The Alliance for the Great Lakes is hiring an Engagement Director (Director). The Director will establish and execute short-term and long-range marketing and communications programs in support of the organization’s strategic growth and multi-year campaign objectives. This is a fulltime paid position with outstanding benefits.
The Director is a new leadership-level position at the Alliance that will be filled by a forward thinking and experienced candidate demonstrating a high level of prior success across three core areas of competency: marketing/communications, relationship cultivation and team management. As the Alliance’s primary external communications liaison this position is responsible for timely front-line media outreach and response, cultivation of earned media, and growth of the Alliance’s reach to thousands of individual Great Lakes constituents. The Director will also guide and manage our internal communications team. As a team leader, the Director must energize staff members to achieve communications excellence throughout the organization – by inspiring and motivating direct reports and by working collaboratively to evolve engagement strategies and tactics throughout the organization. While prioritizing and managing a starting budget of $400,000, the Director is expected to develop successful approaches to increasing funding for future efforts.
The Director will be a public figure for the organization and must be equipped to speak credibly to our thousands of constituents in support of the Alliance’s mission, values and goals. The Director will be part of the Alliance’s core leadership team along with the president & CEO and VP of Operations and will interact collaboratively with the leaders of the organization’s programs. He/she will interact with the board of directors as well as with key funders in support of strategic communications planning and execution.
The Director must ensure that every aspect of the organization’s public outreach – including issue and program work, constituency growth and fundraising – furthers our mission and is aligned to our program and fundraising goals. The Director will lead strategic communications planning, set long-range measurable communications goals and implement regularly updated work plans appropriate to achieving them. The Director will:
- Develop responsive communication-driven programs, and help all staff members understand their role in and contribution to the overall marketing effort.
- Identify key targets for Alliance communications and implement strategies to link those targets to achievement of the organization’s environmental issue and fundraising goals.
- Look for ways to raise the competitive profile of the Alliance.
- Evaluate and elevate our messaging directed to our multiple constituencies; ensure that all communications are brand-right and motivating.
- Present and report on Alliance’s communications strategy and outputs to the board of directors.
The Director serves as the primary liaison for the Alliance in cultivating opportunities for
publicity, recognition and constituency engagement. The Director will:
- Foster earned media relations through all forms of print, online, and social outlets in support of existing program campaigns.
- Provide reporters’ first contact and credible voice when seeking information about the Alliance’s work.
- Track external communications on Great Lakes issues and leverage for timely and tactical Alliance campaign support.
- Tailor look, feel and performance of all Alliance communication vehicles for advocacy, volunteering and fundraising purposes to target audiences.
- Develop and maintain of a complete stable of evergreen and time-sensitive communications tools including fact sheets, talking points, special reports, website, social media presence, videos, blog networks and others as appropriate.
The Director will lead the Alliance’s communications team to ensure strong collaboration, performance and job satisfaction.
- Increase ability of staff to communicate independently and credibly.
- Track appropriate performance metrics and use feedback loops to adapt and improve future performance.
- Lead a professional communications team and grow the strategic use of temporary staff, consultants and interns.
- Evaluate and report the performance of overall communications effort and individual team members.
Primary and secondary market research methods
- Leadership ability and experience
- Persuasive, with excellence in written and oral communications skills
- Ability to understand and motivate multiple constituencies including government, private sector, elected officials, volunteers and issue advocates
- Demonstrated cultivation and driving of successful collaborative staff teams
- Clear and proven ability to use, test and adapt electronic platforms to engage thousands of individual constituents and move those constituents offline for additional cultivation
- Strong portfolio of strategic advocacy writing, with an emphasis on converting technical and policy agendas to compelling public messages
- Demonstrated success in using communications and marketing tools to move decisionmakers on policy agendas
- Ability to lead the marketing and communications planning process with a keen understanding of:
Brand positioning and messaging
Media modes including direct mail, TV, radio, print, online advertising, email marketing, social media, search engine marketing and web development.
Production methods including online and multimedia.
- Experience and comfort with setting and working within an annual budget at the regional non-profit scale
- Eagerness to work at both the “nuts and bolts” and strategic levels of our engagement effort
- Ability to work independently, quickly and in keeping with the news cycle regardless of time of day
- Driven by a strong commitment to public interest work and the values of the organization
- Experience with Blackbaud Raiser’s Edge, NetCommunity and Luminate/Convio platforms.
- Bachelor’s degree required, advanced degree preferred
- Minimum of 10 years of experience culminating in proven leadership of regional or national scale advocacy, political or marketing campaigns
- This is a full time appointment consistent with Alliance employment policy. Compensation to be determined based on qualifications.
- Outstanding benefits, including health and vacation, are included.
- This position is located in downtown Chicago, Illinois. Multi-state and occasional overnight travel is necessary for this job, which will require a valid driver’s license.
Please e-mail a cover letter, CV or resume, references and portfolio reflecting knowledge/skills
to: Bettina Marshall, Office Manager, firstname.lastname@example.org
Applications will be accepted until July 26 or until the position is filled. Materials should be compatible with Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat. Applicants will receive confirmation of receipt of their materials and further guidance and updates about the hiring process by e-mail, with interviews provided for finalists. No phone inquiries please.
About the Alliance for the Great Lakes
The Alliance for the Great Lakes is an Equal Opportunity Employer. The Alliance is the oldest citizens’ Great Lakes organization in North America. Its mission is to conserve and restore the world’s largest freshwater resource using policy, education and local efforts, ensuring a healthy Great Lakes and clean water for generations of people and wildlife. For more information about the Alliance’s programs and work, please visit us online at www.greatlakes.org
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