7 top careers in strategic communication

A team of strategic communications professionals engage in discussion.
A team of strategic communications professionals engage in discussion.

Can you imagine yourself as a senior communications leader, providing essential guidance on the design and production of communication plans and initiatives in a large organisation?

If this career path appeals to you, look no further than strategic communication.

Strategic communication is purposeful communication that organisations use to work toward their mission. This field is vital in driving the achievement of the mission and goals of many businesses and organisations. It includes a wide range of dynamic career opportunities for forward-thinking professionals.

What types of roles can I pursue with a strategic communication degree?

A degree in strategic communication can lead to dynamic senior roles in a wide range of businesses and organisations, all of which need experts to lead and advise on their internal and external communication needs.

Relevant positions are in areas such as corporate communications, media liaison, marketing, advertising, community engagement, public relations and internal communications.

Top strategic communication jobs - duties and salaries

The seven top strategic communication jobs below are just some examples of the leading careers available to qualified professionals in this field.

Many of these positions are available across the full spectrum of organisations that employ strategic communicators - including government, corporate, consultancy, community, service, advocacy, industry and not-for-profit groups.

They also exist in a wide variety of sectors, ranging from health, environment, energy and infrastructure, to the arts, justice, business, sports and more.

They are largely team-based roles, working in strategic communications, media, public relations and corporate affairs teams.

1. Communications Officer/Manager/Advisor

Communications officers, managers and advisors plan and deliver communication and media strategies and outputs to promote their organisations.

Responsibilities include:

  • strategy development
  • writing and editing (such as publications, marketing collateral and content)
  • providing communications advice
  • managing stakeholder relationships
  • media liaison and coordinating events

The average salary is $106,000+ per annum, with senior roles attracting higher salaries of $114,000+ per annum.

2. Public Relations Manager/Officer

Public Relations Managers and Officers focus on external communications aimed at building their organisation’s brand, image and reputation with relevant industry bodies, customers and the public.

Responsibilities include:

  • developing and implementing public relations strategies and campaigns
  • media liaison
  • nurturing and maintaining stakeholder relationships
  • risk management
  • showcasing the organisation at industry events and forums

The average salary is $81,000+ per annum, with higher salaries for managerial roles of $94,000+ per annum.

3. Media Advisor

Media Advisors provide media support and guidance to organisational leadership and staff.

Responsibilities include:

  • developing and implementing media strategy
  • stakeholder analysis to refine target audiences
  • risk and issues management
  • responding to media requests
  • proactively identifying and managing media opportunities

This role also reports on media achievements and conducts media training sessions. It can be specialised to specific areas such as social media.

The average salary is $104,000 per annum, with salaries of $113,000+ per annum for senior roles.

4. Communications and Engagement Officer

Communications and Engagement Officers build and manage both internal and external stakeholder relationships to grow support, expand outreach, and drive organisational change.

Responsibilities include:

  • developing engagement strategies
  • preparing communications materials (such as media releases, briefings and social media/website content)
  • media monitoring
  • issues management
  • delivering internal change management initiatives

The average salary is $105,000+ per annum, or $116,000+ per annum for senior roles.

5. Head of Communications and Engagement

This is a leadership position which oversees the communications and engagement function of an organisation, taking responsibility for all aspects of its work.

Responsibilities include:

  • ensuring that strategies and outputs align with the organisation’s objectives
  • providing strategic advice to boards and senior executives
  • overseeing systems and evaluation processes
  • budget and team management
  • representing the organisation at high-level forums

The average salary is $149,000+ per annum.

6. Head of Corporate Affairs

This leadership role is responsible for optimising an organisation’s public image in order to maximise performance and business success.

Responsibilities include:

  • leading the media team
  • advising the CEO and board on reputational issues
  • building and maintaining strategic stakeholder relationships
  • identifying opportunities to increase impact
  • managing research aimed at improving reputation
  • leading the corporate affairs budget
  • crisis and change management

The average salary is $144,000+ per annum.

7. Brand Manager/Director

Brand Managers and Directors lead effective communications and marketing strategies to build an organisation’s success through a positive and value-based brand image.

Responsibilities include:

  • ensuring that brand image aligns with organisational values
  • developing and maintaining brand guidelines and visual identity
  • overseeing the creation and implementation of marketing and communications campaigns in line with brand image
  • monitoring and reporting on campaign outcomes
  • liaising with internal and external stakeholders to enhance brand image

The average salary is $110,000+ per annum, with salaries of $134,000+ per annum for director roles.

