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A communications coordinator, or marketing communications coordinator, helps to promote a company by developing content and performing other administrative tasks. Duties for a communications coordinator often revolve around written, verbal, and interpersonal communication skills. To become a communications coordinator, you should obtain a degree in marketing, journalism or English, public relations, or communication while in college. Internships or volunteer work at related businesses can also help you to advance in this field. Career opportunities abound for media coordinators in small firms, large corporations, and nonprofit organizations, among others.
Several colleges and universities offer certificate, undergraduate, and graduate programs in the communications field. While many programs offer majors in communications, this need not be your major in order to obtain a job in this area. It is still advisable to take classes in journalism, English, and public relations to provide you with the foundation to become a communications coordinator. Besides courses in publishing, writing, and editing, students can also benefit from courses such as integrated marketing, consumer behavior, and brand management.
Your primary focus as a communications coordinator will involve increasing a company's presence or improving the company's public image, so any experience that you can gain in advertising or marketing is a great asset. Your job will involve creating material for the company's various publications, as well as its website, so working at your college's magazine or newspaper or in its events department can provide you with valuable training that will look great on a resume. Other duties include planning production schedules, organizing marketing campaigns and press conferences, and planning company events or industry-related conventions, so even volunteering to organize events or working as an officer in a club may provide you with this type of leadership and experience in delegating tasks.
To become a communications coordinator requires possessing excellent people skills, as you would also interact with coworkers and clients through emails, meetings, and other special events. Most companies also prefer a communications coordinator who can balance working independently with being part of a team on special projects. Any experience that you can gain in working with such a team will be further evidence for a potential employer that you are prepared to work in this industry.
Having an editorial background can also help you to become a communications coordinator. Upon coordinating information, the marketing coordinator usually writes company press releases and articles for company newsletters and brochures. In other settings, such as political campaigns, you may also be required to write speeches. Experience with proofreading and copy editing is also a plus because you may have to review articles or other published work written by your staff. Having a job working at your school's newspaper in high school and college would be an excellent way to prepare for this aspect of the profession.
Many firms prefer or require marketing communications coordinators to have at least one year of related experience, and three or four years of work in more competitive firms. The skills and experience may be acquired through marketing internships and entry-level work while still in college. You can gain this experience and eventually work in settings such as businesses, nonprofit groups, or in media and entertainment industries, as well as hospitals, government offices, and universities. A career as a communications coordinator can open the doors to higher-level positions, such as communications specialist, marketing or media manager, or director of marketing.
Well, it's not essential to have a degree in English, public relations, marketing or communications in college. A degree in art, political science, history or whatever else that is coupled with a background in "real world" journalism can go a lot way toward a career in public relations or communications. There are a lot of very good reporters who have gone on to PR positions and a lot of them hold degrees that have little to do with communications. In other words, experience counts for a lot.
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