What does a Communications Coordinator do?

Patrick Roland

A communications coordinator is the person responsible for connecting a company or business to the media. This job requires a variety of responsibilities for the coordinator, ranging from building media lists, planning events, and creating press materials to gauging the success of a campaign and completing required continuing education. Independent communications coordinators must also handle the burden of generating new business by finding clients.

A communications coordinator might as a local television station to cover an event.
A communications coordinator might as a local television station to cover an event.

Everything a communications coordinator does is intended to improve a company's public image by spreading news about that organization. A communication coordinator needs a media list to ensure the success of any campaign. Building a list means seeking out the appropriate contacts within newspapers, websites, radio stations and television stations. Creating personal relationships with reporters and editors at these outlets is key to getting information out quickly and accurately.

A communications coordinator is responsible for building media lists and creating press materials.
A communications coordinator is responsible for building media lists and creating press materials.

Creating the press material that is eventually distributed to the media is also a responsibility of a communications coordinator. Press releases, op-ed articles, pamphlets, brochures, and online content must all be written and edited by a coordinator. These communications must be written with the company's image in mind and portray positive information to the public.

Communications coordinators may create press releases for print in local newspapers.
Communications coordinators may create press releases for print in local newspapers.

Event planning is another frequent responsibility of the communications coordinator. Trade show appearances, banquets and public relations events are normally handled by a coordinator. This job encompasses everything from invitations and space rentals to travel to ensure an event happens and attracts media attention.

Communications coordinators need to have good verbal skills to effectively communicate with other personnel over the phone.
Communications coordinators need to have good verbal skills to effectively communicate with other personnel over the phone.

Communications coordinators must also determine if an event or publicity campaign is a success. This is done by monitoring hits. A hit is a mention of the company in any form of media. Compiling these hits, including newspaper articles, radio and television mentions, into a report is frequently necessary to show management how well a company is being represented in the media.

Continuing education is frequently required of a communications coordinator as well. Attending classes and workshops that focus on communication techniques is one way to ensure a coordinator is on the cutting edge of the industry. Some companies help pay for further education, but often a coordinator must handle the financial burden himself.

Independent and freelance communications coordinators have an added sales aspect to the basic job description. These professionals are responsible for generating new business. Seeking out potential clients, pitching to these clients and convincing them to utilize communication services is also necessary. This duty can require large amounts of time and generally requires a person with an outgoing personality.

A communications coordinator may be responsible for event planning.
A communications coordinator may be responsible for event planning.

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Discussion Comments

umbra21

@bythewell - It would actually be quite an interesting job if you were with the right company. Think about what companies do these days to get noticed. They blazon themselves on daredevils and stage elaborate flashmobs. Having a communications coordinator job doesn't mean you're just at a desk making phone calls all day or following standard protocol anymore.

bythewell

@pastanaga - I can see why that would be a major problem. Nothing gives me the creeps more than a company that jumps on a tragedy and uses it as a chance to promote their wares or services.

And the media is all too happy to have someone put a different spin on news stories so they can keep on selling them.

But, it's not just straight promotion, you'd also be in charge of things like events and maybe even sponsorships, so you'd be able to do a lot of good in this kind of job as well.

pastanaga

This would actually be quite a difficult and complex job. I've never done it myself, but I've been researching this kind of work since I'm hoping to self publish a novel in a few months and want to basically act as my own communications coordinator.

I thought it would essentially just mean writing up a few press releases and that's it. But you really have to dig around and try to find the right places to insert your name. And you have to do it without looking like a bad person who is just trying to capitalize on a situation. Which means you have to try and be genuine all the time. I wouldn't want to have a career in communications unless I really loved the company I was with and thought they were worth promoting.

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