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Aug 27, 2019

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Communications Manager Job Description and Interview Questions

Communications Managers play one of the most important strategic business roles within organizations. With the emergence of remote work and dispersed...

communications-manager-job-description

Communications Managers play one of the most important strategic business roles within organizations. With the emergence of remote work and dispersed workplaces, having proper internal and external communications strategies has become a must-have. 

In this blog, you will learn more about what Communications Manager's role looks like, what are their main duties and responsibilities as well as what challenges they face. 

💡 Looking to improve your internal communications strategy? Check out our guide on How to Boost Internal Communication.

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Who are Communications Managers

Communications Manager is the person who should dominate companies’ internal or external communication. This is the greatest strength and value that they bring to their company. 

Communications Managers identify the needs and interests of clients and stakeholders. They use data and insights not only to understand the situation but also the people involved in it. Finally they should be able to measure effects and results, learn from what has been gained and constantly work towards performance improvement

Internal vs. External Communications Managers

There is a big difference between what internal end external comms professionals do. However, many companies engage one person or one team to do both. 

Here is the main difference between internal and external communications. 

  1. Internal Communication refers to the communication which takes place among individuals within organizations. On the contrary, external communication is a communication that occurs between the organization and other individuals from outside the company
  2. Internal communication can be formal or informal and it often requires honest and open communication with employees. However, external communication is mostly formal and highly documented.
  3. Internal communication aims at transmission of information among employees and departments. Conversely, external communication focuses on maintaining relationship or exchanging information with external parties.
  4. The participants of internal communication are employees and the company’s management. On the other hand, the parties to external communication include customers, shareholders, investors, clients, general public, suppliers, creditors, etc.
  5. Both internal and external communication happen regularly. However, the frequency of internal communication is relatively higher than that of external communication.
  6. Internal communication flows within the organization, whereas the external communication flows in the vast business environment.

Why Should You Hire a Communications Manager

Communication is one of the most important business segments of any organization. It can be defined as the exchange of knowledge, information, ideas and feelings through verbal and non-verbal means. 

Internal communications within organizations don’t always have to be work related. Personal communication is often a big part of every company’s internal communication. An exchange of opinions, feelings and information between employees and managers happen on a daily basis.

Because of that, Communications Manager must think about how he or she can influence employees’ attitudes and behaviour, their work morale and productivity. In addition, they can play a big role in encouraging employee advocacy and engagement. 

communications-manager-workplace-productivity

Take a look at 5 ways to improve workplace productivity with internal communications.

Communication in a dynamic and complex business environment requires efficient exchange of information, knowledge, time and resources. External comms are responsible for building business relationships with business associates and institutions such as the market suppliers, customers and media.

External Communications Managers can help organizations indicate what are the real consumers’, suppliers’ and shareholders’ needs and requirements.

Internal and external business communication can be complex. That is why you need to hire a Communications Manager who has the communication skills that are required to cope with the challenges that it brings to your  everyday business.

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Communications Manager Job Description

Both internal and external Communications Manager’s job can be very dynamic. They need to have knowledge of basic and advanced principles of communicology, public relations, marketing, management, economics, business and corporate communications. In addition, they should be familiar with the media industry and the basic principles of journalism.

As a specific form of communications management, public relations are also a very important part of every communications strategy. Public relations professionals need to have knowledge about mass communications, psychology of communications and customer relationship management.

On the other hand, internal communications professionals need to have a good knowledge and understanding on how employee relations work, how to keep employees informed and improve employee engagement

As seen, Communications Managers' duties and responsibilities can vary greatly in different companies. However, here are some of the most common duties, responsibilities and requirements employers look for when hiring them.

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Communications Manager Duties and Responsibilities

  • Develop and edit communication materials like newsletters, blogs, press releases and similar marketing materials in order to promote company’s products and services.
  • Implement company’s communication plan in order to increase brand awareness.
  • Develop overall communications strategy for the company
  • Incorporate Public Release, Digital and Traditional Marketing efforts.
  • Measure and analyze current communications efforts.
  • Oversee and allocate the annual communications budget and ensure its use is fully maximized.
  • Work with different marketing departments to generate new ideas and innovative  strategies.
  • Manage change management communications
  • Develop and manage relationships with key media players to secure and grow media online and offline coverage.
  • Write press releases for local, national and international media.
  • Monitor press releases that relate to company’s brand 
  • Amplify opportunities for positive Public Release.
  • Drive employees' share of voice through proper corporate communications
  • Ensure communications consistency among different stakeholders.
  • Develop, plan, implement and monitor the company’s internal communication strategy.
  • Communicate brand values to both internal and external customers and stakeholders.
  • Prepare detailed quarterly media activity reports. 
  • Use communications technology to boost productivity. 

Communications Manager Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, public relations, economics or other relevant field.
  • At least 5 years of experience working in a similar role.
  • Proven strong presentation and communication skills.
  • Knowledge and understanding of communications practices, tools and techniques in social media.
  • Proactivity, self motivation and the ability to meet deadlines
  • Creativity in developing relevant marketing content
  • Highly developed project and time management skills

Communications Manager Interview Questions

If you are hiring an internal or external Communications Manager for the very first time, you should first research some ideas on what to ask them on their interviews

Remember that it is extremely important to look for someone who will also fit in your company’s culture and core values. 

