Duties and responsibilities
A communications specialist helps businesses by managing all internal and external communication of a company, and represents the company to the outside world. They are responsible for all things communication, which includes drafting media statements, answering media inquiries, compiling publications, planning events and press conferences. They have a huge amount of responsibility, which includes things such as:
- Developing and implementing a communication strategy that includes media outreach and social media content creation.
- Researching and writing press releases, and content for the company website, infographics, blogs, and newsletters.
- Arranging and coordinating press conferences
- Adhering to the company’s style guide, ensuring that we produce a high-quality and error-free copy
- Working with key internal role-players to brainstorm content ideas, in line with the company’s strategy and in support of various brand initiatives
- Building and maintaining relationships with journalists and key external role-players
A communications specialist will need to have a bachelor’s degree in a related field, such public relations or journalism.
On top of this, a minimum of 2 years experience in communications strategy development is essential. This will teach aspiring communications specialists all the skills they need to be successful in a higher level role.
Skills and relevant work experience
As well as relevant experience and a good education, communications specialists will need skills such as:
- Interpersonal skills, as communications specialists will work closely with members of the public and must be able to form connections with them
- Verbal and written communication skills, as communication specialists are responsible for writing the content of an organization and, therefore, must have excellent verbal and written communication skills
- Creativity, as communication specialists need to create gripping, unique and exciting content
- Attention to detail, as communications specialists will have to write precise and clear work that is free from error
Most communications specialists will work full time. They may often find themselves working overtime or long hours to meet deadlines. They may also travel a lot to attend meetings, press conferences and to do media campaigns.
According to payscale.com, the median annual salary for a communications specialist in the United States is $53,000. The bottom 10% can expect to earn less than $37,000 and the highest 10% earn over $76,000 per annum.
Communication specialists progress from lower-level public relations roles that have given them experience in communications strategy development . They will report directly to the Chief Public Relations Officer, or to company executive . As a result, their progression would be into one of these roles. However, in smaller organizations, they will have more responsibilities and control.