Director of Public Affairs

Shape your organization's public image.

What does a Director of Public Affairs do?

As a Director of Public Affairs, you’re tasked with handling how the public views a company or organization. A wide range of organizations-from government offices to schools to nonprofits to large corporations-hire for this position. Your job as Director of Public Affairs is to keep the media, business clients, and shareholders updated on the activities and happenings in your company.

The Director of Public Affairs spreads company information in any way possible. So you might write articles for a newsletter, update a website, prepare a press release, or organize a press conference.

This might sound a lot like marketing, and in some ways, it’s pretty close. The difference is you don’t create advertisements or sell anything. Instead, you’re simply broadcasting events and happenings. For example, you might interview an employee who’s receiving a prestigious award, post pictures on facebook of a new building, or spread the news about an upcoming event.

This job isn’t all fun, though, because you also handle bad news. When things don’t go right, you set up a press conference to explain what happened or to give the organization’s take on the news.

Expect a lot of events, parties, and talking in this job. You might do everything from arranging a charity walk to throwing a cocktail party for your biggest donors. As the Director, you come up with ideas for events, and then work with your staff and other company departments to make them happen. You make connections and talk a lot with the media to ensure you’ll have the publicity when you need an event covered.