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Become A Senior Communications Specialist

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Working As A Senior Communications Specialist

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

  • Stressful

  • $62,000

    Average Salary

What Does A Senior 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 Senior 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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Senior Communications Specialist Jobs

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Senior Communications Specialist Career Paths

Senior Communications Specialist
Communications Manager Communications Director Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Marketing Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Program Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing Program Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Communications Director Marketing Director
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
Communications Director
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Marketing Communications Manager
Manager Of Corporate Communications
7 Yearsyrs
Marketing Communications Manager Office Manager Marketing Manager
Brand Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Marketing Communications Manager Principal Public Relations Director
Media Relations Director
5 Yearsyrs
Manager Principal Public Relations Director
Public Relations And Communications Director
7 Yearsyrs
Manager Marketing Manager Marketing Manager/Project Manager
Digital Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Manager Social Media Manager Strategist
Senior Strategist
8 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Manager Manager Of Corporate Communications
Internal Communications Manager
8 Yearsyrs
Public Relations Manager Brand Manager Marketing Manager/Project Manager
Communications Project Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Owner Owner And Founder Social Media Manager
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Manager Of Corporate Communications Marketing Manager/Project Manager
Marketing Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Communications Project Manager Marketing Program Manager Social Media Manager
Digital Marketing Strategist
5 Yearsyrs
Community Advisor
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Community Advisor Public Information Officer
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Senior Systems Analyst Information Systems Manager Information Manager
Publications Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Public Information Officer
Public Affairs Manager
6 Yearsyrs
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Do you work as a Senior Communications Specialist?

Help others decide if this is a good career for them

Average Length of Employment
Top Careers Before Senior Communications Specialist
Internship 6.6%
Reporter 4.4%
Cashier 4.3%
Editor 3.7%
Manager 3.1%
Consultant 3.1%
Top Careers After Senior Communications Specialist
Consultant 4.9%
Manager 3.7%
Owner 3.5%
Internship 3.5%
Volunteer 3.3%

Do you work as a Senior Communications Specialist?

Senior Communications Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

57.8%

Male

31.9%

Unknown

10.3%
Ethnicity

White

64.8%

Hispanic or Latino

13.7%

Black or African American

11.4%

Asian

6.5%

Unknown

3.6%
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Foreign Languages Spoken

Spanish

38.9%

French

18.9%

German

7.8%

Chinese

4.4%

Italian

4.4%

Arabic

3.3%

Portuguese

2.2%

Somali

2.2%

Russian

2.2%

Carrier

2.2%

Tagalog

2.2%

Mandarin

2.2%

Swedish

1.1%

Filipino

1.1%

Norwegian

1.1%

Korean

1.1%

Lithuanian

1.1%

Japanese

1.1%

Dakota

1.1%

Danish

1.1%
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Senior Communications Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.9%

Rasmussen College

6.0%

Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis

5.7%

Saint Cloud State University

5.7%

Northwestern University

5.1%

Purdue University

4.8%

Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana

4.8%

Michigan State University

4.5%

Indiana Wesleyan University

4.5%

George Washington University

4.2%

Temple University

4.2%

Webster University

4.2%

University of Texas at Austin

4.2%

University of Missouri - Columbia

4.2%

University of Houston

4.2%

California State University - Fullerton

3.9%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.9%

University of Southern California

3.9%

American University

3.9%

University of Indianapolis

3.6%
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Majors

Communication

16.2%

Business

14.3%

Nursing

11.3%

Journalism

11.1%

English

7.1%

Marketing

7.0%

Public Relations

5.3%

Management

2.8%

Psychology

2.8%

Health Care Administration

2.5%

Occupational Therapy

2.3%

Political Science

2.3%

Information Technology

2.1%

Nursing Assistants

2.0%

Business Communications

2.0%

Computer Information Systems

2.0%

Human Resources Management

1.8%

Criminal Justice

1.8%

Agricultural Public Services

1.6%

Education

1.6%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.0%

Masters

24.2%

Other

15.0%

Associate

8.8%

Certificate

4.5%

Doctorate

2.0%

Diploma

1.7%

License

0.8%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary
Average Yearly Salary
$62,000
View Detailed Salary Report
$39,000
Min 10%
$62,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Median 50%
$62,000
Median 50%
$97,000
Max 90%
Best Paying Company
Air Products & Chemicals
Highest Paying City
Menlo Park, CA
Highest Paying State
New Jersey
Avg Experience Level
3.3 years
How much does a Senior Communications Specialist make at top companies?
The national average salary for a Senior Communications Specialist in the United States is $62,592 per year or $30 per hour. Those in the bottom 10 percent make under $39,000 a year, and the top 10 percent make over $98,000.

Real Senior Communications Specialist Salaries

Job Title Company Location Start Date Salary
Senior Communications Specialist Vlocity, Inc. San Francisco, CA Aug 12, 2015 $140,000
Senior Communications Specialist S.W.I.F.T. Pan-Americas, Inc. New York, NY Oct 27, 2016 $106,050
Senior Communications Specialist Swift Pan-Americas, Inc. New York, NY May 11, 2015 $105,000
Senior Communications Specialist Destiny Management Company, LLC New York, NY Sep 04, 2015 $91,683
SR. Communications Specialist Bechtel Corporation Frederick, MD Aug 26, 2010 $84,840 -
$88,536
SR. Coomunications Specialist Bechtel Corporation Frederick, MD Aug 26, 2010 $84,840 -
$88,536
SR. International Policy Communications Specialist Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Washington, DC Jul 02, 2015 $82,350
Senior Communications Specialist Honeywell International Inc. Morris Plains, NJ Aug 27, 2016 $81,000
SR Specialist, Internal Communications Northwell Health New York, NY Mar 15, 2016 $80,000
SR. INT. Policy Communications Specialist Carnegie Endowment for International Peace Washington, DC Jul 02, 2012 $78,000
Senior Community Specialist Electronic Arts, Inc. Fairfax, VA Jan 03, 2013 $67,775
Senior Communications Specialist, E-Communication Johnson & Johnson New Brunswick, NJ Sep 29, 2011 $62,000 -
$112,000

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Top Skills for A Senior Communications Specialist

  1. Web Application
  2. Intranet
  3. Press Releases
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Managed the FCPS web sites and web applications .
  • Launched a social media-enabled intranet by integrating social media with traditional portal, reference and mass-email channels.
  • Developed an annual PR/Community Relations calendar including press releases, mailings and article placements in appropriate publications.
  • Developed, managed strategic communications plans for federal programs that built capture momentum among key stakeholder audiences from Congress to end-users.
  • Assisted in coordinating with the nearest medical facility, accessing a proprietary database of world-wide medical providers for world-wide medical emergencies.

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Top 10 Best States for Senior Communications Specialists

  1. District of Columbia
  2. Virginia
  3. Alaska
  4. Rhode Island
  5. Connecticut
  6. New Jersey
  7. Ohio
  8. North Carolina
  9. Oregon
  10. Washington
  • (304 jobs)
  • (775 jobs)
  • (35 jobs)
  • (72 jobs)
  • (216 jobs)
  • (523 jobs)
  • (728 jobs)
  • (668 jobs)
  • (273 jobs)
  • (439 jobs)

Top Senior Communications Specialist Employers

Jobs From Top Senior Communications Specialist Employers

Senior Communications Specialist Videos

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

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