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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

  • $80,460

    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
Marketing Communications Manager Communications Manager Marketing Manager
Brand Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Case Manager Assistant Director
Communications Director
7 Yearsyrs
Communications Director Marketing Director
Director Of Communications And Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Account Executive Public Relations
Director Of Publications Marketing
6 Yearsyrs
Communications Lead Communications Manager Communications Director
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Communications Director Marketing Director
General Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Business Developer Communications Manager
Manager Of Corporate Communications
8 Yearsyrs
Marketing Director Sales Consultant Marketing Consultant
Marketing Communications Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Marketing Manager
Marketing Director
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Program Manager Marketing Consultant
Marketing Lead
6 Yearsyrs
Communications Director Writer And Editor Communications Manager
Marketing Manager
6 Yearsyrs
Communications Lead Communications Director Marketing Consultant
Marketing Program Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Project Manager Product Manager Marketing Consultant
Marketing Strategist
6 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Marketing Director Search Engine Optimizer
Online Marketing Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Internal Communications Manager Writer And Editor Public Affairs Specialist
Public Affairs Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Account Manager Marketing Consultant Public Relations Consultant
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Marketing Communications Manager Marketing Manager
Regional Marketing Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Marketing Director General Manager Senior Manager
Senior Manager Of Marketing
9 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Unit Manager Assistant Vice President
Vice President Of Communication
5 Yearsyrs
Licensed Practical Nurse Patient Care Coordinator Marketing Director
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
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Average Length of Employment
Senior Specialist 3.6 years
Media Specialist 2.9 years
Top Employers Before
Internship 6.0%
Editor 4.2%
Reporter 3.8%
Consultant 3.4%
Top Employers After
Consultant 5.2%
Manager 4.1%
Internship 3.9%
Owner 3.1%
Volunteer 2.9%

Senior Communications Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

61.9%

Male

36.0%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

83.0%

Hispanic or Latino

8.6%

Asian

6.2%

Unknown

1.6%

Black or African American

0.7%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

38.1%

French

19.0%

German

6.3%

Italian

6.3%

Chinese

4.8%

Carrier

4.8%

Somali

3.2%

Arabic

3.2%

Mandarin

3.2%

Portuguese

1.6%

Lithuanian

1.6%

Japanese

1.6%

Russian

1.6%

Tagalog

1.6%

Dakota

1.6%

Korean

1.6%
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Senior Communications Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

13.1%

Saint Cloud State University

7.8%

Northwestern University

5.8%

Syracuse University

5.3%

University of Houston

5.3%

University of Missouri - Columbia

4.9%

Purdue University

4.9%

Indiana Wesleyan University

4.9%

Michigan State University

4.4%

Temple University

4.4%

Webster University

4.4%

Rasmussen College

4.4%

Ohio University -

3.9%

New York University

3.9%

University of Maryland - College Park

3.9%

University of Oregon

3.9%

University of Memphis

3.9%

University of St. Thomas (Minnesota)

3.9%

Towson University

3.9%

George Washington University

3.4%
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Majors

Communication

17.1%

Business

14.7%

Journalism

11.7%

Nursing

8.9%

English

8.5%

Marketing

6.8%

Public Relations

6.3%

Management

2.9%

Psychology

2.3%

Writing

2.3%

Computer Information Systems

2.3%

Health Care Administration

2.2%

Business Communications

2.2%

Agricultural Public Services

2.0%

Information Technology

2.0%

Human Resources Management

1.7%

Social Work

1.6%

Education

1.6%

Political Science

1.6%

Fine Arts

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

42.8%

Masters

26.3%

Other

15.3%

Associate

7.7%

Certificate

4.4%

Doctorate

2.0%

Diploma

0.9%

License

0.5%
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Job type you want
Full Time
Part Time
Internship
Temporary

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

WebContentCompanyIntranetInternalCommunicationsPressReleasesStrategicCommunicationsCustomerServiceCorporateCommunicationsEmergencyHumanResourcesExternalCommunicationsSharepointProjectManagementInternalNewsletterContentManagementBusinessUnitsCommunicationsSupportSubjectMatterExpertsFactSheetsNewsReleasesTwitter

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Top Senior Communications Specialist Skills

  1. Web Content
  2. Company Intranet
  3. Internal Communications
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Supported public outreach efforts through exhibit staffing, social media, and development of Internet web content.
  • Partnered with Information Technology team to develop company intranet.
  • Managed all Internal Communications, served on crisis communications team, and as communication liaison with Risk Management.
  • Collaborate with upper management on leadership blogs, newsletters, press releases, training and articles for the Company IT website.
  • Developed strategic communications for IT management software and solution company to promote, educate and influence internal and external audiences.

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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