Communications Director: Job Description, Duties and Requirements

Communications directors require significant formal education. Learn about the degree programs, job duties and requirements to see if this is the right career for you.

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Essential Information

Communications directors, often called public relations directors, oversee communications within a company or organization, and they also represent their employer to the public. The job typically requires a bachelor's degree in an area of business or communications as well as strong writing and public speaking skills. Work experience in communications or public relations is another common requirement.

Required Education Bachelor's degree in public relations, business or another relevant field
Other Requirements Strong writing and public speaking skills; related work experience
Projected Job Growth (2012-2022)* 13% for public relations and fundraising managers
Median Salary (2013)* $98,700 for public relations and fundraising managers

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

Job Description for a Communications Director

Communications directors typically head up and organize a team of communications consultants responsible for representing the business or organization to the outside world. Besides the corporate world, these professionals find employment in nonprofit organizations and universities, as well as in the field of politics, where they represent different governing bodies, including as high as the presidency of the United States. Very often, communications directors serve as the public face for their place of employment.

Job openings for public relations managers and specialists were projected to experience 13% growth for 2012-2022, per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This is about as fast as the average growth expected for all careers. Public relations and fundraising managers earned a median salary of $98,700 as of May 2013, according to BLS data.

Duties

Depending on the organization, business or government branch they work for, communications directors can have a range of duties. These include writing speech and press releases, promoting special events, scheduling interviews for CEOs or presidents and giving interviews on behalf of the organization they represent. In their capacity as representative to the outside world, communication directors may also be required to work with departments of advertising and marketing, as well as web designers and financial representatives.

Many employers require communications directors to travel while making appearances and attending meetings on behalf of their organization. Some companies allow communications directors to build their own team to work with, while other companies will have a group already in place.

Requirements

Most companies or organizations prefer to hire communications directors with a bachelor's or master's degree in advertising, communications, public relations or a similar area of study. Courses in this program should include marketing, public speaking, administration and instruction in various writing styles. Strong job candidates have several years of experience in the communications or public relations field. Communications directors should possess strong writing, editing, public speaking and leadership skills, along with the ability to work with other employees.

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