what is a head of communications?

As the head of communications, you are an expert in all communication and marketing channels a company uses. You need to be exceptional in writing press releases and making speeches at public events. Your job involves providing high-level leadership regarding messaging and outreach on various platforms. You oversee internal and external communications and supervise all staff working in public relations or communications. For instance, a public relations officer may draft a press release to address an issue, but the head of communications needs to review and approve it.

what does a head of communications do?

As a head of communications, your job is to ensure all communication functions align with the company's overall messaging and outreach strategy. You pay close attention to the brand's values and how they are expressed in writing or verbally by the company's representatives. You ensure internal memos to employees are on-brand, and public relations maintain a positive image.

Since the role is fast-paced and dynamic, you need to be a quick thinker and a great communicator to articulate your thoughts well. You also need to thrive in high-pressure environments to lead teams of communication specialists in responding to public relations crises. In a large company, the head of communications mostly delivers the message to the press or at an event. However, in smaller companies, the head of communications is involved in formulating the message.

Would working as head of communications suit your communication prowess and versatility? Then read on to find out what competencies and qualifications you need to thrive in the head of communications role.

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average salary of a head of communications

According to ONS, the average salary of heads of communications in the UK is £52,500 per year. When you are new to the role, your earnings start at £44,717 annually. The compensation package gradually increases as you improve your skills and expertise. Most experienced heads of communications take home a salary of over £70,937 per year.

Apart from the basic salary, you receive various allowances and benefits. Most employers have medical insurance, house and transport allowance and annual leave days. You also receive bonuses, and some companies provide share benefits.

ways to boost your salary as a head of communications

Head of communications is a senior role that requires top-level expertise since you handle complex responsibilities. Your compensation package primarily depends on your experience level and qualifications. You can negotiate higher pay when you have the highest educational qualifications and many years of experience. Having additional certifications also improves your salary prospects.

The location and company size impact your salary. For instance, if you work for a multinational company with unlimited resources, you earn more than in smaller companies. Working in large cities also increases your salary prospects due to the high demand for heads of communications.


smiling office woman
smiling office woman

types of heads of communications

Some of the types of heads of communications include:

  • head of digital communication: as the head of digital communication, you supervise internal and external communication through digital channels. You ensure the messaging suits the company's reputation and brand image.
  • regional head of communications: when you are the regional head of communications, you monitor and manage a company's public relations in a specific region. You ensure press releases and information sent to customers promote brand awareness and a positive company image.
  • international head of communications: as the international head of communications, you are responsible for the company's global outreach. You must ensure that all outgoing information matches the company policy and promotes the company's reputation.


working as a head of communications

When you are the head of communications, your focus is on controlling and managing all aspects of marketing, public relations and communication. You must ensure that the materials viewed by customers and the public follow the brand's messaging guidelines. Here are some of the duties and work schedules of heads of communications:


education and skills

Some of the educational qualifications include:

  • undergraduate degree: to become the head of communications, you need a bachelor's degree in public relations or communications. You may also need a master's degree since it is a senior-level position. The degree courses equip you with the knowledge and expertise to plan a company's communication strategy.
  • work experience: you need a few years of work experience to qualify as the head of communications. You can start with entry-level roles like marketing executive before becoming a communications specialist. You should have some managerial experience in middle-level management to land a good job.

skills and competencies

Some of the qualities of the head of communications include:

  • advertising skills: as the head of communications, you need refined skills in advertising to ensure you portray the company's services and products in a positive light. Advertising skills also help with public relations since you must sell the company's products at every press conference.
  • creativity: as the head of communications, you must be creative to come up with unique ideas that attract customers' attention. The audience should look forward to your press briefings due to their originality and creativity.
  • teamwork: as the head of communications, you need interpersonal and leadership skills to work with various teams and people skills to relate to every team member. People skills make you a good listener, and you can incorporate the team's ideas into the communications plan.
  • communication skills: you need strong writing and speaking skills to understand the company goals and values and translate them to the audience. You need exceptional verbal, non-verbal and written communication skills.

women working together
women working together


FAQs about working as a head of communications

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