You might have caught Volkswagen’s 2011 Super Bowl commercial. It featured a young boy imitating Darth Vader, which won the heart of America and went viral. This year Volkswagen built on the success of that ad and kept its communications consistent by staying with the Star Wars theme. However, they did introduce a new protagonist: a dog. Volkswagen is clearly executing a communications strategy designed to promote their products. The person behind this is a Communications Specialist.
Communications Career Guide Overview
- What a Communications Specialist Does
- A Typical Day for a Communications Specialist
- Salary and Career Progression for a Communications Specialist
- Best Locations for Communications Specialists
- Pros and Cons of Being a Communications Specialist
- What You Need to Know for a Career in Communications
- Communications Resources
- Careers Related to Communications
- Companies with Jobs and Internships in Communications
What a Communications Specialist Does
A Communications Specialist develops communications programs that effectively describe and promote an organization and its products. To do this they research and create content for publication of products. This content might be graphics, brochures, company or product fact sheets, logos, media kits, or other promotional products. The job can also involve preparing presentations or speeches as well as communicating across teams to ensure the program’s success.
A Typical Day for a Communications Specialist
A typical day for Marketing Communications Specialist can vary a lot but may involve any of these tasks:
- Manage and recommend marketing communications budget, including monthly tracking and reporting for assigned product lines’ marketing communications programs
- Manage global marketing communications programs from idea to launch
- Communicate with product and commercial management teams to ensure alignment with goals
- Manage in-house resources as needed, as well as outside agencies and vendors (design firms, public relations firms, photographers, videographers, printers, etc.) on campaign development and execution
- Write and proofread creative briefs, product branding, newsletters, literature, promotional, web and external business communications
- Report on metrics for campaign effectiveness and key learnings
Salary and Career Progression for a Communications Specialist
On average a Communications Specialist makes $62,000 per year. From there you could go on to become a Corporate Communications Specialist ($65,000) or a Marketing Manager ($86,000 per year on average).
Best Locations for Communications Specialists
Here are some hot spots for communications specialists:
- Washington, DC
- Chicago, IL
- Minneapolis and St Paul, MN
- Boston, MA
- New York, NY
- Atlanta, GA
- Los Angeles, CA
- Houston, TX
- Milwaukee, WI
Pros and Cons of Being a Communications Specialist
- You get to be artistic and creative
- Option for freelance
- Lots of job opportunities as companies need help with this
- Due to emergence of social media, it can be a lot to keep up with
- Need to juggle multiple priorities
- Lots of time communicating across teams
What You Need to Know for a Career in Communications
You’ll need a college degree in the marketing or PR field, as well as some experience. Beyond that, you will need to know the principle behind Integrated Marketing Communications–the same “look and feel” that strengthens the marketing effectiveness of a company’s products and services. The skills that you need in order to succeed in this field are persuasive writing skills, great communication skills, graphics design and layout, commercial arts, and photography.
If a career in communications sounds like your cup of tea, here are a few things you should do to get started.
Blogs and Websites
Careers Related to Communications
Companies with Entry Level Jobs and Internships in Communications
Check out the latest job and internship postings in communications.