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Community Relations Manager Job Description

Whether you call it public relations or community relations, the job remains the same: representing a business or organization in the wider world. In the digital age, people in this job do double-duty as both the face of an organization in the media or at in-person events, as well as the person driving online campaigns on social media. Thus, community relations managers need to be savvy in digital tools as well as good with people.

Developing a Strategy

As managers, community relations managers are often responsible for overseeing the work of other community relations specialists, social media professionals, content writers and company representatives. This part of the job involves creating an overall branding strategy for the company or organization, as well as planning individual campaigns that promote certain products or timely events. Managers often work closely with advertising or marketing professionals in the organization to develop the look of print and online materials. For example, a company that values loyalty and patriotism might use red, white and blue as its colors, and might aim to use photos of families. Managers might also develop protocols for dealing with unhappy customers or handling common problems.

Building an Online Community

In the digital age, consumers often build trust in companies by learning about them online. They also buy products directly from business' websites or online marketplaces. As such, a big part of a community relations manager's job is to foster an online community. That can involve sending out tweets, responding to customer emails, developing a monthly newsletter, sending press releases, or conducting live chats with clients, for example. It also involves developing graphics or videos that promote the company's products or services. Organized community relations managers will have a well-laid-out schedule for social media postings that they -- or their staff -- can follow.

Working in the Community

Since not all customer interactions take place online, community relations managers also schedule and execute in-person events. That might include manning a table at a business conference, setting up a calendar of events for customers at a retail location, or even volunteering at a local charity event on behalf of the organization. The community manager might also be the mouthpiece for an organization should there be need for a press conference. Managers will also always be on the lookout for ways to enhance the customer's experience. That might include administering surveys that ask customers about how the company can improve, as well as training staff in making customers feel welcome, included and valued.

Becoming a Community Relations Manager

Because community relations is so similar to public relations, companies often prefer job candidates to have a background in sales, marketing, public relations, business or communications. That educational background will provide you will solid writing and interpersonal skills, as well as organizational skills and computer and design skills that can help you develop professional community marketing materials. Since it's a management position, it's typically open to people with at least a few years' experience. To get started, pursue an entry-level job in sales or as a community relations or public relations specialist. While it doesn't list community relations managers separately from public relations managers, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics lists the average salary for public relations and fundraising managers at $111,260 as of May 2013.



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