Marketing Communications–What’s It Like?

Marketing communications–have you ever wondered if it could be right for you?

As I posted earlier, marketing communications is one of a dozen, or so, highly paid writing fields.

It is a good freelance writing field because nearly every company needs to market their product. According to the most recent salary figures from the average income for a marketing communication writer is $62,000 a year. However, a talented marketing writer can earn much more.

Fortunately, I can also share my own experiences in this field since this is where I started as a writer. Also, many of my current freelancing projects fall into this category. In this post I’ll do my best to let you know what this type of writing is like.

What Do Marketing Communications Writers Do?

A marketing communications writer creates marketing materials for companies and organizations.

Whenever a company needs well-written persuasive materials to explain the benefits of a product or service, they turn to marketing communications writers.

Some of the projects that I’ve personally tackled as a marketing communications writer include:

  • Writing copy for advertisements
  • Writing product benefit sheets and brochures for the sales force
  • Writing copy for a product landing page
  • Creating and editing newsletters for an organization’s clients
  • Writing press releases
  • Writing a script for a company’s telemarketers
  • Editing copy for a company’s website and blog posts

Marketing communications is a broad term that covers many areas of marketing including (but not limited to):

  • Public relations
  • Advertising
  • Branding
  • Packaging
  • Online marketing
  • Direct marketing

It is not unusual for a freelance writer to specialize in a particular aspect of marketing communications. Also, projects in this field tend to be shorter in duration than technical writing projects.

What Skills Do You Need to Be a Marketing Communications Writer?

While many colleges offer marketing degrees, it is not unusual for a company to hire a talented freelance writer who does not have a degree.

However, be aware that the marketing communications field is very competitive. Any advantage, such as a degree or other specialized training, can be beneficial.

There are also a number of professional societies for marketing communications writers including:

Many of these professional societies offer seminars, training classes, and networking opportunities.

Some character traits that a marketing communications writer might find useful include:

  • Creativity–Must produce creative and original ideas that reflect the company’s vision and image.
  • Persuasiveness–Must be able to write in a manner that entices others to take action.
  • Research skills–Should have good research skills. Not only do they need to learn about the product that they will be writing about, they also must learn about the target market for the product.
  • People skills–Must be able to get along with management and sales people as well as other creative professionals such as graphic designers.

Is There a Future for Marketing Communications Writing?

Every company needs to market its products or services in order to survive. Companies often turn to freelance professionals to perform the writing tasks associated with marketing.

The U.S. government also agrees that this type of writing still has a bright future. In the most recent U.S. Occupational Outlook handbook, it states that job opportunities in public relations (one type of marketing communications) are expected to grow more quickly than average.

The job title “director of communications” also made the list of the best jobs in America.

Feedback Time

Does marketing communications writing sound interesting to you? Do you have any questions? Is this your field of writing?

Share your thoughts.


9 responses
  1. Karyn Avatar

    I’m currently in a certificate program for technical writing & communications and one of the classes I’m taking next quarter is called “Crafting Marcom Writing.” I’m actually more excited about this class than any of the others I’ve taken because I prefer the more creative side to writing. I am actually really interested in getting into this aspect of the field. I don’t really have any formal marketing/pr experience.

    I guess my question is, how likely is it that you can get marcom jobs without professional experience? Most job listings I’ve seen ask for writers with several years of marketing communications experience, so how is a writer with no experience in this area supposed to get some?

  2. Susan Speer Avatar
    Susan Speer

    I do a lot of marketing copywriting too, and most of these gigs pay very well. I find them through my connections with people at ad/marketing/pr agencies and in corporate communications/marketing departments of larger companies.

    Marketing copywriting is where the rubber meets the road in terms of catching a reader’s attention in a split second. It’s not an amateur’s game, which is one reason the pay scale is higher.

    The best marketing projects are the ones when I am a member of a team that is experienced in working with freelance writers and brings me in early to develop strategic messages way before copywriting happens…The most frustrating projects are when people “bring in the copywriter” after everyone else has long been part of the strategic discussion or the ones with a singular focus on writing SEO copy, though they have no idea what that is. Or the ones that want me to crap out a snappy tag line because they think it would look nice under the logo. It’s the sad reality of many a marketing project. For the uninitiated, it’s good to know what you may be getting into.

    For more profdev and networking opportunities, look also for the International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), the American Marketing Association (AMA) and the Ad Federation (AdFed) chapters in your area.

    Happy Friday!

  3. Laura Spencer Avatar


    Great question! Getting the first job is always the toughest, of course. However, every writer starts somewhere. If you don’t have samples from clients to show, you can create some that highlight your abilities.

    Susan Speer–Great feedback. Thanks so much for providing the other professional societies. I would definitely recommend getting involved with at least one society.
    .-= Laura Spencer´s last blog ..My Very First Professional Writing Gig Ever (Looking Back) =-.

  4. Kathleen K. O'Connor Avatar

    Thanks for all the resources, Laura! I just bookmarked this and will be doing some research. 🙂 How do you suggest finding marcom writing jobs? Through cold calling?

    1. Laura Spencer Avatar

      Thank Kathleen!

      Cold calling is definitely one way to find marketing communication jobs.

      Networking at the professional societies is another way. Many of them even have a job bank that you can use if you are a member.

      Make sure that your website lists marketing communication services, and be specific by list each type of job individually.
      .-= Laura Spencer´s last blog ..My Very First Professional Writing Gig Ever (Looking Back) =-.

  5. Melanie Jongsma Avatar

    Susan Speer, I appreciate your differentiating between people who understand the value of good copy and people who don’t. Any advice on how to find clients who do value good writing? Or on educating/convincing clients who don’t?
    .-= Melanie Jongsma´s last blog ..Maundy Thursday: the Great Reconciliation =-.

    1. Laura Spencer Avatar

      Hi Melanie!

      I am not Susan, but I will venture to answer. 🙂

      First of all, you’ve touched on what can be quite challenging for some freelancers. I’d advise a two-pronged approach:

      1) Know what a good rate is for marketing communication writing and make that your standard. Be prepared to defend that rate in terms of value added to the client.
      2) Educate potential clients who inquire about your services. This might mean quoting industry standards or explaining the steps that you must take to create the copy.

      The bottom line is: effective marketing communications copy can make company money. What client wouldn’t want that?
      .-= Laura Spencer´s last blog ..My Very First Professional Writing Gig Ever (Looking Back) =-.

      1. Melanie Jongsma Avatar

        Thanks Laura! I also got some helpful information from Peter Bowerman’s blog. Here’s the post:
        .-= Melanie Jongsma´s last blog ..Maundy Thursday: the Great Reconciliation =-.

  6. Makalah Avatar

    LCJMNT Touchdown! That’s a really cool way of putting it!

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