A community relations manager is responsible for the public relations work and media relations for a company or organization. Community relations managers act as the media contacts and coordinators for special events, company news and marketing programs. Often, community relations managers work closely with company executives and officials to determine the image and marketing approach desired by the company.
In many organizations, the work of a community relations manager spans across several departments of an organization. As the chief executive of a company’s public relations initiatives, a community relations manager directs publicity programs to promote and improve an organization’s image. The primary goal of public relations is to build awareness of the products and services offered to the community in which the target audience resides. This might entail sponsoring special events, marketing these events to the community and collaborating with city planners to form partnerships with local businesses and city officials.
Marketing is a chief component of the community relations manager's job. He or she will work with employees and executives to build a marketing plan, execute the plan and promote it. This might entail creating marketing brochures, event flyers, placing ads in local publications and compiling promotional videos and websites. In certain instances, a community relations manager also might promote the company’s initiatives on local radio and television stations. As the spokesperson for the company, the community relations manager serves as the voice of the company to promote a positive image and downplay negative press.
A community relations manager must be actively involved in the local community to promote a positive company image. Community relations professionals often attend city council meetings to clarify company initiatives and issues. In addition, a community relations manager might serve on local committees to represent the company and join in efforts with city planning and urban planning. By joining forces with elected officials and active community volunteers, a community relations manager can bring awareness of a company’s viability to the city and its residents.
Typically, a community relations manager will possess an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in public relations, marketing or journalism. Typical coursework includes advertising, marketing, public relations, media writing and business administration. The skills learned at an institution of higher learning will prepare community relations specialists for public speaking, the writing of press releases and developing marketing projects. All of these tasks aid community relations specialists in promoting products and services, representing the company in a positive light and communicating with executives, employees and community members.