How do I Become a Communications Planner?
How do I Become a Communications Planner?
In today’s world of 24/7 content delivery, a poorly thought-out ad or a mistimed tweet can go viral, causing immediate backlash. At the same time, a well executed hashtag can bring a lot of positive attention. Avoiding the former and achieving the latter requires careful planning and execution. How do organizations stay attune to their audiences? How do they maintain consistent messaging that goes viral for the right reasons? And what steps can organizations take to market their brand to different audiences and for different events? To answer those questions, many organizations turn to Communication Planners.
What is a Communications Planner?
If you haven’t heard of a Communications Planner, you probably know the job as something else, like a Communications Coordinator, Public Relations Specialist, or Media Specialist. No matter the job title, the work entails handling an organization’s marketing communications, both inside and out. Communications Planners work to improve their organization’s internal communication strategy and external reputation with multiple audiences, and they often work closely with the Communications Manager to create marketing materials or events. A Communications Planner that works primarily with their company’s clients might collaborate with external personnel to ensure they effectively communicate with the public and maintain their chosen brand image.
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Communications Planner Salaries and Job Prospects
Communications Planners and their related positions vary greatly in the salary they receive depending on the type of organization they work for, their professional experience, and their level of seniority, but median pay hovers around $47,000. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, positions similar to a Communications Planner, like a Public Relations Specialist, are on the rise. They are expected to grow by 6% in the coming years. The biggest factor in job growth for this area is in social media and digital marketing. Common jobs for Communication Planners to be promoted to include but are not limited to: Communications Specialist, Communications Manager, Marketing Manager, Communications Director, and other related senior level marketing and communications positions.
Valuable Skills for Communications Planners to Have
- Social Media Marketing
- Media and Public Relations
- Web Content Management
- Event Management
- Strategic Planning
- Corporate Communications
- Familiarity with web design and graphic design
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills
- Knowledge of multiple genres and audiences according to marketing theory
Education for Aspiring Communications Planners
Most aspiring Communications Planners have a bachelor’s degree in public relations, journalism, communications, English, or business, and need to develop a portfolio of work that demonstrates their abilities. A great way to build that portfolio is through internships, a number of which are available fully online. As the field increases its engagement in the digital realm, more businesses expect their Communication Planners to gain additional digital marketing certificates. After gaining some experience, many Communication Planners also go on to earn their master’s so they can move up to managerial or director positions.
Helpful Certifications for Communications Planners
- FileMaker Pro
- Adobe Creative Cloud (Illustrator; Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver)
- Social Media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
- Twitter Analytics
- Google Analytics