A community relations specialist is responsible for planning and managing programs that are meant to bring publicity towards the company and improve its profile in a community. In some ways, a community relations manager acts in the same manner as a public relations specialist, but the work is performed for a single client and can include the management of volunteers and project budgets.
The responsibilities will differ according to the firm, but there are some general expectations specific to the occupation. A community relations specialist plans, implements and manages community relations projects that meet the mission goals of the company. Community relations projects may include company-wide fundraiser events, volunteer events and special events that require caterers, photographers or additional event managers. The specialist is required to network with other team members and communicate program progress and budgeting to the community relations director. Company volunteers may also be managed by the community relations department.
Excellent interpersonal communication and team working skills are a necessity. General accounting skills are necessary to prepare budget and cost control reports for the community relations director.
Education and Prior Experience
The most competitive job applicants find that a masters in business administration or management is an excellent academic supplement to a bachelor's degree. Entry-level applicants may enter directly after college, though most employers favor applicants with at least three years of administrative, financial or technical experience.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics projected a growth of 12 percent for administrative services managers between 2008 and 2018. The growth is about as fast as the national average for all occupations. Job competition for lower-level administrative service personnel was projected to be less than that for higher-level personnel over the same time period.
According to Indeed.com, the average salary for a community relations specialist was $48,000 as of April 2010.