Spokesperson

Description

Spokespeople speak on behalf of companies or organisations. They use communication strategies to represent clients through public announcements and conferences. They promote their clients in a positive light and work to increase an understanding of their activities and interests.

Other titles

The following job titles also refer to spokesperson:

spokesman
public relations officer
media relations specialist
spokeswoman
media coordinator
public relations coordinator
press secretary
communications officer
company spokesperson

Minimum qualifications

Bachelor’s degree is generally required to work as spokesperson. However, this requirement may differ in some countries.

ISCO skill level

ISCO skill level is defined as a function of the complexity and range of tasks and duties to be performed in an occupation. It is measured on a scale from 1 to 4, with 1 the lowest level and 4 the highest, by considering:

  • the nature of the work performed in an occupation in relation to the characteristic tasks and duties
  • the level of formal education required for competent performance of the tasks and duties involved and
  • the amount of informal on-the-job training and/or previous experience in a related occupation required for competent performance of these tasks and duties.

Spokesperson is a Skill level 4 occupation.

Spokesperson career path

Similar occupations

These occupations, although different, require a lot of knowledge and skills similar to spokesperson.

public relations officer
communication manager
advertising manager
public relations manager
public affairs consultant

Long term prospects

These occupations require some skills and knowledge of spokesperson. They also require other skills and knowledge, but at a higher ISCO skill level, meaning these occupations are accessible from a position of spokesperson with a significant experience and/or extensive training.

Essential knowledge and skills

Essential knowledge

This knowledge should be acquired through learning to fulfill the role of spokesperson.

Diplomatic principles: The practices of facilitating agreements or international treaties with other countries by conducting negotiations and attempting to protect the interests of the home government, as well as facilitating compromise.
Corporate social responsibility: The handling or managing of business processes in a responsible and ethical manner considering the economic responsibility towards shareholders as equally important as the responsibility towards environmental and social stakeholders.
Forming of public opinion: The process whereby perceptions and opinions toward something are forged and enforced. The elements that play a role in public opinion such as framing information, psyche processes, and herding.
Rhetoric: The art of discourse that aims at improving the ability of writers and speakers to inform, persuade or motivate their audience.
Communication principles: The set of commonly shared principles in regards with communication such as active listening, establish rapport, adjusting the register, and respecting the intervention of others.

Essential skills and competences

These skills are necessary for the role of spokesperson.

Speak in public: Address a group of listeners in a structured, deliberate manner to inform, influence or convince them.
Prepare presentation material: Prepare the documents, slide shows, posters and any other media needed for specific audiences.
Protect client interests: Protect the interests and needs of a client by taking necessary actions, and researching all possibilities, to ensure that the client obtains their favoured outcome.
Develop communication strategies: Manage or contribute to the conception and implementation of an organisation’s internal and external communications plans and presentation, including its online presence.
Use different communication channels: Make use of various types of communication channels such as verbal, handwritten, digital and telephonic communication with the purpose of constructing and sharing ideas or information.
Perform interviews: Research the context of the interview. Plan availability. Prepare yourself according to the context and the diversity of media (radio, television, web, newspapers, etc.), and give an interview.
Establish relationship with the media: Adopt a professional attitude to respond effectively to the demands of the media.
Perform public relations: Perform public relations (PR) by managing the spread of information between an individual or an organisation and the public.
Analyse external factors of companies: Perform research and analysis of the external factor pertaining to companies such as consumers, position in the market, competitors, and political situation.
Conduct public presentations: Speak in public and interact with those present. Prepare notices, plans, charts, and other information to support the presentation.

Optional knowledge and skills

Optional knowledge

This knowledge is sometimes, but not always, required for the role of spokesperson. However, mastering this knowledge allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Market research: The processes, techniques, and purposes comprised in the first step for developing marketing strategies such as the collection of information about customers and the definition of segments and targets.
Types of media: The means of mass communication, such as internet, television, journals, and radio, that reach and influence the majority of the public.

Optional skills and competences

These skills and competences are sometimes, but not always, required for the role of spokesperson. However, mastering these skills and competences allows you to have more opportunities for career development.

Apply diplomatic principles: Apply the processes involved in the creation of international treaties by conducting negotiations between representatives of different countries, protecting the home government’s interests, and facilitating compromise.
Implement marketing strategies: Implement strategies which aim to promote a specific product or service, using the developed marketing strategies.
Advise on public relations: Advise business or public organisations on public relations management and strategies in order to ensure efficient communication with target audiences, and proper conveying of information.
Build community relations: Establish affectionate and long-lasting relationships with local communities, e.g. by organising special programms for kindergarden, schools and for dissabled and older people, raising awareness and receiving community appreciation in return.
Speak different languages: Master foreign languages to be able to communicate in one or more foreign languages.
Organise press conferences: Organise interviews for a group of journalists in order to make an announcement or answer questions on a specific subject.
Work closely with news teams: Work closely with news teams, photographers and editors.
Develop promotional tools: Generate promotional material and collaborate in the production of promotional text, videos, photos, etc. Keep previous promotional material organised.
Identify customer’s needs: Use appropriate questions and active listening in order to identify customer expectations, desires and requirements according to product and services.
Draft press releases: Collect information and write press releases adjusting the register to the target audience and ensuring that the message is well conveyed.
Develop professional network: Reach out to and meet up with people in a professional context. Find common ground and use your contacts for mutual benefit. Keep track of the people in your personal professional network and stay up to date on their activities.
Give live presentation: Deliver a speech or talk in which a new product, service, idea, or piece of work is demonstrated and explained to an audience.
Liaise with politicians: Liaise with officials fulfilling important political and legislative roles in governments in order to ensure productive communication and build relations.
Advise on public image: Advise a client such as a politician, artist or another individual dealing with the public on how to present themselves in a way which would gain most favour from the general public or a target audience.
Build business relationships: Establish a positive, long-term relationship between organisations and interested third parties such as suppliers, distributors, shareholders and other stakeholders in order to inform them of the organisation and its objectives.
Follow the news: Follow current events in politics, economics, social communities, cultural sectors, internationally, and in sports.

ISCO group and title

2432 – Public relations professionals

 

 


 

 

References
  1. Spokesperson – ESCO
Last updated on August 8, 2022

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