In a world dominated by TikTok videos, Instagram feeds and social media discourse, companies often struggle to get their message heard.
Strategic communications professionals ensure companies have a creative strategy for cutting through the noise and effectively communicating with their customers. Avila University’s online Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Strategic Communication program prepares graduates for various roles, ranging from social media manager and public relations specialist to digital strategist and copywriter.
Fast-Paced World of Social Media Management
Social media managers are on the front lines of a brand’s communications team. No day is the same, as people in this position frequently switch between responding to customer comments, designing graphics or strategizing future content that will connect with the company’s desired audience. Managers must also track the reach of their campaigns and use metrics to inform future marketing materials.
Data compiled by Indeed finds that social media managers make an average base salary of $57,280. Professionals with three to five years in the field make an average of $65,304.
However, this profession doesn’t require years of experience to succeed — especially if the candidate has skills in connecting with younger, social media-savvy audiences. This is especially true for video platforms like TikTok, where fresh-faced social media marketers use their creativity to reshape their brand’s identity, according to Fast Company.
Effective social media managers must fuse audience research and customer care skills with the ability to communicate creatively, according to Sprout Social. Avila University offers a Contemporary Communication Strategies course that combines public relations and advertising with sales concepts and organizational communication. Students will participate in group project work with community businesses and learn how to embody a brand’s voice across platforms.
Gaining Expertise in Public Relations
While public relations specialists are typically the first point of contact for requests from the media, their position can encompass many roles within an organization. PR professionals can expect to draft press releases, help clients prepare for interviews, draft speeches for public events and evaluate advertising campaigns for comparability with the company’s overall public image, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
The median pay for a public relations specialist is about $62,800 per year, per the BLS. As specialists rise through the ranks and take on new responsibilities, such as fundraising, they can see their earnings increase significantly. Public relations and fundraising managers make an annual median salary of $119,860, according to estimates from the BLS.
To succeed in this role, marketing professionals must learn how to tailor their communications strategy to their company’s leadership, the media and the general public. Avila University’s Strategic Presentation in the Digital Environment course provides training on preparing and delivering key messages, short speeches, unscripted remarks, Q&As and media interviews. Students will learn to write everything from quick talking points to a polished digital presentation.
Learning the Ropes of Copywriting and Digital Strategy
Strategic communications professionals specializing in the written word often find themselves in copywriting roles, turning a client’s advertising concept into content for distribution across email newsletters, direct mail, billboards and TV advertisements.
Tasked with producing error-free content, copywriters must be detail-oriented and closely attuned to the client’s wants and needs from a campaign, according to Indeed. The role also requires researching unfamiliar topics and quickly turning that information into an approachable message.
On average, Indeed finds that copywriters make a base salary of $60,014. Earnings can vary widely depending on the industry or the copywriter’s ability to take on different clients.
Digital strategists work hand in hand with copywriters to get their content to clients and the public. Their responsibilities include identifying the right digital channels to run paid advertising campaigns, making content findable through search engine optimization (SEO) and using analytics reports to develop marketing plans.
Regardless of their industry, digital strategists must develop data literacy, analytical thinking and project management skills, according to Indeed. A digital strategist can expect an average salary of $68,918, with more experienced strategists earning over $100,000 annually.
Avila University’s Strategic Communication Program Creates Possibilities
Through Avila University’s online B.A. in Strategic Communication program, graduates will gain the knowledge they need to succeed within a company or an advertising agency.
In courses like Principles of Advertising, students explore the evolution of the advertising industry, including ethical issues, creative process and use of media. Most importantly, graduates will know how to put their expertise into practice once they enter the professional world.
Learn more about Avila University’s online B.A. in Strategic Communication program.