What Does a Circulation Director Do?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 16 July 2019
  • Copyright Protected:
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A circulation director is a person who works for a print or online publication. He or she is responsible for improving readership numbers, ensuring content is properly printed and distributed, and monitoring costs and profits. The circulation director may also work for a book publisher, and his or her primary goal will be to market and distribute more products to customers, thereby improving readership numbers and, ostensibly, profits for the company. The director may work with marketing personnel as well as sales and promotions teams. This position is usually highly sought after, and competition for the position can be fierce.

In order to become a circulation director, a candidate will first need to complete a high school education and develop an interest in journalism or related fields. He or she will then attend college to study journalism, marketing, or public relations. It may be necessary for the student to then earn a post-graduate degree in order to become a circulation director, though this is not always necessary. Most employers will require, however, that the new graduate work in the industry for five years or more before he or she can be considered for a position as a circulation director.


It is possible to apply for internships that will prepare a candidate to become a circulation director. This is a great way to establish contacts in the industry and learn the skills necessary to be effective in the position. Apprenticeships are also sometimes available, allowing the candidate to work full time while still learning the necessary skills. Taking an entry-level position in the publishing industry is another great way to develop knowledge of the industry and prepare oneself for a circulation position. While in such positions, it is important for the candidate to develop the ability to meet tight deadlines, interact with customers and colleagues, think creatively about marketing and advertising, and generally develop the appropriate skill set for the job.

A great way for the candidate to make himself or herself even more attractive as a job candidate is to work as the head of a team within the company, showing an ability to lead others and manage effectively. If such opportunities come along, the candidate should do his or her best to take advantage to not only build his or her resumé, but also to establish positive relationships within the company.



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