Community Relations ProfessionalJob Description, Salary, Career Path, and Trends

Community relations professionals work with the marketing or public relations department to promote the mission and goals of a company. People must have excellent communication and persuasion skills to excel in this role. 

Community relations professionals are responsible for organizing programs and events that will help promote their company’s ideas, products, or services. To achieve this goal, community relations professionals must build and maintain relationships with their customers by listening to their needs and honest feedback about their company.

This job opportunity allows you to become more confident speaking with clients and working with colleagues to help make a company successful by upping service and product sales. While community relations professionals may be sitting at a desk completing their work, for the most part, they will also be found attending promotional events such as press conferences, exhibitions, auctions, and more. 

Sample job description

If you have excellent communication skills and are a naturally charismatic leader, consider joining [Your Company Name] as a community relations professional! The communication relations professional will be required to serve as the face of our organization, creating social media content and coordinating press releases as needed. If you are comfortable going to relevant events, such as fundraisers and speaking in front of a crowd or audience when needed, then this position might be for you. You should be charismatic, confident, and able to convince people to support our organization. Access to reliable transportation will be needed for this position, so please consider this before applying. You should have excellent communication, negotiation, and presentation skills as well as an understanding of various computer programs like Canva and Word. Relevant qualifications can be beneficial, but the number one thing we’re looking for is the ability to represent our brand!

Typical duties and responsibilities

  • Write press releases and other traditional print materials 
  • Create and coordinate social media content 
  • Organize outreach programs to interact with the community and influence public opinion or promote services 
  • Plan and promote public events and press conferences in the community
  • Choose materials to distribute on multimedia channels and promote a positive image of the organization
  • Deliver speeches at public events
  • Attend fundraisers  
  • Respond to questions, comments, and concerns from community members

Education and experience

This position requires a bachelor’s degree in public relations, marketing, mass communications, or a similar field. 

Required skills and qualifications

  • Proficiency using Microsoft Office Suite
  • Excellent presentation and negotiation skills
  • Strong public speaking skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to speak face-to-face with community members
  • Excellent customer service skills
  • Ability to multitask and organize in a fast-paced environment
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to collaborate with a team

Preferred qualifications

  • Experience in company reputation management 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills to maintain effective communication
  • Experience overseeing time-sensitive projects and deadlines
  • Bachelor’s degree in public relations or related field
  • 3+ years of experience working with a Fortune 500 company
  • Excellent social media management

Average salary and compensation

The average salary for a community relations professional is $52,250 in the United States. Position salary will vary based on experience, education, company size, industry, and market.

LocationSalary LowSalary High
Phoenix, Arizona$51,950$70,300
Los Angeles, California$58,600$79,300
Denver, Colorado$48,850$66,050
Washington, DC$59,500$80,500
Miami, Florida$48,600$65,750
Orlando, Florida$44,850$60,650
Tampa, Florida$45,300$61,250
Atlanta, Georgia$47,500$64,250
Chicago, Illinois$54,600$73,900
Boston, Massachusetts$59,000$79,900
Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota$47,000$63,650
New York City, New York$62,150$84,100
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania$50,650$68,500
Dallas, Texas$49,250$66,650
Houston, Texas$49,050$66,350
Seattle, Washington$56,850$76,900
National Average$44,400$60,050

Typical work environment

Community relations professionals serve as the presentation aspect of a business or organization. This can mean various things depending on the position, though usually it will involve planning events and managing social media pages as well as speaking at relevant locations. This position may also require the candidate to speak at press conferences and manage press releases. It is extremely important that community relations professionals will have a competent understanding of written and verbal presentation and communication skills.

Community relations professionals must be able to present their brand or business in a professional and proper manner in line with the brand guidelines to secure networking and funding. Communication skills and interpersonal skills are extremely beneficial. Having a background in marketing or sales can be useful to a community relations professional as well. This position also may require prolonged periods sitting behind a computer.

Typical hours

Typical hours for this position are from 9 AM to 5 PM, Monday through Friday in an office setting or working from home.

Available certifications

Community relations professionals will usually not be required to have any certifications, but there are some relevant certifications to this position. Some of these include the following:

  • Professional Certified Marketer (PCM). Becoming a professionally certified marketer can assist community relations professionals in showcasing themselves as an expert when it comes to brand presentation and relations management. This certification can be immensely useful in practical application as well, assisting community relations professionals in successful marketing.
  • Certified Professional – Human Resource (IPMA-CP). The IPMA-CP assists relations or interpersonal professionals to accurately understand leadership, interpersonal and communication skills, and various techniques that will assist in the position. Because of this, this certification can be immensely useful to community relations professionals.
  • Accreditation in Public Relations by PRSA. This organization offers lifelong learning opportunities, as well as resources to help public relations professionals at every step of their career. Their certification programs cover digital strategies, hot trending topics, crisis communication, and reputation management.

Career path

The path to becoming a community relations specialist begins with obtaining your bachelor’s degree in public relations, communications, marketing, or a related field. It is beneficial to gain experience through volunteering, holding an internship, fundraising, or other community-based roles. You can also join professional organizations, such as the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) to gain further accreditation in the industry.

US, Bureau of Labor Statistics’ job outlook

SOC Code: 27-3031

2020 Employment272,300
Projected Employment in 2030303,400
Projected 2020-2030 Percentage Shift 11% increase
Projected 2020-2030 Numeric Shift31,200 increase

After the events of 2020, this industry had to be quick to adapt and evolve in order to position their company for success amidst a pandemic as well as the current cultural trends. With new technology, it is important to stay up to date with the increasing number of channels to promote your product or service. While television, radio, and social media remain popular sources for breaking news, we are seeing an increase in individuals who are turning to podcasts for a more in-depth discussion of trending topics. More than ever, it is important to communicate your message with authenticity and social consciousness.

Another trending medium for community relations professionals is the use of influencers. Reputation and referrals from trusted individuals are crucial to drive engagement and reach your attended audience.

Sample interview questions

  • How confident are you in your speaking skills and presentation ability?
  • If I asked you to sell me on [Your Company Name] right now, how would you go about doing that?
  • How would you change your presentation style for different groups of people? Give an example.
  • How would you handle an angry customer or a miscommunication which causes trouble for the company?
  • Do you have any relevant certifications, work experience, or life experience which will make you shine as a community relations professional?
  • How do you handle bad press?
  • If a disgruntled customer or employee speaks out about the company, how would you remedy this?
  • Are you familiar with all of the top social media platforms?

Community Relations Professional Jobs in Ashburn

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