Oh My Job is a web series that helps you learn about specific roles from the people who carry them out every day. In this episode, Charlotte, a Director of Communications, shares her professional insights and talks about her daily working life at Upslide.
A Director of Communications is in charge of both internal and external communications. The role involves promoting the brand image to two radically different audiences.
A Director of Communications is therefore in charge of the company’s key missions, the first of which is to oversee internal communications. Producing internal newsletters or organizing weekly briefings are all tools used to promote communications within the company. His or her goal is to share the company’s news and updates with employees.
The other main responsibility of a Director of Communications is to formulate external messages that are faithful to the company’s image. Whether through an agency or advertising firm, the aim of public communications is to share the company’s values with the rest of the world. The variety of responsibilities linked to the role requires a thorough understanding of corporate communications, such as public relations or web communications. A Director of Communications must work with the marketing team to develop communications plans with relevant content that reflects the brand’s image. Participating in trade fairs or organizing events such as parties is also a part of the job. Finally, to assess the impact of their communications activities, a Director analyzes reputation and image indicators, including surveys, website traffic or mentions on social networks, so that the media and tone can be adjusted as necessary.
“The Director of Communications is the person who will give energy and motivation to all employees by sharing the company’s vision and business activities with them every day.”
Often in possession of a Master’s degree in business, communications or even journalism, Directors of Communications might also have extensive professional experience working in communications roles in an agency or advertising firm. Early career experiences might involve working as a communications assistant, press officer or communications manager. Experience of leading a team or holding a managerial position can also be a big advantage when applying for this position.
A Director of Communications needs to be creative and must demonstrate solid presentation and writing skills so that messages are effectively communicated.
This profession, complicated by the duality of its internal/external focus, requires a lot of flexibility and powers of prediction to understand the intended audience. A Director of Communications also requires good managerial skills to take both the communications team and the company’s communications strategy in the right direction.
“To find the right tone in communications, I start by carefully observing, listening to, and looking at the company, so that I can then give them a voice.”
Since a Director of Communications often leads an entire team of communications professionals, he or she keeps a company’s services and employees up-to-date regarding internal procedures or the status of certain projects. He or she uses this approach to share the company’s vision, which comes from working closely with management.
For external communications, a Director of Communications will work alongside marketing teams to reach customers efficiently and effectively via finely tuned messages.
“You are the voice of the company, and therefore you must always keep yourself separate, and remember that at all times.”
In the United States, you can expect somewhere between $6,200 and $11,100 gross per month, depending on your level of seniority.
A Director of Communications can move into other management roles, such as CEO or COO, or embark on the adventure of setting up his or her own communications agency with a solid contact list built up after years of experience.