What Does A Day In The Life Of A Communications Specialist Look Like?

From writing press releases to organizing events, communications specialists enjoy a lot of excitement in their day-to-day work. If you’re thinking of working in communications, you might be wondering what a day in the life of a communications specialist looks like: Is it mostly responding to media enquiries or are you more likely to attend a lot of meetings? The answer depends on your specific role. However, although the tasks might vary from one day to the next, most communications specialists do a combination of the following things:

Responding to media enquiries

One of the key aspects of a communications specialist’s job is to respond to incoming media enquiries. This can include setting up interviews or handling questions about a potential company problem. Whatever the case, communications specialists are responsible for always putting their best foot forward. They also must always act with the company’s best interest in mind.

Crafting press releases and other types of content

Communications specialists are in charge of creating various types of content. That said, they must also ensure that messaging is consistent and in line with company policies. As such, communications specialists often spend time writing, editing, and sharing content with different audiences. This can include the media or the company’s clients

Meeting with teams within the company to provide communications training

For communications specialists who focus on internal communication, providing communications training is an important part of the role. This includes ensuring that employees are aware of key phrases the organization uses when referring to itself. It also means educating employees on the importance of an integrated communications strategy. This ensures they best represent the company when talking to customers or the public.

Organizing events

Another important part of a communication specialist’s day is organizing events. These events can range from fundraisers hosted by the company on behalf of a charity and public events designed to build relationships between the company and their customers. Above all, communications specialists are responsible for ensuring that these events are covered by media outlets and that the generate positive buzz around the company.

A diverse and exciting career, communications offers a lot of opportunities for growth while giving you the skills you need to succeed in your role.

What is a Communications Major and is it Right for Me?

Do you enjoy talking to people and figuring out what makes them tick? Are you an outgoing person who is comfortable connecting with diverse groups of people and getting your message across effectively? If you answered yes to these questions, then being a communications major might just be for you.

What is a communications major?

A communications major is a major designed to teach you about effective communication and how to apply it to fields like media, law and business. Coursework for this major is very similar to coursework for related majors such as public relations, advertising and journalism. As a communications major, you’ll be taking a broad range of classes including marketing, sociology and business as well as more traditional communications classes like media studies and journalism.

Is it right for me?

Majoring in communications means having a broad understanding of how this field impacts others such as business and media. Here are some key questions to ask yourself before embarking on this major:

Do I feel confident in my writing and communication skills?
Do I like studying a broad range of subjects including sociology, psychology and media studies?
Am I able to handle and incorporate criticism and feedback from my professors and peers?
Am I good at multitasking and working on multiple projects and subjects at once?
Will I dedicate myself to getting internships and jobs through college that will further my level of experience?

What can I do with a communications major?

Since communications is a broad major with significant overlap to other majors, there are plenty of available career options. Some of the most common ones include:

  • public relations
  • journalism
  • law
  • marketing
  • copywriting
  • … and more

What do communications majors earn?

Salaries for communications majors are as varied as the career paths they take after graduation. While public relations specialists can expect to earn starting salaries between $40,000-$45,000, entry-level salaries for attorneys start at $55,000-$60,000 and quickly go up from there.

Next, learn more about this college major such as What is a Marketing Major and is it Right for Me? and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as How to Answer: Are You Willing to Travel?.

Types of Internships for Communications Majors

With their ability to communicate effectively in almost any situation, communications majors are some of the most sought after candidates in all sorts of professional fields. With so many opportunities available, you might be wondering how to find a job that’s a good fit for you. The best way to do that is through an internship where you can get exposure to a specific field or position.

Here are some of the best internships for communications majors:

Marketing intern

As a marketing intern, you’ll assist the marketing team with projects and find out how marketers help brands connect with their audience. During your internship, you’ll be taking on a number of tasks such as collaborating on blog post ideas, developing social media strategy and writing email copy. As a result, you’ll be gaining lots of hands-on experience and also getting exposed to all of the different elements involved in crafting a successful marketing campaign.

Editorial intern

From sharpening your SEO skills to shadowing an editorial meeting, an editorial internship can be a great and enriching experience. Depending on the type of company you intern with, you could be writing blog or news articles, learning how to research and fact-check news stories, or learning the ins and outs of copy editing and AP style.

Public relations intern

As a public relations intern, you’ll assist the PR team with campaign strategy, pitches and handling client relationships. You’ll also likely get to attend publicity events including sporting events and product launches. Best of all, you’ll learn the basics of writing a press release and assisting in the development of a full-scale PR campaign.