Why work in strategic communication?

The field of strategic communication offers top jobs in a variety of different kinds of organisations, from the government, corporate and consultancy sectors, to community, service and advocacy groups.

There are career opportunities in both internal and external communications, both of which are equally important to achieving an organisation’s objectives.

Internal communication deals with staff and other stakeholders within organisations. External communication, on the other hand, targets the public, media, investors, customers and other outside parties.

Some positions focus on one of these, while others work across both. Strategic communications professionals can specialise in one particular area, or be generalists who work with the whole spectrum of stakeholders.

Contribute to important organisational goals

As Forbes Magazine writes, “It’s no secret that strategic communications play an integral role in business strategy and success. Strategic communications, when integrated and intentional, increases the likelihood of achieving corporate goals — whether that includes boosting sales or bolstering reputation.”

Given that strategic communication is applicable to such a wide range of organisations and different types of communications activities, it offers the opportunity for professionals to contribute to many different outcomes. These include:

  • business goals, such as increasing sales and profits.
  • social and environmental goals, such as improving accessibility of essential services, raising awareness about an important cause or meeting climate change targets
  • organisational targets, such as fostering staff culture, improving collaboration and creating cohesive teams

Varied and fulfilling career paths

Strategic communication offers a broad range of career paths that cater to different interests and strengths.

Many roles require strategic thinking - for example, you may be called on to plan large-scale communications campaigns, run consultative processes with diverse stakeholders and commission research to analyse the impact of communication programs.

Strategic communication jobs can also be creatively satisfying, with work including designing online or social media publicity campaigns, writing media releases and content, and briefing multimedia production teams.

In addition, careers in this field offer opportunities at the cutting edge of digital and technological advances, requiring technical and analytical skills in areas such as data analysis and the ever-evolving landscape of digital communication platforms.

Strong job growth

Strong growth in future job opportunities in strategic communications is projected by the Australian Government’s National Skills Commission (2021-2026).

This includes 11.4 per cent growth for marketing and advertising professionals, and 4.4 per cent growth for public relations managers, adding over 16,000 jobs to this sector by 2026.

No matter what goals are important to you and where your strengths lie, developing your career in strategic communication can lead to a rewarding and successful professional path.

Why study strategic communication with UTS Online?

A postgraduate qualification in strategic communication can be your stepping stone into a top job in this exciting and growing field.

UTS Online’s Master of Strategic Communication is tailored to future-focused individuals seeking advanced skills and knowledge to progress their career and become leaders in the communication profession.

With fully online study, gaining these skills is achievable even for busy professionals. UTS Online’s flexible delivery aims to accommodate you undertaking postgraduate study without compromising your work, family or personal commitments.

Study at a top university

Advance your career in this dynamic field by studying at one of Australia’s best universities.

UTS is ranked in the top 5 nationally by QS Top Universities for both communication and media studies, and for graduate employability.

Cutting-edge course content

UTS Online’s contemporary course content is designed by academic scholars and leading industry experts, providing you with an engaging and high-quality learning experience.

The course aims to enhance your prospects by excelling in competencies that give you an edge in the competitive strategic communications job market.

Through core subjects and tailored electives you will gain expertise in the latest trends and industry practices in branding, digital media, modern marketing, corporate communications, organisational storytelling and crisis response.

You will learn to design and implement strategic campaigns, engage stakeholders, and use data-driven insights to guide communications initiatives.

This enables you to gain practical knowledge and experience that will help you to lead and succeed in various workplace settings.

Flexible and supportive study

UTS Online provides the convenience of 100% online delivery, with regular intakes every two months. This empowers you to strike a balance between personal and professional commitments whilst unlocking new opportunities.

UTS Online excels in supporting students throughout the learning journey, including access to a dedicated Student Success Advisor from enrolment through to graduation.

Mentoring support is also available from academic staff who are passionate about your success.

For those who are not yet eligible for the master’s degree program, UTS Online offers the Graduate Certificate in Strategic Communication as a pathway.

Become a leader in the communication profession

Develop your potential to communicate with purpose and lead with impact.

By specialising in strategic communication, you can play a key role in enabling organisations and businesses to achieve their goals.

To find out more about UTS Online’s Master of Strategic Communication, visit our website or get in touch with our Student Enrolment Advisors on 1300 477 423.