How to Become an Internal Communications Manager

If you have a knack for effective communication with messaging that is on target and aligns with company strategy, you might thrive in internal communications management. Southern Utah University (SUU) offers an online Master of Arts in Professional Communication that can prepare you for leadership roles.

What Do Internal Communication Managers Do?

The first step toward becoming an internal communications manager is deciding if the job is right for you. Essentially, internal communications managers connect organizations with their employees. They ensure that members of an organization stay engaged, aligned and collaborative.

To achieve these objectives, internal communications managers communicate an organization’s mission, vision, goals and initiatives to staff. They also liaise with leadership teams to share employees’ feedback and ideas.

Internal communications managers are also integral in planning and executing an organization’s crisis response. They help convey critical information to staff and stakeholders. Mapping out  the communications channels and strategy, optimizing each channel for specific purposes, and establishing backup channels often fall to people in this role.

Modern digital communication channels have evolved to encompass more than newsletters, staff meetings, phone calls and emails. They help improve employee productivity and engagement in both remote and on-site work. Technologies like intranet, internal chat software, virtual office software, videoconferencing, employee apps and social media have all become essential tools for internal communications.

What Type of Education Do I Need to Pursue This Career?

A degree isn’t always a requirement for entry-level jobs in the field, and work experience will be important for advancement. Most internal communications professionals enter or advance in the field by studying professional communications, journalism, PR or marketing. Programs like Southern Utah University’s online M.A. in Professional Communication provide know-how on creating clear, organized messaging in verbal and written formats across different media and platforms.

The complexities of digital communication require professionals with advanced skills in modern communication technologies and information systems. Online communications degree programs rely on these technologies extensively, which helps students develop digital communications competencies.

In terms of education, Zippia reports about 48% of internal communications managers have only a bachelor’s degree, while about 39.5% have a master’s. As such, an M.A. in professional communications can give you a competitive edge when pursuing management positions. Earning such a degree demonstrates you have the communications and technological competencies necessary for modern communications management.

How Much Do Internal Communications Managers Make?

This is another important question when deciding if internal communications management is the career for you. While salaries vary by location, industry, and company size, Zippia reports the average 2020 salary for internal communications managers is $98,000 per year. A non-management position, by comparison, averages about $66,000 annually.

Pursuing a management position in internal communications can be well worth it, and earning a master’s degree in the field can prepare you for success and give you a leg up in the job market. The online design of SUU’s M.A. program means students can keep working while completing coursework. This means you can continue earning, gaining work experience and pursuing job opportunities while you earn your degree, so you can benefit from a rapid return on your educational investment and more satisfying career advancement.

Learn more about Southern Utah University’s M.A. in Professional Communication online program.

Sources:

PR Week: Job Description: Internal Communications Manager

Study.com: Job Description of an Internal Communications Manager

Zippia: Internal Communications Manager

PR Week: How to Get a Job in Internal Communications

ZipRecruiter: How to Become a Communications Manager

Zippia: Internal Communications Manager Salary

Zippia: Internal Communications Specialist Salary

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