The following article discusses the career path of Director of Communications. Learn about how to become one, education requirements, job duties, traits and qualities, national salary outlook as well as top national employers of Director of Communications.
Directors of communications can work in any field, including nonprofits, the government, and private corporations. They hold responsibility for the way their organization communicates both internally and externally. Furthermore, they handle the public relations and media activities for the company. They are the ambassador and spokesperson for their brand and they ensure that the goals of the business are properly communicated. They organize and hold press conferences, speak to the press, write press releases, handle media, and so on.
Typically, they head the overall communications department. This means that they must also provide training and supervision for other staff members, ensuring they are effective, particularly in how they deal with the media. They focus on delivering a positive image of the company, which means that they also ensure that only those with the proper training and experience speak to the media. Furthermore, they build relationships with the local government, attending community meetings, developing volunteer programs, and taking part in outreach programs.
Directors of communications usually have a great deal of experience in handling crises and emergencies. Sometimes, negative press appears, or another emergency may occur, and the director must be able to deal with that as and when it happens. They have to put plans in place for these eventualities and make sure their response is immediate, effective, and appropriate.
Other job duties of directors of communications are:
- To be the primary liaison and spokesperson for the business when dealing with the media
- To implement new public relations efforts and supervise news releases
- To handle press conferences and coverage at events
- To put strategies in place and obtain the right tools and messages to build a positive brand image
Where We Work
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 31,300 advertising, promotions, and marketing managers in 2016, of which a director of communications is part. The largest employers of these professionals were:
- Advertising, public relations, and related services: 34%
- Information: 12%
- Management of companies and enterprises: 7%
- Wholesale trade: 6%
- Retail trade: 6%
How to Become
It is common for a director of communication to have a bachelor’s degree in a field such as communications, public relations, or marketing. Because they have to head a department, they often obtain master’s degrees as well, such as the master of business administration (MBA), although this is not a requirement.
Directors of communications are generally required to hold a bachelor’s degree as a minimum. Usually, they will major in areas such as marketing, communication, journalism, psychology, or advertising. Those who have taken classes in photography, art history, visual arts, communication technology and methods, sales, market research, consumer behavior, and marketing are in the highest demand.
Additionally, it is often advisable to also complete courses in areas such as statistics, mathematics, computer science, finance, economics, management, and business law. This is because these courses will enable a director of communications to best understand methods of driving traffic through communication online, an integral part of modern forms of communication.
Experience is also very important. Most directors of communication completed an internship as part of their degree. They will then have taken up an entry level position, through which they can grow to director position.
Traits & Qualities
The most effective directors of communications have the following traits to some degree or other:
- Excellent communications skills, both oral and written
- Leadership qualities
- The ability to handle pressure
The national average salary estimate for Director of Communications was $81,076. This number is estimated from over 710,724 employees, users past and present job advertisements from Indeed.com. This equates to an hourly salary of $42.23 and monthly of $6,756.
- Most Reported
Salary by State
The following section lists Director of Communications salaries in each state around the country. The figures are based on the total number of job postings through Indeed.com. For example, Massachusetts had the largest quoted salary of $109,712 while Arkansas had the smallest quoted salary of $40,866.
Top 20 National Employers
According to Indeed.com, the following states had employers looking to hire a Director of Communications. The quoted salary figure represents the average salary from all job postings by this employer.
|Employer Name||Location||Average Salary|
|Brown University||Rhode Island||$250,000|
|FPC of NYC||New York||$230,549|
|A Leading Medical Device Company||New Jersey||$163,958|
|nonda (No NDA inc)||California||$160,000|
|Beacon Hill Staffing||Massachusetts||$155,540|
|Affinity Executive Search||Massachusetts||$155,152|
|CMD And Associates||Massachusetts||$152,197|
|Cameron Craig Group||Massachusetts||$152,160|
|Systematic business consulting||Massachusetts||$150,085|
|Ploeger Recruiting Services||Massachusetts||$149,545|
|Phillips Staffing Solutions||Massachusetts||$149,545|
|Lodestar Executive Search||Massachusetts||$149,545|
|Fowler Placement Services, Inc.||Massachusetts||$149,545|
|The Creative Group||Pennsylvania||$144,086|
|EPM Scientific||New Jersey||$138,882|
|Career Name||Average Salary|
|Business Systems Analyst||$82,655|