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Become A Director Strategic Communications

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Working As A Director Strategic Communications

  • 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

  • $126,400

    Average Salary

What Does A Director Strategic Communications 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 Director Strategic Communications

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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Director Strategic Communications Jobs

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Director Strategic Communications Typical Career Paths

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Average Length of Employment
Top Employers Before
Director 10.6%
Manager 4.5%
Consultant 4.1%
Internship 3.7%
Top Employers After
Consultant 10.3%
Principal 7.9%
Director 6.1%
President 4.2%

Do you work as a Director Strategic Communications?

Director Strategic Communications Demographics

Gender

Male

59.9%

Female

37.5%

Unknown

2.7%
Ethnicity

White

61.8%

Hispanic or Latino

14.5%

Black or African American

11.5%

Asian

6.7%

Unknown

5.4%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

32.4%

German

16.2%

French

16.2%

Czech

8.1%

Portuguese

5.4%

Russian

5.4%

Dutch

2.7%

Hungarian

2.7%

Chinese

2.7%

Dari

2.7%

Cantonese

2.7%

Arabic

2.7%
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Director Strategic Communications Education

Schools

New York University

10.0%

Georgetown University

6.3%

West Virginia University

6.3%

Syracuse University

5.0%

Arizona State University

5.0%

University of South Florida

5.0%

University of Colorado at Boulder

5.0%

Webster University

5.0%

University of California - Berkeley

5.0%

University of Phoenix

5.0%

University of Southern California

5.0%

U.S. Army War College

5.0%

Purdue University

5.0%

Northwestern University

5.0%

Ithaca College

3.8%

University of Pennsylvania

3.8%

Ohio State University

3.8%

Marquette University

3.8%

Georgia State University

3.8%

University of Missouri - Columbia

3.8%
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Majors

Business

24.3%

Communication

10.3%

Marketing

10.3%

Journalism

8.1%

Management

5.1%

Political Science

4.8%

Finance

4.8%

English

4.0%

Public Relations

4.0%

Psychology

3.3%

Business Communications

3.3%

International Relations

3.3%

Computer Science

2.6%

Law

2.6%

Economics

2.2%

History

1.8%

Writing

1.5%

Accounting

1.5%

International Business

1.1%

Legal Research And Advanced Professional Studies

1.1%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.5%

Masters

38.6%

Other

9.2%

Doctorate

4.7%

Certificate

3.4%

Associate

0.8%

Diploma

0.8%
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Job type you want
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Part Time
Internship
Temporary

Real Director Strategic Communications Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Investment Strategist, DIR. Strategic A.A. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney Payco LLC New York, NY Oct 12, 2009 $280,537
Managing Director, Strategic Communications-Corporate Teneo Holdings LLC New York, NY Mar 03, 2016 $250,000
Strategic Director Paola Russo, Inc. Los Angeles, CA Sep 18, 2014 $246,000
Strategic Pricing Director Citrix Systems, Inc. Goleta, CA Sep 01, 2014 $180,000 -
$210,000
Director Strategic Communications Createthe Group, Inc. New York, NY Oct 01, 2012 $162,500
Director, Strategic Transactions Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Princeton, NJ Mar 23, 2015 $150,600
Director, Strategic Transactions Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Princeton, NJ Oct 21, 2013 $150,600
Strategic Director/Writer Redscout LLC New York, NY Aug 14, 2014 $150,000
Strategic Communications Director, Nike Foundation NIKE, Inc. Beaverton, OR Sep 11, 2013 $150,000
Strategic Director Redscout LLC New York, NY Sep 14, 2013 $150,000
Director, Strategic Transactions Bristol-Myers Squibb Company Princeton, NJ Jul 22, 2011 $145,000
Director of Strategic Innovation Lee Kum Kee (USA), Inc. Cambridge, MA Apr 09, 2016 $144,893 -
$200,000
Director, Strategic Patterning L Brands Service Company, LLC New York, NY Sep 15, 2015 $142,792 -
$175,000
Strategic Insights Director TNS Custom Research, Inc. New York, NY Jan 10, 2011 $140,000
Director-Strategic Pricing Asurion, LLC Nashville, TN Mar 14, 2016 $136,000
Director, Strategic Relationships Persistent Systems, Inc. Santa Clara, CA Apr 18, 2014 $133,000
Director of Strategic Consulting Jive Software, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Sep 13, 2013 $132,704 -
$196,800
Director of Strategic Pricing Trizetto Corporation Englewood, CO Jan 11, 2014 $131,664 -
$152,000
Director Strategic Forecast R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Company Winston-Salem, NC Sep 19, 2010 $129,861
Director of Strategic Pricing The Trizetto Group, Inc. Greenwood Village, CO Jan 10, 2011 $120,370 -
$220,370
Director, Strategic Research & Communication Benenson Strategy Group New York, NY Jan 12, 2015 $110,000
Strategic Director Alpina Foods, LLC Miami, FL Dec 01, 2010 $110,000
Director, HIV and TB Strategic Advisor Clinton Health Access Initiative, Inc. Boston, MA Nov 01, 2013 $104,000
Director, Strategic Analystics and Insights Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC Smithfield, RI Sep 02, 2014 $100,298 -
$130,000
Director of Strategic Growth and Entitlements Life Time Fitness, Inc. Chanhassen, MN Jun 15, 2011 $100,262
Director of Strategic Cooperation Faraday&Future Inc. Gardena, CA Aug 25, 2016 $100,000
Director of Strategic Cooperation Le Vision Pictures (USA) Inc. Los Angeles, CA Aug 25, 2016 $100,000
Director of Strategic Accts. & European Busn. DEV. Wildfire Interactive, Inc. Palo Alto, CA Aug 01, 2010 $100,000

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Top Skills for A Director Strategic Communications

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  1. Strategic Communications Plan
  2. Company Website
  3. Delivery
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Developed and implemented annual strategic communications plan.
  • Managed highly effective direct sourcing campaigns and personally managed key accounts to ensure high level of on-time service delivery.
  • Exploded social media presence, with followers on Facebook and Twitter at more than 21,000 and 2,800, respectively.
  • Oversee day-to-day internal communications activities aligning messages across media to increase overall strategic focus and consistency.
  • Drafted committee statements for press releases, including editorial statements published both online and within local media outlets.

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