Content marketing intern

Content marketing internships give you direct exposure to drafting content for the company website, as well as copy for ads and blog posts. In addition, you’re likely to also get hands-on experience with other things such as managing social media accounts. Best of all, you’ll get to sit in meetings where ideas for new content are developed.

Social media intern

As a social media intern, you’ll engage your company’s followers, commenters and readers, while also attempting to grow the community. From coming up with funny memes to post on Instagram to crafting a great Snapchat story, a social media internship is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about engagement and about how to use social media as a powerful tool for business.

Copywriting Intern

As a copywriting intern, you’ll be trained in researching, drafting and editing copy for all types of content including blog posts, news articles and email campaigns. You’ll also learn how to match your writing style to a specific brand and fine-tune your copywriting skills. This internship is a great opportunity to get a feel for what’s required to thrive as a full-time copywriter.

Broadcast intern

A broadcast internship is a wonderful opportunity to learn the ins and out of working for a TV or radio station. From shadowing staff to fact-checking, researching and assisting with different aspects of production, you’ll be getting exposure to the whole world of broadcasting. Best of all, internship experience in broadcasting is essential and valued when it comes to applying for full-time jobs in the field after graduation.

In addition to the critical skills communications majors develop during college, they also benefit from the more specialized hands-on experience that can only result from an internship. By taking on one or more internships during your time in college, you’ll be able to learn more about your options and find a career path that’s right for you.

Next, learn more about this college major such as What is a Communications Major and is it Right for Me? and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as Top 10 Things You Should Look for In an Internship.

Types of Entry-Level Jobs for Communications Majors

Being a communications major means learning all about the best ways to communicate effectively and help brands get their message across. And because these skills can be applied to multiple industries, communications majors are in high demand in almost every industry. If you’ve already learned about the most popular types of internships for communications majors, then you might be wondering what comes next. Are there just as many opportunities after graduation? The answer is yes.

Here are some of the best entry-level jobs for communications majors:

Marketing coordinator

As a marketing coordinator, you’ll develop marketing materials and assist with both internal and external communications. You’ll also help coordinate timelines and goals for the executive team and assist with their implementation. This is a job that requires a sound knowledge of marketing models, and even better communication and leadership skills.

Client services representative

A client services representative acts as an intermediary for the company and its clients, assisting the client with transactions, setting up meetings and ensuring customer satisfaction. In this position, you’ll be communicating with the client on behalf of the company, relaying important messages and ensuring a smooth working relationship.

Public relations assistant

As a public relations assistant, you’ll coordinate and review press releases, and help organize publicity events, campaigns and presentations geared towards maintaining a positive image for a company or brand. You might work on multiple projects, or in multiple capacities, often in a fast-paced environment that keeps you on your toes.

Editorial assistant

As an editorial assistant, you’ll coordinate editorial timelines ensuring that workflow between writers and editors is smooth and efficient. As part of your tasks, you’ll be communicating with writers to provide their assignments and following up to ensure that they submit on time. In smaller companies, you might also take on writing tasks, utilizing both your writing and administrative abilities.

Associate brand manager

As an associate brand manager, you’ll conduct initial market research and position the product you’re promoting in relation to similar products on the market. You’ll also develop marketing strategies aimed to increase the brand’s reach to its target audience. This position requires a solid understanding of the brand you’re promoting and its value in the marketplace.

Social media coordinator

As a social media coordinator, you’ll do more than just post to Facebook and Instagram. You’ll also interact with the brand’s online community, analyze the reach of different kinds of media and optimize social media campaigns for individual platforms. As the digital voice of the brand, you’ll be helping social media managers engage the brand’s audience effectively and learning how to capitalize on media trends along the way.

Irrespective of the field they choose to work in, communications majors play an important role in maintaining relationships between businesses and consumers, communicating with those audiences and presenting information. They get the message out there, resolve problems and analyze feedback. With all of those skills at their fingertips, it’s no wonder that communications majors are so sought after in workforce.

Next, learn more about this college major such as What is a Communications Major and is it Right for Me? and get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as Tell Me About an Accomplishment That You’re Most Proud Of.

What Is a Communications Specialist?

A fast-paced and exciting career, working in communications is a great way for recent grads to learn about the field of communications while helping companies get their message across effectively. If you’re considering a position as a communications specialist, you might be wondering whether the role might be a good fit for you.

Here are some of the key things you need to know about working in communications.

What is a communications specialist?

