Marketing communications specialists are responsible for directing the ways in which organizations are perceived by the general public. For example, these kinds of professionals might write to members of the media, might advise marketing and sales departments about which kinds of messages an organization should convey and might even help spread an organization's messages to its own employees. To become a marketing communications specialist, it is essential to earn an undergraduate degree in a field such as marketing or journalism. In most cases, a person who wants to become a marketing communications specialist also should plan on working at least five years in a marketing department, preferably in an industry or field in which he or she would like to practice.
A person who wants to become a marketing communications specialist might not be required to earn a graduate degree, though this kind of qualification certainly can be helpful, especially in more competitive job markets. Many graduate programs in fields such as marketing and journalism provide students opportunities to learn from established marketing professionals. These programs also give students internship opportunities in which they can begin getting real-world experience while they are studying for their degrees.
To become a marketing communications specialist, it is important that you develop your résumé to show that you have plenty of experience in the many facets of the marketing profession. This means that you can benefit from entry-level positions as well as higher level management positions. As you work toward promotions, develop as many skills as possible. The most appealing marketing communications specialist job candidates often are those who have had firsthand experience in advertising, market research, policy development and analysis.
An individual who aspires to become a marketing communications specialist might also work toward developing his or her reputation as an expert in this field. You can benefit from joining professional organizations. Learn about professional certifications offered in your area and how you can qualify to earn them. Many people who are interested in becoming marketing communicating specialists write articles about important principles and practices for trade publications and set up websites where they can write about their ideas. In short, you should present yourself as a professional who is fully immersed in your profession and who has developed mature, effective ideas about how to succeed.
References are incredibly important for a person who wants to become a marketing communications specialist. Having letters from professors and mentors can be great for showing that you are a knowledgeable marketing professional. It might be more important, however, to have letters from colleagues, managers and even clients that show that you are a well-rounded and effective specialist.