Communications Director How to Hire, Salary Data, and Job Descriptions

A communications director is the overseer in the line of communication between an organization and the public. They are responsible for supervising all forms of communication, such as press statements, newsletters, websites, social media presence, crisis communications, fundraisers, panel discussions, and public interviews. 

To excel at this job, it is highly important that a communications director have excellent verbal and written communication skills. It is also equally important that they have trusted PR specialists, media professionals, and others that they can rely on to provide assistance and feedback. Communications directors also need to be up to par on trend awareness and personnel management. The role of a communications director is that they are essentially a PR manager. 

Sample job description #1

The Communications Director will design and implement communication strategies that elevate ABC Company’s reputation, performance, and connections with employees. Specifically, she/he will be responsible for internal communications within the region. The role is comprised of majority internal communication responsibilities with some external communications.

Essential qualities for success in this position include a collaborative disposition, uncompromising eye for quality, comfort with change, resourcefulness, creative problem-solving, multi-tasking skills, and flexibility.

The communications director is responsible for and not limited to:

  • Partners with leadership to develop and implement executive communication strategies, report regularly on communication progress
  • Develops and implements internal communication strategies for our market that improve business performance, connect employees, and reinforce our mission, vision, values, and culture.
  • Develops and implements external communication strategies that expand brand awareness and elevate our leaders.
  • Implement a modern, dependable communications infrastructure that reduces low-level administrative burden on communicators
  • Manages communication team member’s performance, development needs, and career growth
  • Project manages communication campaigns to ensure timely, successful completion
  • Develops content tailored to the specific medium and audience requirements across written, visual, interactive, and auditory format
  • Analyzes communications performance, report regularly on status and continuously improve strategy, channels, content, and tactics.
  • Proactively seeks out and promotes innovative and creative approaches to communication
  • Collaborates with internal stakeholders to help define communications needs and preferences
  • Manages agency relationships, ensuring requirements, and objectives are successfully met
  • Establishes a cohort of media-trained clinicians and coordinate media placements
  • Effectively collaborates with external communications team to identify, pursue, and place key earned media content

Required qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent experience (5+ years relevant experience beyond the required years of experience can be substituted in lieu of a bachelor’s degree)
  • 10+ years corporate communications experience
  • At least three years’ experience managing a team
  • Demonstrated success working with senior executive level clients and stakeholders
  • Project management experience and the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Proven ability to consult with clients to determine requirements, stakeholders, and scope
  • Experience communicating in multiple media (e.g., print, email, web, video/audio)
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, complex, often-changing environment
  • Excellent writing and oral communication skills, ability to persuade and build consensus with stakeholders

Preferred qualifications:

  • Affinity for tools and communications technology
  • The ability to communicate with images as well as words
  • Media training experience
  • Knowledge of the regional media landscape
  • Healthcare experience helpful but not required

Sample job description #2

We’re looking for a dynamic communications expert to enhance our client-facing communication efforts. The Communications Director will partner with key leaders within our firm to understand their priorities, goals, and build overarching communications strategies and plans that align to outcomes. The ideal candidate will be skilled in building comprehensive communication campaigns for a variety of audiences and will be able to offer communications guidance and support and develop customer-focused communications by using a variety of mediums. Delivering communications that convey a sense of care, clarity, consistency, and partnership to our customers will be critical for the success of this role.

The Communications Director will oversee and partner with Communications Managers and collaborate closely with email, digital, and creative marketing managers to fulfill communication needs.

The ideal candidate should have experience running large-scale communication efforts, and must possess superior writing and editing skills, including the ability to research and synthesize information into content that meets our customers’ needs and effectively tell a story. We are looking for someone who will demonstrate confidence, expertise, and a willingness to challenge the status quo.

