Communications Degree Zone

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A career using a degree in communications can be far-reaching and come under many headings. Communication specialists—also referred to as public relations specialists and media specialists, among other titles—serve as advocates for patrons seeking to build or maintain positive relationships with the public. Clients might be nonprofit organizations, businesses, hospitals, universities and other organizations. As business leaders recognize that their organizations benefit from positive public relations, they are increasingly relying on those with a communications degree for advice on the approach and policy of their communications.

A person who has earned a communications degree as works as a communication specialist handles community, media, consumer and government relations; interest groups; political campaigns; employee and investor relations; and conflict mediation. Communication degree specialists must understand the attitudes and concerns of the consumer, community, public and employees to establish and maintain mutual relationships between them and representatives from print and broadcast journalism.

Communication specialists can draft press releases and make contact with media representatives who might print or broadcast their information. Many a radio or television special report, magazine article or newspaper story started at the desk of a communication specialist. At times, the press release concerns an organization and its policies toward workers or its role in the public. For example, a press release might describe a public issue, such as energy, health, or environment, and what an organization did to promote or defend the cause.

When an organization wants to arrange and conduct programs to maintain contact between its representatives and the community at large, it is usually someone on the communications team, holding a degree in communications, who makes it happen. These specialists frequently represent employers at neighborhood projects, make visual presentations for meetings and school assemblies, and plan conventions. They also might set up speaking engagements or actually prepare speeches for officials.

In government, if you're using a communications degree you might be a press secretary. A press secretary's job is to not just represent the government agency but to inform the public about the agency's activities. For example, a press secretary for the U.S. Department of State might be responsible for alerting the public of travel advisories or relaying the U.S. positions on foreign issues to the public at large. A press secretary for a member of the legislature would inform constituents of that representative's accomplishments.

In large business organizations, the key communications-degreed executive, who frequently may be a vice president, may actually be the point player in developing the overall plan and/or policy of the company with other executives. Additionally, public relations departments employ people with a communications degree to research, write, maintain contacts, prepare materials and respond to general inquiries.

People who handle publicity for an individual or who direct communications or public relations for a small organization may have a wide range of job responsibilities. These people holding degrees in communications research and plan, contact people and prepare materials for release. They also may handle sales promotion and advertising to support marketing efforts.

As you can see, the possibilities for employment with a communications major are endless. You only need to decide your area of interest and get started!

Last Updated: 08/20/2013

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