers usually decide which fundraising techniques are necessary in a certain situation. Common techniques may include annual campaigns, capital campaigns, planned giving, or major gifts. In addition, social media has created a new avenue for fundraising managers to connect with more potential donors and to spread their organization’s message.

Those who work on annual campaigns focus heavily on contacting donors who have given in the past, and request that they give again. Finding new contacts for future donations is also a component of a successful annual campaign.

Capital campaigns are different; they are generally used to raise money over a shorter time period and for a specific project, such as the construction of a new building at a university.

Fundraisers who spend most of their time on planned giving must have specialized training in taxes regarding gifts of stocks, bonds, charitable annuities, and real estate bequests in a will. Major gifts are a feature of many different campaigns and are generally requested in person given the large value of the potential donation.

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How To Become A Community Relations Director

Public relations and fundraising managers need at least a bachelor’s degree, and some positions may require a master’s degree. Many years of related work experience are also necessary.

Education

For public relations and fundraising management positions, a bachelor's degree in public relations, communications, English, fundraising, or journalism is generally required. However, some employers prefer a master’s degree, particularly in public relations, journalism, fundraising, or nonprofit management.

Courses in advertising, business administration, public affairs, public speaking, and creative and technical writing can be helpful.

Licenses, Certifications, and Registrations

Although not mandatory, public relations managers can get certified through the Public Relations Society of America. Candidates qualify based on years of experience and must pass an exam to become certified.

The International Association of Business Communicators offers a credential to demonstrate a level of knowledge and expertise.

The Certified Fund Raising Executive program, offered by CFRE International, is voluntary, but fundraisers who pursue certification demonstrate a level of professional competency to prospective employers. Candidates are required to have 5 years of work experience in fundraising and have 80 hours of continuing education through conference attendance and classroom instruction to qualify. Fundraisers must apply for renewal every 3 years to keep their certification valid.

Work Experience in a Related Occupation

Public relations and fundraising managers must have several years of experience in a related or entry-level position, such as a public relations specialist or fundraiser.

Lower level management positions may require only a few years of experience, whereas directors are more likely to need 5 to 10 years of related work experience.

Important Qualities

Communication skills. Managers deal with the public regularly; therefore, they must be friendly enough to build rapport and receive cooperation from their media contacts and donors.

Leadership skills. Public relations and fundraising managers often lead large teams of specialists or fundraisers and must be able to guide their activities.

Organizational skills. Public relations and fundraising managers are often in charge of running several events at the same time, requiring superior organizational skills.

Problem-solving skills. Managers sometimes must explain how the 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 and fundraising managers regularly speak on behalf of their organization. When doing so, they must be able to explain the organization’s position clearly.

Writing skills. Managers 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 succinctly in order to keep the attention of busy readers or listeners.

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Community Relations Director Career Paths

Community Relations Director
Executive Director
Executive Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Director Of Sales And Marketing
Sales And Marketing Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Director Of Sales And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Development Director
Development Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Development Director
9 Yearsyrs
Business Development Director
Senior Director Of Business Development
13 Yearsyrs
Vice President
Sales Vice President
12 Yearsyrs
Director Of Communications And Marketing
Marketing Vice President
10 Yearsyrs
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
Director Of Marketing & Development
9 Yearsyrs
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
President
Board Of Directors Member
8 Yearsyrs
Regional Director
Regional Vice President
11 Yearsyrs
Regional Director
9 Yearsyrs
Senior Director
Human Resources Vice President
12 Yearsyrs
Marketing & Community Relations Director
7 Yearsyrs
President/Chief Executive Officer
Advisory Board Member
5 Yearsyrs
Director Of Human Resources
Interim Director
10 Yearsyrs
Corporate Director
Corporate Vice President
12 Yearsyrs
Marketing & Community Relations Director
Director Of Admissions
7 Yearsyrs
Chief Executive Officer
President & Chief Operating Officer
13 Yearsyrs
Sales And Marketing Vice President
Chief Marketing Officer
10 Yearsyrs
Vice President Of Communication
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Promotions Director
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Director Of Marketing & Development
Senior Director Of Marketing
12 Yearsyrs
Chief Operating Officer
Chief Of Staff
7 Yearsyrs
Regional Sales Director
Account Director
9 Yearsyrs
Regional Sales Director
11 Yearsyrs
Regional Director Of Sales & Marketing
Area Director
8 Yearsyrs
Managing Director
Client Services Director
9 Yearsyrs
Director, Corporate Communications
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
Area Director
National Director
10 Yearsyrs
Marketing Vice President
Senior Vice President Of Marketing
13 Yearsyrs
Senior Vice President
Human Resource Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Director Of Alumni Relations
Director Of Advancement
11 Yearsyrs
Director Of Alumni Relations
5 Yearsyrs
Director Of Events
Membership Director
5 Yearsyrs
Director Of Outreach
Communications Director
6 Yearsyrs
Director Of Outreach
6 Yearsyrs
Regional Vice President
Campus Director
7 Yearsyrs
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Community Relations Director Demographics