Responsibilities

  • Create large-scale communications plans and strategies with the lens of the audience always in mind
  • Partner with business units to understand upcoming priorities and initiatives and provide strategic direction to help business units effectively communicate with clients
  • Build and execute on strategic and project-level communication plans that support the firm’s business units, strategic priorities, and vision
  • Leverage multiple mediums to effectively reach and engage with customers
  • Ensure firm communications tell a story, using consistent voice and customer-focused lens
  • Work communications through the approval and distribution process, including gathering feedback, anticipating obstacles and opportunities, gaining compliance approval, and collaborating with Digital Marketing for delivery of communications through email or landing pages
  • Use qualitative and quantitative results to measure communication quality, engagement, and satisfaction, and use data to inform future actions
  • Write and copyedit website content, brochure content, newsletter articles, industry publication contributed content, signage, and more to enhance voice and messaging
  • Participate in the development and execution of strategic marketing/communication projects that improve efficiency and/or enhance our customer’s experience with our firm
  • All other duties as assigned

Education requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Journalism, Communications, or another related field preferred. Relevant experience may be considered in lieu of a degree in these areas.

Basic requirements

  • 5+ years of previous experience in corporate writing, communications, or another related role
  • Previous financial industry experience preferred, but not required
  • Superior writing and editing skills, including ability to research and synthesize information into content that meets the target audience’s needs
  • Demonstrates confidence and expertise and has a proven history of successfully building and maintaining relationships with senior leaders and other business partners
  • Strong organization, time management and productivity skills, including the ability to handle multiple tasks simultaneously
  • Ability to bring fresh perspective to existing processes or materials
  • Strong listening skills and ability to find resolutions or compromises to conflicting opinions and instructions
  • Demonstrates strong leadership capabilities, including the ability to lead through change and/or periods of rapid growth
  • High business acumen and a curiosity for learning more about subject matter, the firm, our industry, and current communication best practices

Sample job description #3

The Communications Director should have a strong background in strategic, executive, and internal communications that guide internal and external brand messaging across channels.

Communications director responsibilities:

  • Create and execute strategies communications plan that blends internal and external communications and overall brand messaging across channels
  • Develop targeted messaging and strategic initiatives across video, web, social and events to drive growth and elevation of the brand
  • Supervise and develop internal team to execute and drive brand messaging across internal and external audiences
  • Present, track and manage campaigns, working with leadership to assess and improve strategies and tactics

Communications director requirements:

  • 12+ years communications experience (ideally in a research, technology, government or venture based organization)
  • Exceptional experience directing and executing multichannel communications initiatives to both internal and external audiences
  • Experience in internal and external communications, executive communications, and media relations
  • Leadership experience required

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a communications director is $100,350. Salary will likely vary depending on location, industry, company and size of organization.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$105,650$129,150
Los Angeles, California$119,200$145,700
Denver, Colorado$99,300$121,400
Washington, DC$121,000$147,900
Miami, Florida$98,850$120,850
Orlando, Florida$91,200$111,450
Tampa, Florida$92,100$112,550
Atlanta, Georgia$96,600$118,100
Chicago, Illinois$111,050$135,750
Boston, Massachusetts$120,100$146,800
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$95,700$117,000
New York City, New York$126,400$154,500
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$102,950$125,800
Dallas, Texas$100,250$122,500
Houston, Texas$99,750$121,950
Seattle, Washington$115,600$141,250
National Average$90,300$110,350

Sample interview questions

  • How do you build trusting relationships with journalists/reporters?
  • What role do you think honesty and deception play in the communications field?
  • Have you ever had a situation where you were put into crisis mode? Tell me about it. 
  • If the company you’re working for suddenly has a PR disaster, how would you handle it?
  • What communications decisions would you delegate to your staff rather than handle yourself?
  • When was a time that your advice helped the company turn a new leaf? Describe it to me.
  • What would you consider the key to success when communicating with the public?
  • Was there ever a time in your last position where you felt you didn’t handle communications correctly? What was it and how did you manage the fallout?
  • Describe a time when you successfully persuaded another person to change his/her way of thinking or behavior.
  • How would you describe your communications style?
  • Why do you think you’d be a good fit for the communications director position at our company?

Are you interested in becoming a communications director?

If you are interested in becoming a communications director, we are ready to connect you to one of our headhunters or recruiters to see if you are a perfect fit for one of our available job openings. If a job does not suit you, we will always keep you in mind as new positions open up. We have vast experience connecting professionals with some of the most well-known organizations in the country. Your next job or career path as a communications director could be right around the corner. Take a look at our latest job openings and our blog for career advice.


Similar job titles and careers

  • Communications Manager
  • Reporter
  • Public Relations Manager
  • Communications Specialist
  • Communications Officer 
  • Community Development Director
  • Community Relations Director
  • Director of Public Affairs

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