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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

  • $86,868

    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 Director Property Manager Communications Manager
Communications Project Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Marketing Director Public Relations Consultant Public Relations Director
Director Of Marketing And Public Relations
6 Yearsyrs
Manager Of Corporate Communications Public Relations Director
Director Of Publications Marketing
5 Yearsyrs
Registered Nurse Adjunct Faculty Communications Director
Director Strategic Communications
11 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Communications Director
Director, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Marketing Communications Manager Writer And Editor Communications Manager
Internal Communications Manager
9 Yearsyrs
Communications Director Public Relations Consultant Public Relations Manager
Manager Of Corporate Communications
7 Yearsyrs
Program Manager Marketing Manager Marketing Manager/Project Manager
Marketing & Public Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager Business Manager Account Coordinator
Marketing Account Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Marketing Communications Manager Communications Manager Communications Director
Marketing And Communication Consultant
10 Yearsyrs
Communications Lead Communications Manager Marketing Consultant
Marketing Lead
6 Yearsyrs
Manager Of Employee Communications Director, Corporate Communications Public Relations Consultant
Media Relations Manager
5 Yearsyrs
Manager Of Corporate Communications Writer And Editor Public Affairs Specialist
Public Affairs Manager
7 Yearsyrs
Manager Of Employee Communications Communications Director Public Relations Consultant
Public Information Officer
6 Yearsyrs
Marketing Manager Account Director Strategist
Senior Strategist
8 Yearsyrs
Communications Manager Marketing Director
Vice President Of Marketing & Communications
12 Yearsyrs
Communications Director Director, Corporate Communications
Vice President, Corporate Communications
10 Yearsyrs
Communications Lead Marketing Communications Manager Communications Manager
Web Content Manager
5 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 Employers Before
Internship 6.4%
Editor 4.2%
Reporter 4.1%
Consultant 3.6%
Manager 2.9%
Top Employers After
Consultant 5.4%
Manager 4.4%
Owner 3.4%
Internship 3.2%
Director 3.0%

Do you work as a Senior Communications Specialist?

Senior Communications Specialist Demographics

Gender

Female

62.3%

Male

35.7%

Unknown

2.1%
Ethnicity

White

65.0%

Hispanic or Latino

13.6%

Black or African American

11.3%

Asian

6.6%

Unknown

3.5%
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Languages Spoken

Spanish

34.3%

French

20.0%

German

8.6%

Chinese

5.7%

Italian

5.7%

Portuguese

2.9%

Somali

2.9%

Russian

2.9%

Carrier

2.9%

Arabic

2.9%

Mandarin

2.9%

Korean

1.4%

Lithuanian

1.4%

Japanese

1.4%

Tagalog

1.4%

Dakota

1.4%

Thai

1.4%
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Senior Communications Specialist Education

Schools

University of Phoenix

12.7%

Northwestern University

5.9%

Saint Cloud State University

5.9%

Syracuse University

5.4%

University of Missouri - Columbia

5.4%

University of Maryland - College Park

4.9%

Temple University

4.9%

University of Houston

4.9%

Purdue University

4.9%

Indiana Wesleyan University

4.9%

Webster University

4.4%

DePaul University

4.4%

Towson University

4.4%

Ohio University -

3.9%

California State University - Fullerton

3.9%

Michigan State University

3.9%

University of Maryland - University College

3.9%

University of Minnesota - Twin Cities

3.9%

Rasmussen College

3.9%

University of Oregon

3.9%
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Majors

Communication

17.9%

Business

14.1%

Journalism

12.0%

Nursing

8.3%

English

8.1%

Marketing

7.2%

Public Relations

6.6%

Management

2.6%

Information Technology

2.5%

Psychology

2.3%

Computer Information Systems

2.3%

Writing

2.1%

Business Communications

2.1%

Agricultural Public Services

2.0%

Health Care Administration

2.0%

Human Resources Management

1.8%

Education

1.7%

Project Management

1.5%

Political Science

1.5%

Fine Arts

1.4%
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Degrees

Bachelors

43.4%

Masters

26.2%

Other

14.5%

Associate

7.6%

Certificate

4.6%

Doctorate

2.2%

Diploma

1.0%

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

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  1. Web
  2. Intranet
  3. Strategic Communications
You can check out examples of real life uses of top skills on resumes here:
  • Collaborate with upper management on leadership blogs, newsletters, press releases, training and articles for the Company IT website.
  • Created an intranet handbook detailing project history, roll-out communication plan and maintenance procedures.
  • Developed, managed strategic communications plans for federal programs that built capture momentum among key stakeholder audiences from Congress to end-users.
  • Developed an annual PR/Community Relations calendar including press releases, mailings and article placements in appropriate publications.
  • Collaborated with company executives, clinic administrators and human resources to assess communication needs and determine appropriate strategies.

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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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