Career Development

What Does a Communication Specialist Do?

Find out what a communication specialist does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a communication specialist.

Communication specialists are responsible for creating and distributing content. They commonly work in the communications department of large organizations, but they may also be employed by smaller companies or even individual professionals.

Communication specialists are often tasked with developing a consistent voice and tone for their organization’s communications. This might include writing press releases, social media posts, newsletters, etc.

Communication Specialist Job Duties

Communication specialists have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Creating and updating marketing campaigns, such as print ads or radio spots
  • Provide administrative support to managers by answering phones, scheduling appointments, and taking notes during meetings
  • Analyzing data to determine effective methods to communicate with target audiences
  • Writing speeches and press releases for executives, including researching topics and gathering information from multiple sources
  • Maintaining awareness of current events in all industries relevant to their employer’s business to identify opportunities for new business development
  • Coordinating events such as trade shows or conferences to promote products or services
  • Coordinating the delivery of messages with multiple parties, such as clients or employees, to ensure that all are aware of new policies or procedures
  • Reviewing scripts or other content before it is recorded or broadcast to ensure it meets regulations such as equal time requirements for political candidates
  • Coordinating with advertising agencies and other partners to develop effective marketing campaigns

Communication Specialist Salary & Outlook

Communication specialist salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the type of company they work for. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $62,500 ($30.05/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $122,000 ($58.65/hour)

The employment of communication specialists is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Employment growth will be driven by the need to communicate with customers and employees in new ways, such as through social media platforms and mobile devices. Communication specialists also will be needed to help companies communicate with their suppliers and distributors in other countries.

Communication Specialist Job Requirements

A communication specialist typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Communication specialists are typically required to have a bachelor’s degree in communication, public relations, journalism, English, psychology or another related field. These programs typically include courses in communication, public speaking, research, writing, advertising and marketing.

Training & Experience: Communication specialists typically receive on-the-job training once they start working for a company. This training may include learning the company’s communication methods, procedures and software. Communication specialists who work for the federal government may receive additional training to learn the communication methods and procedures specific to their agency.

Certifications & Licenses: While certifications are not mandatory, they can offer communication specialists more job opportunities and earning potential.

Communication Specialist Skills

Communication specialists need the following skills in order to be successful:

Active listening: Active listening is the ability to understand what someone is saying and how they feel about the topic. This can include making eye contact, nodding and smiling to show you’re paying attention. It can also mean asking questions to clarify what the person is saying. Active listening can help you communicate more effectively and build stronger relationships.

Public speaking: Public speaking is the act of communicating with a large group of people. This can include speaking at conferences, hosting presentations or giving speeches. Public speaking is an important skill for communication specialists because they often need to communicate with large groups of people.

Persuasion: Persuasion is the ability to convince others to agree with your ideas or actions. Communication specialists use persuasion to convince others to take action on their messages. For example, if a customer service representative needs to convince a customer to change their behavior, they might use persuasion to convince the customer that their actions are harmful to the company.

Conflict resolution: Conflict resolution is the ability to help people come to an agreement. Communication specialists use this skill to help people communicate more effectively. For example, if a customer service representative and a customer have a disagreement, a communication specialist may be able to help them come to an agreement.

Empathy: Empathy is the ability to understand another person’s perspective and feelings. This can help you communicate more effectively with others. For example, if you notice someone’s tone of voice change when they speak, you can ask them if they are feeling alright. This can help you understand their perspective and improve your communication with them.

Communication Specialist Work Environment

Communication specialists work in a variety of settings, including corporate offices, advertising agencies, public relations firms, and government agencies. They may work in teams or individually, and their work hours can vary depending on the demands of their projects. Many communication specialists work full time, but some may work part time or have flexible schedules. Some communication specialists travel to attend conferences or meet with clients, and some may have to travel to gather information or conduct research. Communication specialists may work under a great deal of pressure to meet deadlines and produce high-quality work.

Communication Specialist Trends

Here are three trends influencing how communication specialists work. Communication specialists will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for Better Communication Skills

The need for better communication skills is a trend that is being increasingly recognized by employers as essential in today’s workforce. As businesses become more global, they are looking for employees who can communicate effectively in a variety of languages and cultures.

