Director, Communications

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Overview:
The Director, Communications is responsible for the development and execution of strategic communications plans that support the brand strategy and drive customer demand/engagement with the Discovery Place brands (Discovery Place Science, Discovery Place Nature, Discovery Place Kids and Discovery Place Education Studio). The Director, Communications works to identify, develop and distribute the Discovery Place story across media channels and platforms. The position has direct responsibility for all media/public relations strategies as well as overseeing social media strategy and content. The position partners with the digital marketing team to create integrated digital strategies and content. Supervises activities of the Manager, Social Media.

Essential duties and responsibilities:
• Manages, directs and executes communications strategies designed to drive public interest in the programs, activities and accomplishments at Discovery Place, including Discovery Place Science, Discovery Place Nature, Discovery Place Kids and Discovery Place Education Studio.
• Develops PR content strategy for all Discovery Place properties.
• Develops and maintains relationships with reporters, editors, bloggers and other media in support of the activities of Discovery Place. Develops and maintains media lists.
• Prepares and distributes press releases, media advisories, fact sheets, photographs and video or tape recordings to media representatives, community and cultural partners and others.
• Prepares the organization for public communications including talking points, Q&As and key messages.
• Acts as a spokesperson for the organization as needed.
• Strategically plans and pitches public relations and media opportunities locally, statewide and regionally to proactively tell • Discovery Place brand story.
• Manages media events and other activities designed to drive media coverage.
• Answers media inquiries, cultivates relationships and coordinates media and VIP visits, including providing guided tours of the Museums and special exhibitions.
• Assists in planning and execution of promotional events and programs designed to generate publicity for the organization. • Works with the Associate Manager, Marketing and Promotions on developing community partnerships.
• With the Manager, Social Media manage and execute the content strategy on the organization’s social media channels including Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, LinkedIn and other.
• Coordinates with outside agency on social media campaign strategies. Collaborates with digital marketing team to develop integrated campaigns..
• Monitors developments in social media outlets.
• Provides guidance to the Manager, Social Media on responses to negative feedback on public social channels.
• Writes, edits and manages Discovery Place’s internal communications e-newsletter.
• Coordinates crisis communications plans for the organization. Responds to public comments/feedback on behalf of the organization at times dealing with sensitive information.
• Monitors and provides reports on the organization’s media coverage including social media and blogs.
• Other duties as assigned.
Supervisory
• Supervises the activities of the Social Media Coordinator.

Competencies:
Communication

• Must have superior writing skills and be able to produce engaging, creative and on-brand content.
• Must be able to write clearly, creatively, accurately and in a style consistent with Discovery Place’s brand guidelines.
• Must have excellent oral communication skills and have experienced in interview situations both in print and on TV.
Media relationships
• Must have established media relationships in the Charlotte metro market with media, bloggers and other influencers.
Strategic thinking
• Proven success in developing communications strategies to achieve organizational goals and an ability to generate alternative ideas.
Adaptability
• Must be able to quickly adapt to changes in the work environment or unexpected events and to manage competing demands.
Interpersonal
• Must be outgoing and able to develop both internal and external relationships. Able to maintain confidentiality.
Teamwork
• Proven success on a team. Must contribute to building a positive team spirit, including recognizing the accomplishments of others.
Business acumen
• Must understand business implications of decisions and be able to align work with strategic goals.
Initiative
• Proven ability to work independently. Must display innovative thinking and creativity.
Planning/organizing
• Should enjoy balancing multiple projects efficiently.
• Must be able to plan work activities with realistic plans.
• Must be able to work accurately and quickly.
Professionalism
• Must represent Discovery Place professionally in all communications including interviews on television, online, radio or in print and react well under pressure.
• Always uses respectful and appropriate language, particularly in social media.

Qualifications:
To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required.
Education/experience
• Bachelor’s degree (B. A.) from four-year college or university.
• 5-7 years communications, public/media relations or other relevant experience.
• Must have experience developing content and campaigns for social media.
• Must have established media contacts in Charlotte market.
Language ability
• Must have superior written and oral communications skills.
• Ability to respond effectively to the most sensitive inquiries or complaints.
• Ability to write short or long press release, speeches and articles using original techniques or style.
• Ability to make effective and persuasive presentations on controversial or complex topics media.
• Ability to communicate via social media outlets.
Computer skills
• Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
• Experience with Cision and Google Analytics is a plus.

Work environment:
The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The noise level in the work environment is moderate to loud (in the Museums).

Physical demands:
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
• The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds.
• Specific vision abilities required by this job include close, distance and peripheral vision, depth perception and the ability to adjust focus.
• While performing the duties of this Job, the employee is regularly required to sit, use hands to finger, handle or feel and talk or hear.
• The employee is frequently required to walk and drive. The employee is occasionally required to stand and reach with hands and arms.

The foregoing description is not intended and should not be construed to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities of this job. Other duties may be assigned. This job description may be changed to include new responsibilities and tasks or change existing ones as management deems necessary.

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