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A communications specialist is at the center of a company’s internal and external communications. Employed by businesses of all sizes, this person is typically a jack of all trades who is particularly good at communicating in the written form. Some of his many tasks might include writing press releases and memorandums, as well as collaborating with the advertising or public relations team. This specialist is often entry level and answers to upper management, though the specialist may also be on a higher employment tier, as well.
A communications specialist generally has a four-year college degree, often with a major found within the umbrella of communications. Journalism, writing, and marketing degrees can potentially be helpful to people who want to go into this field. These types of careers often start with an internship in a business field such as media or publishing, though just about any sort of company may hire a communications specialist. Additionally, the specialist may be contracted on a part- or full-time basis as well as hired to work from home or in the office.
These careers typically pay between $50,000 US Dollars (USD) and $60,000 (USD) annually, though salaries may drastically differ. The specialist must be capable of relating to public interest groups, investors, government officials and employees. He may address conflicts and resolutions, as well as maintain relationships with partners and competitors.
Where appropriate, a successful communications specialist is able to walk the thin line between professionalism and edginess. In the case of companies hoping to attract a young audience, the specialist needs to stay current on ongoing trends while being able to maintain a dignified stance.
With the advent and skyrocketing popularity of online social networking in the 21st century, many communication specialists are in charge of maintaining company Facebook®, Twitter® and LinkedIn® pages. On these pages, companies can advertise for free by simply telling their followers what they are up to. By doing this, the specialist is also able to solicit feedback. The communication specialist often tends to these tasks, frequently updating and refreshing the company social networking pages with fresh data. In this way, many communications specialist careers are not the typical “nine to five” jobs; rather, they’re consistently on the go.
Along with writing copy for the company to both the employees and the public, a communications specialist also often coordinates media-driven events. With or without the assistance of a public relations specialist, the communications guru may be in charge of writing speeches for press conferences, as well as occasionally giving such speeches. Part of the job description of such a specialist often includes contacting local media outlets such as newspapers and magazines to inform them of any upcoming events they may want to cover.
There are a lot of former journalists winding up as communications specialists -- a condition that has accelerated as journalism has declined. It's a very good career option for reporters who suddenly find themselves unemployed and wondering what they should do next.
It's a competitive field, but a good journalist already has the skills to be an effective communications specialist.
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