Communication specialists can capitalize on this trend by developing their language and cultural skills. They can also focus on improving their writing and presentation skills, which are essential in business settings.

More Focus on Employee Engagement

Employee engagement is becoming an increasingly important focus for businesses, as it has been shown to have a direct impact on productivity and profitability.

As communication specialists, you can capitalize on this trend by developing skills that help you connect with employees and build relationships with them. This includes things like listening, understanding, and communicating with empathy. In addition, you should be able to create a positive work environment that encourages employee engagement.

Greater Use of Video Conferencing

The use of video conferencing is becoming more popular in the business world as it offers many benefits over traditional face-to-face meetings.

For example, video conferencing allows people to meet from different locations without having to travel, which saves time and money. It also makes it easier to include more people in meetings, which can lead to better decision making.

How to Become a Communication Specialist

Communication specialists have a lot of options when it comes to their career path. They can specialize in a particular area, such as marketing, public relations, or journalism. They can also choose to work in different industries, such as healthcare, education, or business.

No matter what direction they take, communication specialists should always be learning new skills and techniques. This will help them stay up-to-date on the latest trends and technologies. They should also build strong relationships with other professionals in the industry. This will help them find opportunities for growth and advancement.

Related: How to Write a Communication Specialist Resume

Advancement Prospects

There are many ways to advance your career as a communication specialist. One of the best ways is to get further education, which can help you qualify for positions that are otherwise not open to you. For example, a communication specialist with a bachelor’s degree may wish to get an advanced degree in order to apply for research or teaching positions. Alternatively, a communication specialist with a strong background in computer science may wish to get a master’s degree in order to qualify for positions in multimedia or interactive technology.

Another way to advance your career is to develop a personal style that is in high demand in the marketplace. This can allow you to freelance your services, which can be an erratic but potentially very lucrative career move. However, only the most experienced communication specialists with an established client base should attempt this, as it can be difficult to find consistent full-time work as a freelancer.

Communication Specialist Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we understand that in order to be successful, we need to be able to effectively communicate with our employees, customers, and partners. We’re looking for a communication specialist to join our team and help us develop and execute communication plans that support our business goals. The ideal candidate will have experience developing and managing communication strategies, as well as experience with various communication channels (including print, digital, social media, and events). He/she will be a strong writer with excellent editing and proofreading skills. The ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously is a must.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Develop and execute communication plans that align with business objectives, including but not limited to media relations, thought leadership, employee communications, change management, and crisis communications
  • Write and edit a variety of internal and external communications materials such as press releases, speeches, talking points, bylined articles, web content, social media posts, and executive communications
  • Serve as a project manager for the development and execution of integrated communication campaigns, ensuring all elements are delivered on time and within budget
  • Research, write, and edit complex documents such as proposals, reports, and presentations
  • Develop and maintain strong relationships with members of the media, proactively pitching story ideas and securing positive coverage
  • Monitor news cycles and industry trends to identify opportunities and threats that could impact the organization’s reputation
  • Respond to media inquiries in a timely and professional manner, providing accurate and consistent information while protecting the interests of the company
  • Train and coach employees and executives on effective communication techniques
  • Manage multiple projects simultaneously and adjust quickly to changing priorities
  • Work effectively under pressure and meet deadlines in a fast-paced environment
  • Use data and analytics to measure the effectiveness of communication programs and make recommendations for improvement
  • Stay up-to-date on best practices and emerging trends in the field of corporate communications

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in communication, public relations, journalism, or related field
  • 3-5 years of professional writing experience
  • Superior writing, editing, and proofreading skills
  • Exceptional research and interviewing skills
  • Ability to work independently and with a team to meet deadlines
  • Flexibility and adaptability to handle multiple projects simultaneously

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in communication, public relations, journalism, or related field
  • 7-10 years of professional writing experience
  • Experience developing and managing social media accounts
  • Proficiency in graphic design software, including Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator
  • Experience creating and delivering presentations

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