Communications Director

Nonprofit communications directors are responsible for a variety of communications related tasks. Many are responsible for updating and maintaining the website, shooting video, being involved in strategic thinking, social media management, e-newsletter communications, outreach communications and events planning and management.

Basic Skills and Competencies

  • Good at multitasking
  • Detail-oriented
  • Willingness to learn new skills
  • Able to collaborate
  • Strong writing skills

Keith Hovis is the Communications Director at the Minnesota Department of Management and Budget. At the time of this interview, he was the deputy communications director for the Minnesota Department of Education. A 2009 graduate of SJMC, he began his career as the press secretary for the St. Paul Mayor's office and then worked in communications for Governor Mark Dayton of Minnesota. While at SJMC, he wrote for the Minnesota Daily and completed multiple internships at local newspapers.

Video Index

  • Play entire video
  • Introduction
  • What is on your to-do list for today?
  • What role does technology play in your job?
  • How do you think this role is changing or has changed over the years?
  • What do you look for in a new hire?
  • What do you find most challenging about your job?
  • What is most exciting about your job?


Courses to Help Prepare You (Within SJMC)

  • JOUR 3102: Multimedia Production and Storytelling
  • JOUR 3251: Evaluative Research in Strategic Communication
  • JOUR 3275: Digital Strategy in Strategic Communication
  • JOUR 3279W: Professional Writing for Strategic Communication
  • JOUR 3321: Media Design
  • JOUR 3775: Administrative Law and Regulation for Strategic Communication
  • JOUR 3796: Media and Politics
  • JOUR 4243: Digital Content for Brand Communications
  • JOUR 4262: Management for Strategic Communication
  • JOUR 5501: Communication, Public Opinion and Social Media

Courses to Help Prepare You (Outside SJMC)

  • MKTG 3001: Principles of Marketing
  • MGMT 3001: Fundamentals of Management
  • ABUS 4022W: Management in Organizations
  • COMM 3411: Small Group Communication
  • OLPD 3318: Introduction to Project Management
  • Consider Management Minor, Leadership Minor, Design Minor

Student Groups

  • Ad Club
  • NSAC

Participate In

  • Minnesota Daily
  • University student government


  • Intern in nonprofit communications
  • Look for communications jobs in departments across the University

Your Career

Career Resources

Professional Organizations

Potential Job Titles

  • Communications Manager
  • Communications Coordinator
  • Communications Director
  • Marketing/Communications Specialist

Where Alumni Work

  • Osseo Area Schools
  • University of Minnesota
  • City of Brooklyn Park
  • Senator Jane Nelson (Texas)
  • Minnesota AFL-CIO
  • Minnesota Department of Agriculture

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