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What Does a Communications Manager Do?

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  • Written By: Lainie Petersen
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 15 November 2016
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A communications manager is typically responsible for ensuring that businesses and organizations effectively present information in promotions to potential clients, customers, or even the general public. This person may also be responsible for communicating important information within a business or organization. Job duties vary between organizations, but these professionals typically engage in public relations activities as well as the development of various communication and promotional strategies.

Many businesses and organizations rely heavily on public relations work in order to promote the organization's mission, services, or products. A communications manager may do this by overseeing the production of literature, press releases, or articles for publication that clearly address or promote the concerns or goals of an organization. Depending on the staffing at his organization, he may be responsible for writing this literature himself, or he may manage a staff of writers and editors. He must also develop a strong network of media contacts who can assist in disseminating his organization's message.

In addition to facilitating communication outside an organization, a communications manager may be called upon to address communications issues within an organization. For example, very large organizations may have difficulty managing interdepartmental communications or may have the challenge of accurately informing employees of industry news or staffing and policy changes. It will be up to the communications manager to develop ways of effectively and accurately informing employees of this type of crucial information.

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Communications managers may be called upon to work with specific departments within an organization to assist them in developing good communications and public relations strategies. For example, the fundraising department of a charity may rely on a communications manager to help develop press releases that are then targeted to media outlets that cater to individuals who engage in philanthropy. On the other hand, an education or outreach department may want to work with the communications manager on the production of informative websites or literature that either promote the organization's cause or educate the public about an aspect of the organization's mission.

Aspiring communications managers should focus on developing their writing and communications skills while in school. In some cases, organizations may require that a communications manager hold a graduate degree in public relations or communications. In many cases, some of the best training for a career in communications management may be obtained through a good-quality, structured internship. Finally, public relations and communications professionals should work hard at developing their professional networks, as these outside contacts are typically very important to the success of their public relations efforts.

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whiteplane
Post 3

What kind of skills and experience do I need to have to become a communications manager? I have a college degree in communications and some experience in PR. Would this qualify me?

backdraft
Post 2

@Ivan83 - I completely agree. I worked as a communications manager for almost a decade and at the beginning I really struggled.

I think for me what was the hardest part was trying to analyze your audience and tailor your communication to fit that need. Different audiences have to be addressed in different ways. Executives are different than new hires who are different than customers. Modifying your style and voice to fit the reader is always a challenge.

Ivan83
Post 1

Communications manager is an interesting job that encapsulates a number of different responsibilities. You you will be in charge of training, marketing, PR, damage control and other important tasks.

It really takes a talented person with a broad perspective to do this a job effectively.

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