Spokesperson Job Description
A spokesperson represents a company or brand in public, delivering messages to consumers and audiences to promote, build, and maintain the brand’s position. In this public-facing role, the spokesperson is the face and voice of their organization, tasked with developing and delivering the company’s messages and endorsing its products or services.
A spokesperson balances communication and public affairs skills with marketing and branding activities, and may be responsible for press conferences, television appearances, and op-eds to improve their organization’s positioning and reputation. In addition to making announcements and appearances to promote the organization, a spokesperson plays an important role in public relations and reducing the impact of negative publicity.
Spokesperson Duties and Responsibilities
Based on listings we’ve analyzed, a spokesperson can expect to complete the following common duties:
Arrange and Attend Press Conferences
One of the primary duties of a spokesperson is to schedule and appear at press conferences on the company’s behalf. They may be responsible for contacting members of the press, delivering prepared remarks, and fielding press questions regarding an organization’s activities. For some businesses, this involves presenting a new product or project, while a spokesperson in a government role may provide updates on situations and legislative accomplishments.
Manage Public Information
The spokesperson plays an important role in getting information about the organization out to the public and controlling the flow of that information. They work closely with brand managers and public relations professionals to craft statements and press releases, ensuring that information is relevant and timely. A spokesperson also guides public conversation about the organization by directing conversations and managing the balance between publicly available information and private developments.
Travel to Industry Events
The spokesperson’s role requires a significant amount of travel to represent the organization. They may attend conferences and industry events as the “face” of the organization, building recognition and trust through in-person events and meetings. The spokesperson attends these events and hosts organization events to build a network, enhance brand recognition and trust, and reach potential customers or other members of the public.
Present the Organization’s Message
Many of the spokesperson’s duties involve sharing their organization or brand’s message. They may work with advertising and public relations personnel to craft a narrative and ensure that public statements and op-eds are in line with the organization’s goals and objectives. A spokesperson makes efforts to present their organization in a positive light and ensure that talking points are successfully spread to the public and other audiences.
Minimize Negative Publicity
Finally, a spokesperson may be responsible for damage control following negative publicity or media coverage. An organization’s spokesperson may speak to the public to clear up confusion, answer questions, and attempt to change the narrative by focusing on the organization’s positive accomplishments. The spokesperson may also work to clear up any false or misleading coverage of the organization.
Spokesperson Skills and Qualifications
As the face and voice of an organization, a spokesperson balances public relations and brand management. Companies tend to hire spokespeople with bachelor’s degrees in related fields, along with the following skills:
- Public speaking – public speaking is an essential skill for a spokesperson, as they are tasked with representing their organization and answering questions at press conferences and public events
- Brand management – spokespeople should also be familiar with the principles and practices of brand management to successfully shape their organization’s messaging and reputation
- Media relations – successfully interacting with members of the media is vital in this role, so effective presentation and messaging is key
- Communication skills – a spokesperson constantly communicates on behalf of their organization, both in verbal presentations and written materials like press releases
- Networking skills – while representing an organization, a spokesperson needs to focus on building their network and establishing relationships with customers and the public
Spokesperson Education and Training
Most spokespeople have a bachelor’s degree in a related field such as marketing, public relations, or journalism. They should also have extensive public speaking experience. There are many opportunities for on-the-job training available as a spokesperson develops extensive knowledge of their organization’s goals and priorities when it comes to messaging.
Spokesperson Salary and Outlook
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide salary estimates specifically for workers in the spokesperson role, its estimated median annual wage for public relations specialists is $58,020. This rate can vary widely based on location and organization, since the duties of a company spokesperson are very different from those of a government spokesperson.
The BLS expects employment for public relations specialists to grow 9 percent by 2026, which may provide a general sense of employment growth for spokespeople as well.
If you’re interested in finding out more about working as a spokesperson, we found a number of resources on the web for further reading and information:
“Seven Characteristics of a Great Spokesperson” – read about the techniques and practices that make spokespeople effective ambassadors for their brands and organizations
Living Proof: Telling Your Story to Make a Difference – authors John Capecci and Timothy Cage describe how storytelling helps build an audience and helps spokespeople become more effective
“13 Golden Rules of PR Crisis Management” – learn how to effectively handle messaging and negative publicity during times of organizational crisis and upheaval
Successful Spokespersons Are Made, Not Born: Expanded Edition – expert Harold Hartvigsen shares best practices and techniques for becoming an effective advocate for your organization
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