Gender

Female

67.3%

Male

23.9%

Unknown

8.8%
Ethnicity

White

65.8%

Hispanic or Latino

13.7%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

5.7%

Unknown

3.5%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

63.7%

French

9.8%

Portuguese

3.9%

Italian

3.9%

German

2.9%

Arabic

2.9%

Dutch

2.0%

Chinese

1.0%

Mandarin

1.0%

Czech

1.0%

Romanian

1.0%

Yoruba

1.0%

Japanese

1.0%

Greek

1.0%

Urdu

1.0%

Korean

1.0%

Arapaho

1.0%

Thai

1.0%
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Community Relations Director Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

21.5%

University of South Florida

5.0%

Florida State University

5.0%

Arizona State University

4.7%

Ohio State University

4.7%

Webster University

4.7%

Pennsylvania State University

4.7%

Ohio University -

4.4%

Ashford University

4.4%

Michigan State University

4.1%

University of Texas at Austin

4.1%

Liberty University

4.1%

University of Alabama

3.8%

George Washington University

3.8%

West Virginia University

3.8%

Georgia State University

3.5%

New York University

3.5%

San Diego State University

3.5%

University of Tennessee - Knoxville

3.2%

Wayne State University

3.2%
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Majors

Business

25.5%

Communication

12.2%

Marketing

8.9%

Management

5.4%

Public Relations

5.4%

Psychology

5.3%

Journalism

3.8%

Nursing

3.8%

Political Science

3.2%

Education

3.1%

Health Care Administration

3.1%

Public Administration

3.0%

Social Work

2.8%

English

2.6%

Liberal Arts

2.5%

Sociology

2.5%

Kinesiology

1.8%

Human Resources Management

1.8%

Gerontology

1.7%

Public Health

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

47.1%

Masters

24.2%

Other

15.0%

Associate

6.5%

Certificate

3.7%

Doctorate

2.4%

License

0.8%

Diploma

0.4%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$89,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$47,000
Min 10%
$89,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Median 50%
$89,000
Median 50%
$169,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Pathway to Living
Highest Paying City
Roseville, MN
Highest Paying State
North Dakota
Avg Experience Level
2.8 years
How much does a Community Relations Director make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Community Relations Director in the United States is $90,018 per year or $43 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $47,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $170,000.

Real Community Relations Director Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Director of Communications and College Relations Queens College of The City University of New York NY Jan 02, 2014 $116,364
Director, College and Community Relations Brooklyn College of The City University of Ny New York, NY Sep 23, 2009 $105,909
Director, Communications & International Relations Travmedia USA LLC New York, NY Mar 01, 2014 $100,000
Community Relations Director Albanian American Islamic Center of Ny & Nj Garfield, NJ Oct 01, 2013 $93,936
Community Relations Director Albanian American Islamic Center of Ny and Nj Garfield, NJ Oct 01, 2013 $93,936
Community Relations Director Albanian American Islamic Center of Ny and Nj Garfield, NJ Oct 01, 2010 $82,958 -
$40
Community Relations Director Albanian American Islamic Center of Ny & Nj Garfield, NJ Oct 01, 2010 $82,958 -
$40
Director of Community Relations and Fundraising Niagara Foundation Minneapolis, MN Sep 07, 2013 $71,968
Director of Community Relations and Fundraising Niagara Foundation Minneapolis, MN Jul 01, 2013 $71,968
Director of Communications and Community Relations Cleary University Howell, MI Aug 31, 2009 $66,000
Director of Investor Relations & Communication Cornerstone Development Partners, Inc. Laguna Niguel, CA Sep 24, 2013 $65,998

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Top Skills for A Community Relations Director

  1. Community Outreach
  2. Special Events
  3. Occupancy Rate
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Involved in community outreach and networking to gain company exposure and community awareness.
  • Developed and implemented special events and presentations targeted at community education.
  • Achieved 100 percent occupancy in just over a year and to maintain a 90-100 percent occupancy rate.
  • Participate in community and social events to promote facility relationship with community and surrounding areas.
  • Prepared advertisements and press releases for various media to increase public awareness and increase community visibility.

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Top 10 Best States for Community Relations Directors

  1. District of Columbia
  2. New York
  3. Rhode Island
  4. Virginia
  5. Colorado
  6. Washington
  7. California
  8. New Jersey
  9. Massachusetts
  10. North Carolina
  • (98 jobs)
  • (246 jobs)
  • (17 jobs)
  • (115 jobs)
  • (60 jobs)
  • (99 jobs)
  • (521 jobs)
  • (67 jobs)
  • (145 jobs)
  • (81 jobs)

Top Community Relations Director Employers

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Jobs From Top Community Relations Director Employers

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