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Communications Manager

Education and Training: Bachelor’s degree
Average Salary: $35,307 – $91,112 per year
Job Outlook: Good

Communications managers work to positively direct the conversation about a company and achieve measured goals to the company’s benefit. They interact with a company’s key public as well as develop and direct internal and external communication initiatives. Examples include product launches, marketing campaigns, promotional campaigns, and fundraising campaigns.

Communications managers develop strategies and goals, plan campaigns and manage their execution. In support of their activities they write correspondence, press releases, web copy, speeches and articles, and contribute information for the production of reports and brochures. They review and edit the company’s mass communications and information before they go out to customers or the public, such as letters, web copy, brochures, standard correspondence, marketing materials, and promotional materials. They create a communications plan and reference flow chart to use and reference in times of crisis or company distress.

Communications managers develop and execute promotions, contests and events, including parties, press conferences, product launches, conferences and workshops. They buy gifts for important clients or other important people.

Communications managers supervise and direct the work of lower-level communications staff such as communications coordinators and communications assistants. They collaborate with the IT department on the company’s website and mass e-mails.

In some companies, communications managers also oversee the production of creative designs for ads and marketing collateral, do the media buying to place the company’s advertisements in select media, collaborate with specialized public relations staff for external issues or human resources staff for internal issues, instruct sales representatives, and monitor trends that might affect the company.

Education and Training Requirements

Aspiring communications managers should have a bachelor’s degree, preferably with an undergraduate major such as advertising, marketing, public relations, journalism, English or business administration. The completion of related college internships is considered valued experience.

Getting the Job

Communications managers are hired via public job vacancies, chosen from among former interns or else chosen from among existing staff members with applicable skills.

For their next communications manager, employers are looking for candidates with creativity, initiative, excellent communication skills, up-to-date computer skills, and relevant experience, such as an internship or previous related employment.

Job Prospects, Employment Outlook and Career Development

The employment outlook for communications managers is good. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of jobs for these types of positions will increase as new goods and services come onto the market and companies increase their customer relations efforts. However, the competition for these jobs will be high.

Those who wish to advance should take advantage of employer-sponsored continuing education opportunities and consider some sort of certification. Advancement for communications managers comes in the form of promotions to a senior manager or executive spot.

Working Conditions and Environment

Communications managers work in an office environment. They spend part of their time working alone at a computer and part of their time collaborating with others.
Communications managers tend to work long hours and may experience stress concerning upcoming deadlines or the ability to meet goals and targets.

Salary and Benefits

Communications managers earn between $35,307 and $91,112 per year. Most compensation is in the form of a salary, but communications managers also earn annual bonuses and profit share revenue. In addition, they receive medical, dental, and vision benefits.

Where to Go for More Information

International Association of Business Communicators
601 Montgomery St., Ste. 1900
San Francisco, CA 94111
(415) 544-4700

Public Relations Society of America
33 Maiden Lane, Fl. 11
New York, NY 10038
(212) 460-1400

The American Marketing Association
311 S. Wacker Dr., Ste. 5800
Chicago, IL 60606
(312) 542-9000

The Communications Institute
9536 Topanga Canyon Blvd.
Chatsworth, CA 91311-4011
(818) 349-5555

Additional topics

Job Descriptions and Careers, Career and Job Opportunities, Career Search, and Career Choices and ProfilesCommunication and the Arts