Similar to a public relations specialist, a communications specialist is responsible for building and maintaining relationships between the company or brand they represent and the outside world. Depending on their role, communications specialists may also be responsible for managing communications within the organization itself including crafting company-wide newsletters, creating brand awareness programs and getting feedback from employees about the company’s communications strategy.

What does a communications specialist do?

In addition to working on internal communications strategies and branding programs, communications specialists also act as the public face of the brand. Working either with PR specialists or on their own, they are responsible for responding to media requests, crafting press releases and even managing events on behalf of the company.

What are the challenges of working in communications?

Being a communications specialist certainly does come with its share of challenges. These include having to perform “damage control” in any instance where the company gets bad publicity, being able to ensure consistent messaging across all communications materials and generally being able to balance all of the different tasks involved. In addition to these challenges, communications specialists are also sometimes called upon to handle problems with the organization or with external third parties and they must ensure that they keep their cool while always representing the company in the best possible light.

What are the benefits of working in communications?

Although this job definitely has its share of challenges, it also has a lot of benefits. These include establishing great relationships with the public and the media, liaising with thought leaders in one or more fields and and organizing high-profile events that are likely to generate attention for the company. This is a great way to gain exposure to various areas of the communications and media industries, while building a solid reputation and a strong professional network.

What is the typical salary of a communications specialist?

A typical entry-level salary for a communications specialist is around $45,000 with senior communications specialists earning a median salary of $75,000 and directors earning anywhere from $75,000 – $120,000, depending on location and experience.

From handling media requests to working on internal communications for the company, being a communications specialist has a lot to offer recent grads. The best way to find out if being a communications specialist is right for you is to get a hands-on feel for the role by doing an internship.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as 3 Ways to Be More Productive at Work and find answers to common interview questions such as What Are You Passionate About?

How to Become a Communications Specialist

An intriguing field with plenty of career opportunities, the field of communications has a lot to offer recent grads. If you’re interested in becoming a communications specialist, you might be wondering about the best way to get started. Should you look for an internship or attend networking events? Ideally, you’ll want to do both with a few other things mixed in.

Here are the steps you need to follow in order to become a communications specialist.

1. Decide what area of communications you’re interested in

Like the field of public relations, communications focuses on building and maintaining relationships between a company and the public (including customers, the media and industry thought leaders). However, unlike public relations, communications is a broader field which also includes creating internal communication strategies and training programs for specific companies. In order to give yourself the best chance of success in the field, it’s important to research the different type of communications you’re most interested in. For example, if the idea of being the public face of a company appeals to you, then a role on an external communications team could be a good fit. On the other hand, if you think you’d rather work to build communications policies within the company, then an internal communications role might be a better choice.

Pro Tip: If you’re not sure what each type of role entails, reach out to people who work in the industry — either from your own network or from your school’s alumni network — and ask to set up a 15 minute chat so that you can find out more about the roles and decide which one is most appealing to you.

2. Develop your skill set by taking relevant classes

In addition to learning about the field itself, it’s also important to develop your skill set by taking relevant classes and working on independent projects. Good classes to take include those that fall under the umbrella of a communications major — such as marketing, sociology and business classes. These will give you a better understanding of the field as well as helping you to develop useful skills like crafting press releases.

Pro Tip: If you’re interested in more than one subject, consider taking on a double major or minor to help you learn about communications while also giving you the chance to explore other subjects.

3. Intern with a communications agency

Internships are another great way to learn new skills and get hands-on experience and interning with a communications agency is a great way to gain exposure to all the different aspects of a communications position. During your internship, you’ll attend strategy meetings, create materials for distribution and learn how to handle media enquiries. Best of all, you’ll get a sense of how all of these different tasks fit together to create an integrated communications plan.

4. Grow your professional network

One of the best things to do in any industry is to grow your professional network. When it comes to communications, this is especially important since you’ll frequently liaise with journalists and customers, as well as working closely with other communications professionals. The best way to do this is by reaching out to your network of friends, professors and peers and identifying those people who have direct experience in the field. Beyond that, it’s also a great idea to stay in touch with former co-workers and managers from your previous jobs. Since communications is a tight-knit field, they’re likely to know about new opportunities as they come up and they can help connect you with hiring managers for those roles.

Working in communications is an exciting opportunity to be both the public face and internal core of a company. By following these tips, you’ll be sure to find an opportunity that’s right for you.

Next, get more career tips for internships and entry-level jobs such as 5 Tips for Getting an Entry-Level Job Unrelated to Your Major and find answers to common interview questions such as Why Do You Want to Work Here?