Community Relations Manager Job Description
A community relations manager sustains positive relationships with community members, nonprofit organizations, and fellow employees in order to cultivate a favorable operating climate for their business or organization. They carefully develop a strategy designed to make positive contributions to a local area while raising awareness for their company. People with strong presentation skills and a desire to interact with a variety of groups can succeed in this role.
Community relations managers operate in many industries, such as nonprofits, social services, healthcare, education, banking, and government. Most community relations managers work full time. Their shift hours may be irregular and can include occasional nights or weekends if their presence is required at community events.
Community Relations Manager Duties and Responsibilities
While a community relations manager’s day-to-day duties and responsibilities are determined by where they work, there are many core tasks associated with the role. Based on our analysis of job listings, these include:
Serve as a Key Point of Contact
Community relations managers act a key point of contact for individual residents, business leaders, and customers in a local area. Their responsibility is to kick off relationships and support opportunities. They effectively communicate with individuals at various levels to discover the issues affecting them and address pressing concerns.
Plan Community Relations Programs
It is the job of a community relations manager to brainstorm, plan, organize, and manage activities that help their organization achieve its pubic relations goals. They execute events or implement programs closely aligned with corporate strategy. Community relations managers support business goals by raising community awareness of available products or services.
Manage Support Staff
Some community relations managers supervise the day-to-day operations of junior community relations staff. They ensure that departmental goals and milestones are met, handle personnel issues, and improve department process. Through direct and indirect supervision, they leverage their team to create positive PR results on behalf of their company.
Build Strong Community Relationships
Developing strong relationships with industries, communities, government, and media is a key responsibility of community relations managers. By interfacing with vital community groups, they ensure that their organization produces effective results. They also use these outside partnerships to increase the reach of organizational initiatives and programs.
Create Marketing Materials
Community relations managers help prepare a variety of publicity materials. They write news releases, company stories, factsheets, talking points, speeches, and social media content. They make sure that any print or digital materials offered to the community enhance their organization’s public image.
Community Relations Manager Skills and Qualifications
Community relations managers are organized individuals with outstanding people skills and a professional attitude. Employers typically seek candidates with a bachelor’s degree, one to five years of relevant experience, and the following skills:
- Public relations – understanding how to use media relations principles and practices is essential for community relations managers
- Community organization – community relations managers often organize groups of people for events and initiatives
- Research skills – finding and organizing information are must-have abilities for people in this field
- Project management – successfully handling multiple ongoing projects and initiatives is a requirement for these managers
- Public speaking – community relations managers often give formal and informal group presentations, so confident public speaking skills are important
- Event planning – planning and executing events is another key responsibility
- Computer skills – community relations managers must know how to use data and word processing programs
- Communication skills – community relations managers need excellent written and verbal communication skills to form relationships and create marketing materials
Tools of the Trade
Community relations managers are comfortable using the following software and equipment in a typical workday:
- Computers (Windows PC or Mac)
- Social media marketing tools
- Contact management software
Community Relations Manager Education and Training
It’s common for community relations managers to have a bachelor’s degree in English, communications, business administration, education, public relations, marketing, or a related field. Employers seek candidates with at least one year of practical experience in their specific sector. They also prefer candidates with experience in fundraising, marketing, and other relationship-building roles.
Community Relations Manager Salary and Outlook
According the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median annual salary for public relations specialists is $59,300. The lowest 10 percent of wage earners make less than $32,840, while the highest 10 percent of workers earn more than $112,260.
The BLS projects an industry growth rate of 9 percent through 2026. This rate is about average when measured against all other occupations. Due to the rapid changes in public perception caused by social media and the internet, organizations will continue to employ community relations managers in order to maintain positive reputations.
We searched the web to find the best industry resources to help you continue exploring a career as a community relations manager. From best-selling books to industry groups, this list is packed with opportunities to learn, connect, and engage:
Public Relations Society of America – check out PRSA to build relationships with more than 21,000 of the nation’s leading public relations and communications professionals, plus get access to job listings and certifications
American Management Association – use AMA’s resources to build your leadership skills to prepare for a career as a community relations manager. The organization also offers certified training courses and professional development advice
The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, New Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly – this international best-seller uses practical case studies and real-world examples from other relations managers to help you thrive in your career
This Is How You Pitch: How to Kick Ass in Your First Years of PR – written by a PR veteran who’s done it all, this book shows you how to avoid years of mistakes and build a prosperous, fulfilling career as a community relations manager
Association for Community Organization and Social Administration – ACOSA is an organization for community organizers, community builders, and education professionals. It offers local networking opportunities, training, and other resources
How to Win Friends and Influence People – since relationship building is the most important skill for community relations managers, get this classic best-selling book to learn how to quickly connect with anyone
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