Communications professionals are required to have myriad of tools and skills to confront and manage issues and problems. Whether you are in a nonprofit, business, education, health, technology or retail entity, there are common responsibilities and requirements in the job description of a communications director.
Director-level positions will require a candidate to have at least five years of progressively gaining responsibilities because a communications director will supervise staff and budget, develop and execute plans and establish and maintain key relationships. Communications director positions will likely include five to seven years of managing staff, budgeting, planning communications and interacting with vendors, organizations and decision-makers. A nonprofit institution will want development or fundraising experience, such as creating communications materials for capital campaigns.
All communications jobs descriptions will require excellent writing skills, including experience in writing press releases, annual reports, articles, op-ed pieces, advertisements and speeches. Usually you'd need knowledge of photo-editing and document-design programs, familiarity with local and national media, Web page and social-media trends expertise and experience handling sensitive and confidential issues.
Communications directors must have a bachelor's degree in a related field–communications, English, journalism--and in many cases, an advanced degree is required. Some job descriptions may include a line that says, “Additional years of related experience may be considered in lieu of an advanced degree.”
A communications director position will likely report to a senior administrator or in some cases a president or chief executive, depending on the organization's size and structure. The communications director will be required to participate in a 24-hour, on-call response service, particularly in emergencies or special circumstances. The director is expected to attend special events, some of which may occur in the evenings or on weekends. Some travel may be required.
Most job descriptions will include a salary range. At a nonprofit, a typical starting salary for a communications might be around $40,000. A salary at a large business or institution will be $75,000 and above. Consider the entire employment package--salary, vacation, insurance, 401K plans, pensions, etc.