Communications Officer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: June 22, 2022

A Communications Officer, or Corporate Communications Officer, is responsible for overseeing the communications efforts of a corporation, including public relations and marketing. Their duties include completing market research, communicating with media personnel to address company news and implementing communication policies and procedures to uphold their company’s brand image. 

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Communications Officer duties and responsibilities 

A Communications Officer develops and distributes information to promote an organization. Their duties and responsibilities may vary from company to company, but typically include the following: 

  • Maintain a database of media organizations and contacts within them.
  • Manage the company’s or organization’s social media communications.
  • Regularly meet with and conduct interviews with media personnel.
  • Create and produce internal newsletters for the organization.
  • Develop and maintain working relationships with journalists in multiple types of media outlets.
  • Act as a spokesperson for the organization.
  • Write, edit and distribute various types of content, including material for a website, press releases, marketing material and other types of content that take the message to the public.
  • Prepare and manage the organization’s communication budget.
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What does a Communications Officer do? 

Communications Officers typically work for corporations across industries to ensure that their company upholds its public image. They work closely with company Executives to identify areas to improve their marketing, PR and brand initiatives. Their job is to hire communications professionals, maintain relationships with media personnel, draft press release statements and examine marketing materials before approving the publication of marketing content. They may also be responsible for creating training materials to teach new employees about the company’s brand and mission statement.

Communications Officer skills and qualifications

Since the Communications Officer is in charge of managing and directing a company or organization’s public relations, they have to direct the communication team and get the organization’s message to the public. To do this, the Communications Officer should have the following skills and qualifications:

  • Good oral and written communication skills
  • Leadership skills
  • Decision-making and problem-solving skills
  • Good networking skills
  • Ability to multitask and prioritize projects
  • Attention to detail
  • Knowledge of the Associated Press style guide

Communications Officer salary expectations   

A Communications Officer makes an average of $47,291 per year. Salary may depend on the candidate’s level of experience, education or geographical location.

Communications Officer education and training requirements 

A bachelor’s degree is required for a Communications Officer position. Some employers may require or prefer a master’s degree. Most employers look for degrees in the areas of journalism, communications, English, business or a similar area that helps to develop good communication skills. 

Most employers also require 2 to 5 years of media or other communications experience. Many employers look for candidates who have earned one or more professional certifications from professional communication organizations such as the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), International Association of Business Communicators (IABC) or similar professional organizations.

Communications Officer experience requirements 

Since the Communications Officer is the person most responsible for crafting and projecting the organization’s public image, most employers seek applicants with experience in the field as well as relevant education and training. Given the importance of an organization’s public image, previous experience working in industries like journalism, public relations or social media is generally required for the Communications Officer position.

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Frequently asked questions about Communications Officers

 

What is the difference between a Communications Officers and a Communications Manager?

The difference between a Communications Officer and a Communications Manager is that Communication Officers hold more seniority over Communication Managers. For example, Communication Officers relay information from the upper management team to the Communications Manager to implement among their department. Further, Communications Officers oversee the Communications Manager, Marketing Manager and Public Relations Manager and each of their departmental operations. 

In contrast, a Communications Manager is only responsible for their department and its employees, including Internal Communication Specialists, External Communication Specialists and Communication Coordinators.

 

What are the daily duties of a Communications Officer?

On a typical day, a Communications Officer starts by checking their email and voicemail to respond to time-sensitive messages. They also use this time to check their schedule and highlight any upcoming deadlines or appointments. Throughout the day, they meet with company Executives and Managers to discuss the status of current projects and ask questions. They also meet with media personnel to talk about new products and services or to address company news. 

During downtime, they review advertisements, written content and other marketing materials created by employees. They approve or deny these materials based on their likeness to the company brand and its marketing objectives.

 

What qualities make a good Communications Officer?

A good Communications Officer is someone who is well-organized. Being organized allows them to oversee multiple departments and projects at a time. They should have excellent written and verbal communication that enables them to write press releases, speak at press events and relay information between company Executives and department heads. Communications Officers also need to have an expert understanding of their company, its mission statement and its products and services. This helps Communications Officers act as credible spokespersons for their company and create campaigns that align with the company brand. 

Further, a good Communications Officer strives to continuously research topics about their company, its industry and competitors to address in their marketing and communication efforts.

 

Who does a Communications Officer report to?

A Communications Officer typically reports directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the company. They work closely with the CEO to navigate legal incidents, relay information from lower-management and determine the best ways to market their company.

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