Also, the difference between internal and external communications roles are very different. While internal communications make sure to improve communications among employees, external communications professionals are mainly focused on how to communicate to potential buyers and other external stakeholders. 

Here are a few ideas and tips when interviewing for an internal or external Communications Manager position. 

External Communications Manager interview questions

  1. Why did you choose the career of a communications manager?
  2. How can social media promote company’s brand image?
  3. What important factors do you evaluate before developing a communications strategy for a new product?
  4. Were you ever in a situation when a brand campaign didn’t perform as well as you expected? What did you do?
  5. What is the most important factor of every successful communications strategy?
  6. What factors do you consider before releasing a press release about a new product or service?
  7. Have you reviewed our company's website and Social Media channels? What is your feedback?
  8. What are come communications KPIs that should be measured?
  9. What tools and technologies have you used to track and measure the success of you previous campaigns?
  10. Why did you choose our company?
  11. Why do you think you would fit in our company’s culture?

Internal Communications Manager interview questions

  1. What is the difference between internal and external communications?
  2. In your opinion, is internal or external communication more important for business success? Why?
  3. What are the top 3 benefits of having an internal communications department?
  4. What is the main role of internal communications professionals?
  5. What do you like about being an internal communications professional?
  6. Give me 3 examples how would you increase employee engagement?
  7. How would you make sure to keep employees informed about important information at all times?
  8. Let’s say a major change in our company needs to be implemented in a few hours. How would you make sure everyone knows about it?
  9. In your opinion, can internal communications have a power to drive employee ambassadorship? How?
  10. Have you ever used any tools and software for employee communications? Which ones?
  11. Why do you think you would fit in our company’s culture?
  12. Tell me more about your experience in crisis communications? 
  13. How would you build a communications plan for multigenerational workplace?
  14. What would be your strategy for reaching hard-to-reach employees such as deskless and remote employees?

Challenges Faced by Communications Managers

Today, communications managers play one of the most important strategic roles in every business, especially those whose focus is on internal employee communications. 

As workplace communications have a direct impact on employee experience, motivation, alignment and productivity, it is no surprise that many companies are now investing in their communications efforts more than every before

However, many employers are still struggling to optimize their communications strategies due to the lack of the right technology and employee apps. 

1. Creating engaging content

Communications managers also have to be skilled content creators. In today's multigenerational workplaces, we need to better understand what type of content our employees like to consume. 

Many organizations now create content such as videos, webinar, podcasts and infographics in order to improve readership and engagement with their content. 

2. Segmenting audiences and eliminating information overload

One of the biggest challenges that communications managers face today is the inability to properly segment their audiences. This is especially true for big enterprise companies with dispersed workforce. 

As the consequence, every employee gets the same message, mostly a mass email. After a few such emails, which are also the main cause of information overload, it doesn't take long for the audience to start ignoring the content irrelevant to their job functions, locations, interests and preferences. 

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3. Reaching the right employees at the right time

One of the most important roles of communications managers is to reach the right audience at the right time with the right content. Organizations with front line and remote workers, who don't have designated working space, are often struggling to reach their employees and deliver important messages and updates.  

However, modern communications technology and apps are built to enable communicators to always stay connected with their workplaces

4. Improving cross-functional collaboration and eliminating silos

In today’s agile world, communications professionals need to ensure much better interdepartmental communications

For example, development, marketing, sales and customer success teams cannot work separately. Moreover, they need to communicate effectively on a daily basis. 

Yet, according to research, over half of companies report having siloed teams, and 40% of organizations admit that each different department has its own customer experience agenda.

communications-manager-challenge

5. Measuring the impact of communications

Last but not least, measuring the impact of communications in the workplace is still one of the biggest struggles for communications professionals. 

In other words, it can be very hard to prove the ROI of a company's communication strategy if you don't have the right tools in place. This is why many of the communications strategies are being stagnant without any changes and improvements

communications-manager-strategy

Luckily, AI-powered solutions like Smarp enable communicators to connect communication with the ultimate business goals and KPIs. 

Average Salary for Communications Managers

Communications managers’ salaries vary greatly depending on skills, experience and geographic location. 

Here are the average salaries for Communications Managers in the US, United Kingdom and Germany. 

Average Salary in the U.S.

National average salary for a Communications Manager in the U.S. is around $70K per year and it ranges from 48K per year to 115K per year. 

Average Salary in UK

If you are considering working as a Communications Manager in the UK it is good to know that salaries for that role range from £30K per year to as high £59K per year. 

Average Salary in Germany

On average, Communications Managers in Germany are paid around €69K per year. Those on low are paid around €57K per year and those on high end are paid up to €110K per year.

You can check how much Communications Manager jobs are paid in your country here

How Can Communications Managers Be More Productive?

Communications Managers, internal or external, should be ready to adopt new technologies to make their jobs easier and results better. 

Smarp, and employee communications and advocacy solution is used by internal communications professionals across the world

The results:

  • More informed workplace
  • Increased employee engagement
  • Easy information flow and knowledge sharing
  • Increased employee productivity
  • More ideas and innovation
  • Less workplace accidents
  • Better cross-functional collaboration
  • Improved employee wellbeing
  • Improved employee advocacy
  • Data and insights into the efficiency and ROI of employee communications

Schedule a Smarp demo yourself to see how it can improve your company’s communications efforts. 

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Written by

Kristina Martic

Kristina Martic

Digital Marketing and Employer Branding

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