Possible Job Titles in the Corporate World

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The following list has been drawn up to give you an idea of the scope of jobs available in the corporate world that would be of interest to communications majors. There is much overlap, however, across occupations and job settings. For example, job titles within the field of public relations will also be found in health communications, and job titles that exist in a corporate setting also find a home within advertising agencies or marketing firms.

For ease in locating particular job tides, the list has been arranged alphabetically. However, this list is by no means exhaustive. During your job search, you can use this list as a reference, adding to it as you come across notices for jobs that mention related skills.

POSSIBLE EMPLOYERS



The International Association of Business Communicators surveyed 12,000 of its more than 13,700 members to determine the range of industries and types of businesses or organizations in which member communications professionals were employed. The majority, 40.51 percent, reported working for corporations. Other settings included the following:

Though the distribution appears to be fairly evenly spread among these specific industries, the medical/health and public relations fields were out in front with an 8.44 and 8.06 percent.

Corporations

Many large corporations place communication specialists within their personnel departments or human resources programs. Some corporations also have specific communications departments. In addition, communications specialists are commonly found within various other departments, such as advertising, publications, public relations, research and development, and sales.

Private Consulting Firms

More and more, private consulting firms are fulfilling a need for those corporations that, whether because of size or budget, do not choose to hire a permanent staff of corporate communicators, trainers, or PR professionals.

Private consulting firms work with clients on a fee-for-service basis or on a retainer. As needs or problems arise, a corporation can bring in a consulting firm that will conduct a needs analysis and submit a written proposal covering how they plan to proceed and how much it will cost.

Consultants employed by a firm can work on a straight salary basis or salary plus commission.

Private Public Relations Firms

Public relations firms function much the same way as private consulting firms do. They take on a variety of different clients, from large corporations to church groups or government bodies, assess their needs, propose a plan of action, and often implement that plan.

Most PR firms are located in major cities and have a staff size ranging from fewer than a dozen workers to more than one thousand. Some offices are generalists, while others specialize in specific areas such as government relations, employee communications, or educational and social programs.

Self-Employed/Freelancers

Self-employed or freelance communications consultants work similarly to their counterparts employed by private firms. The advantage is that the money to be made goes directly to the consultant and not into the firms coffer; the disadvantage is that the independent consultant has to cover all of his or her own expenses and build up a client base from scratch.

Foreign Service

The foreign service is a natural choice for communications majors interested in business and intercultural communications. The foreign service divides the different specialty areas into the following categories:

Administration. Administrative personnel at overseas posts are responsible for hiring foreign national workers, providing office and residential space, ensuring reliable communications with the District of Columbia, supervising computer systems, and providing security for the posts personnel and property.

Consular Services. Consular workers must be excellent communicators and often combine the skills of lawyers, judges, investigators, and social workers.

Their duties range from issuing passports and visas to finding a lost child or helping a traveler in trouble.

Economic Officers. Economic officers maintain contact with key business and financial leaders in the host country, reporting to Washington on the local economic conditions and their impact on American trade and investment policies. They are concerned with issues such as commercial aviation safety, fishing rights, and international banking.

Political Affairs. Those working in political affairs analyze and report on the political views of the host country. They make contact with labor unions, humanitarian organizations, educators, and cultural leaders.

Information and Cultural Affairs. As part of the foreign service, the United States Information Agency (USIA) promotes U.S. cultural, informational, and public diplomacy programs. An information officer might develop a library open to the public, meet with the press, and oversee English language training programs in the host country.

Commercial and Business Services. In this division, a foreign service officer identifies overseas business connections for American exporters and investors, conducts market research for the success of U.S. products, and organizes trade shows and other promotional events.

Although many foreign service officers are skilled in political science and history, these days candidates are expected to have knowledge in specialized fields such as communications, the environment, computer science, and trade.

Government Agencies

Some readers may not initially associate working for government agencies with corporate communications. In actuality, the services the government needs are similar, if not identical, to those used in the business world. Internal employee relations and external public relations are concerns as important in the public sector as they are in the private sector. Although the job titles might vary-public information officer rather than PR specialist-the services they perform are the same.

In addition to the foreign service, there are scores of government agencies and departments on the local, state, and federal level that use the services of professional communicators.

Alumni Relations and Development

One of a university's biggest assets is its alumni. Both state- and privately funded institutions rely in part on donations from former students to meet budgetary needs. Most universities have departments staffed with professional communicators whose duties include locating and maintaining contact with alumni, coordinating regional alumni chapters, and helping to organize alumni events.

Communications take the form of personal letters, newsletters, magazines, and, sometimes, telephone calls, all appealing to the alumnis sense of school spirit and loyalty to the alma mater.

Fund-Raising and Event Coordination

For charitable organizations and other nonprofits, as well as political entities, fund-raising is a major activity. Here, communicators develop promotional campaigns and membership drives, stage events-charitable balls, dinners, speakers, Sunday softball league tournaments-and maintain media contact.
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