Within an organisation the communications department is responsible for enhancing the visibility and reputation of the organisation across the media, public and key stakeholders. A communications assistant typically reports to the communications director and provides both communications and administrative support. This position may appear in a variety of settings such as non-profit organisations, health agencies or private companies.
A communications assistant plays a vital role in assisting the communications department in its daily functions. The assistant often works with the director to promote positive media coverage, reply to media requests and organise press conferences. The communications department also works to ensure its organisation's print and online presence is consistent with its branding guidelines. As such, the assistant may be involved with writing, editing and overseeing the design of print and online materials such as newsletters, brochures and the website. This assistant may also provide support planning fundraising events and awareness campaigns.
Specific duties of a communications assistant may include producing content for the organisation's website, updating the website, using social media to promote awareness, assisting in the production of a newsletter and other print materials, monitoring media coverage of the organisation and maintaining a photo library. This position may also provide administrative support to the communications department that includes maintaining staff calendars, scheduling events and processing invoices.
A bachelor’s degree is typically required for this position. Employers may also seek one to three years of communications or administrative experience. Previous experience working with the media, strong writing and computer skills and event planning may also be preferred.
In addition to sufficient education and previous experience, employers often seek candidates with the ability to multitask and those who are highly organised, creative, articulate and have excellent people skills.
According to PayScale.com, as of May 2010, the average salary of a communications assistant ranged from £18,850 to £25,350 depending on employer type. For example, a communications assistant at a non-profit averages roughly from £19,500 to £23,400 a year while those at a company average £20,800 to £30,550.