Both corporate communications and public relations may need media skills.
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Corporate communications and public relations share so many commonalities that you would be forgiven for using them interchangeably. They are often grouped together in universities and by employers seeking to fill communications positions. Both necessitate that you excel in fundamental communication skills - speaking, writing, and an educated and innate ability to know what critical information needs to go to the people who need it, when they need it. There are some subtle and not-so-subtle differences, however, that may determine the path you choose.
Corporate communications encompasses all communication activities that an organization undertakes, both within and outside the organization. Internally, as a corporate communications professional, you help management build bridges between departments so that communication flows smoothly. For example, an internal newsletter or bulletin lets each employee know what is happening in each department, or alerts staff to any upcoming special visitors or events the organization has scheduled. Externally, you may do everything from writing annual reports to send to investors, to participating in community working groups for civic matters.
If you select a career in public relations, you will work closely with management in identifying, building and nurturing relationships between the company and various publics. Obviously good communication is inherent in this capability - both writing and speaking. Key to building these relationships is promoting your organization’s reputation through highly visible channels, using reporters and editors to communicate about your employer based on information you provide. This sole function is often referred to as media relations. Controlling the messages that the public hears is also important, particularly if your organization faces a crisis and erroneous information or rumors could cause panic or tarnish the company’s image.