Vice President of Communications
Aquarium of the Bay 4 reviews - San Francisco, CA

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Organization: Aquarium of the Bay
(AZA Member)

Location: San Francisco, CA, United States
Job or Internship: Job
In 2009,Aquarium of the Bay became a part of The Bay Institute; the two organizations now work together in a unique nonprofit partnership to promote aquatic conservation and education. The Vice President of Communications is an extraordinary leadership opportunity for a newly created position to set the vision and realize exciting marketing, sponsorship, publicity and outreach opportunities for the unique brand of the unified organization. The VP of Communications is the member of the senior management team with primary responsibility for ensuring that all Aquarium of the Bay and The Bay Institute communications are professional, high quality and designed to maximize mission impact. The VP of Communications is responsible for identifying strategic marketing opportunities for aquatic conservation and education, and will oversee and work in all aspects of communications, external relations and marketing. S/he will lead staff in articulating and communicating the Aquarium of the Bay and The Bay Institute mission, opportunities, challenges, successes and funding needs to a broad audience.

The VP of Communications will mentor and manage a small team of regionally based communications staff who work with media and press, website and e-communications, and print communications to members and external audiences. S/he will be an integral part of the leadership team, working closely with the CEO on creating and capitalizing on innovative opportunities for branding, publicity and outreach. This full-time position is based in San Francisco and reports directly to the CEO.

Position purpose/general duties
The VP of Communication’s specific responsibilities will include the following:
  • Work with CEO, senior managers and Communications team to define vision for brand and message, and to prioritize among numerous potential audiences.
  • Analyze organization-wide opportunities for marketing collaborations working with internal staff (including Education, Development, Program, Membership and Husbandry) and external partners (including individuals, businesses, scientific and political entities, sponsors and funders) to identify most compelling messages and calls to action.
  • Inspire all members of Communications team for best effort, and provide mentoring and professional development opportunities as needed.
  • Develop and manage the implementation of a communications and marketing strategy for Aquarium of the Bay and The Bay Institute, and report against goals to the CEO and Board of Directors.
  • Leverage the combined Aquarium of the Bay/The Bay Institute programs for maximum support from Bay Area residents and visitors, raising funding and awareness for aquatic conservation, education and impacts of climate change.
  • Develop and implement an annual communications plan and ensure alignment with internal departmental goals for communication and outreach.
  • Ensure that all Aquarium of the Bay and The Bay Institute communications meet the highest standards and position the combined organizations well with each of its audiences and stakeholders.
  • Ensure quality control with respect to issues such as brand management, image, content and format, and writing and editing.
  • Oversee the development, writing and content for websites, brochures, annual report, newsletters (print and electronic), print and electronic advertisements, press releases, signage and other promotional materials.
  • Develop and manage annual marketing and advertising budget for the Aquarium of the Bay and The Bay Institute.
  • Provide strategic vision and help manage press outreach and strategies for greater media visibility, proactively identifying and responding to opportunities for publicity and participation in events and current topics.
  • Coordinate production of books, case studies, articles and other Aquarium of the Bay and The Bay Institute publications, including original content, copy editing, layout, design and printing.
  • Create and update the communications handbook and style guide, and develop communications guidelines, tools and templates for program staff.
  • Oversee, in conjunction with regional communications staff, the work of outside vendors, including graphic designers, publicists and printers.
  • Work closely with the Vice Presidents of Development and Directors of Education to identify, create and promote partnership opportunities, and ensure that communications meet community and donor needs.
  • Establish and monitor metrics for the measurement of outcomes and effectiveness of communications.
Required Experience & Qualifications
  • Bachelor’s or master’s degree, or comparable professional experience to be comfortable working directly with environmental leaders in business and the community.
  • Seven to ten years’ experience in marketing and communications for a nonprofit or conservation organization.
  • Demonstrated excellence in research, writing and editing (writing samples will be requested), with excellent organizational skills, strong attention to detail and the ability to manage competing priorities.
  • Substantial prior experience in preparing print materials (brochures, annual reports, newsletters, press releases), developing online and website content, press outreach, and mailings both to targeted as well as broad audiences.
  • Skilled at interpreting website analytics and adapting content to increase site traffic, including the use of search engine optimization.
  • Inspired communicator and leader who is a quick learner, resourceful, flexible, and can thrive in an innovative, small, dynamic, nonprofit environment.
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a multi-cultural team.
  • Results-oriented professional who is passionate about aquatic conservation and comfortable communicating with all types of audiences.
  • Demonstrated success managing a team that is motivated, engaged and productive.
  • Ability to create strategic programs and priorities, and also to be open to feedback from peers and others, with a focus on creating the best possible Communications program and marketing collaborations.
  • Strong analytical and problem-solving skills and the ability to communicate scientific and technical complexities with clarity and simplicity.
  • Effective team player who communicates seamlessly with others in different departments and at different levels within the organization, and is able to motivate interest and best effort.
  • Advanced technology experience: Microsoft office, online tools, Adobe Creative Suite, web content management software.
  • Ability to work independently with minimal supervision, prioritize competing deadlines, and be able to identify and partner with staff and resources for expedient, effective solutions
  • The ideal candidate will have experience working in – or knowledge of – issues related to marine and freshwater habitats and species, impact of a changing climate on the San Francisco Bay, and a general passion for environmental issues
About The Bay Institute and Aquarium of the Bay
The Bay Institute is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is to protect, restore and inspire conservation of San Francisco Bay and its watershed from the Sierra to the sea. The Bay Institute’s programs include the Aquarium of the Bay, Bay Restoration Program, Students and Teachers Restoring a Watershed (STRAW), San Francisco Bay Estuary Education Program (SF-BEEP), and the Rivers and Delta Program.

The Aquarium of the Bay is a nonprofit marine nature center, located in San Francisco’s Pier 39/Fisherman’s Wharf, where it creates experiences that inspire conservation of San Francisco Bay and its watershed. It is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums, and certified as a Green Business by the City of San Francisco. Additional information is available online at and

This position will be based in the Aquarium offices at Pier 39, with occasional work with the program staff based in the Novato office.

To Apply
Send resume with cover letter as Word or PDF attachment(s) and compensation requirements by January 14, 2011, to No calls please; messages regarding this position will not be returned.

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