Communications Director, Leading On Opportunity
Leading on Opportunity is a collaborative, community-wide initiative launched to serve as the community champion to unite and propel efforts to positively impact economic opportunity for all children in Charlotte Mecklenburg. Leading on Opportunity serves to amplify, aggregate and accelerate efforts across the community to create a more just and equitable Charlotte Mecklenburg for all children – regardless of income, race or zip code – creating a place where all children feel they belong, have big dreams and find the opportunities to achieve those dreams.
Housed under the Foundation For The Carolinas, Leading on Opportunity is organized as a backbone organization leading a collective impact effort across Mecklenburg County. We take a systemic approach to address three key determinants of early childhood education, college and career readiness and family stability, while simultaneously focusing on two cross-cutting factors of segregation and social capital – implementing in partnership with the community recommendations of the Leading on Opportunity Task Force Report.
In order for Leading on Opportunity to achieve its ambitious goals, we are seeking a dynamic and detail-oriented Communications Director to support the work. The Communications Director must have a proven track record supporting others in a fast-paced, constantly evolving environment and superior project management skills. The individual must enjoy challenging work and operating in a continuous learning, strong execution, action-oriented, high performing culture. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Communications Director plays a crucial role among a values, vision, mission and outcomes-driven small team responsible for driving Leading on Opportunity’s bold work forward. In particular, the Communications Director lead and plan strategically to advance communication implementation strategies and achieve successful impact among a large multi-sector network. This is a full-time, exempt position.
Duties and responsibilities:
The Communications Director will provide day-to-day leadership of Leading on Opportunity’s strategic communications to increase public engagement, raise our profile, brand prominence, expand media relations and drive results. The individual must be passionate about addressing poverty and committed to improving economic opportunity. Under the direction of the Executive Director, below outlines key responsibilities of the Communications Director.
• Collaborate with the Executive Director to develop communications strategies that will broaden our reach and deepen the impact of our work through face-to-face, print, online, social and multimedia.
• Develop, refine and execute Leading on Opportunity’s core messages to ensure organizational consistency and share critical narratives to internal and external audiences.
• Provide counsel, support and recommendations on strategic communications internally collaborating with team to align messages and content to share with a variety of external audiences/stakeholders.
• Identify and act on key communications metrics for decision making and improved outcomes.
• Design and implement tailored, creative and innovative solutions to communication challenges, anticipating communication gaps and partnering to proactively resolve.
• Anticipate, develop and lead and execute crisis communication plan.
• Identify significant media and public policy issues that can be leveraged to support Leading on Opportunity’s work, create and implement plans to capitalize on them.
• Develop and execute a holistic media outreach strategy, strategically planning and pitching public relations and media opportunities locally, statewide and nationally (e.g. television, radio, newspaper interviews, etc.).
• Oversee general organizational response to inquiries through website and other media.
• Respond to and manage incoming media inquiries keeping Executive Director appraised at all time.
• Manage Mail Chimp, other email marketing platforms and CRM.
Writing and editing
• Creatively write, edit and distribute clear and compelling communications internally and externally (e.g. preparing Executive Director presentations, Council materials, Leading on Opportunity success stories, Q&A’s, scripts, run of shows, speeches, talking points, surveys and other communications).
• Develop effective, consistent and relevant messaging to support strategic plans, goals and priorities.
• Create communication processes, tools and templates to simplify and streamline communication activities, decrease delivery time and improve effectiveness of communications and messages.
• Serve as executive editor for website, newsletters and other physical collateral preparing engaging content (e.g. media lists, press clips, collateral, giving campaigns, print, broadcast, online media).
Digital marketing and social media
• Build awareness and promote Leading on Opportunity using appropriate digital channels.
• Develop content, manage, execute and oversee content strategy for social media channels to engage with key audiences including Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.
• Develop and execute appropriate Internet marketing strategies (e.g. web, SEO, email, etc.).
• Identify opportunities to leverage and integrate video, SMS, mobile apps and other digital tools to expand reach, mobilize constituencies and/or streamline operations.
Project management and dissemination
• Under minimal supervision, oversee mix of small to large-scale communication-related projects.
• Manage communications deliverables, timelines, teams and vendors to ensure expected outcomes are delivered on time and on budget.
• Use communication vehicles and online content management systems to disseminate and deliver messages and information (including print materials).
• Identify, monitor and share relevant metrics, such as survey feedback, page views and click-thru rates when requested by Executive Director.
• Promote and increase public engagement and support.
• Coordinate and plan public events to raise awareness of Leading on Opportunity.
• Assumes other responsibilities as assigned by the Executive Director.
• Bachelor’s degree or equivalent combination of education and experience in journalism, communications, public relations or another related field.
• At least 5-10 years of work communications experience, with increasing leadership and coaching responsibilities in developing, implementing and measuring communications plans and skills.
• Exceptional written communication and editing skills with focused attention on details and accuracy that you can demonstrate with past experience and writing samples.
• Strong business acumen and ability to strategically interface with and influence key stakeholders.
• Proven ability to manage complex projects.
• History of successfully building and maintaining relationships with a range of stakeholders.
• Familiar with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area and/or economic mobility issues.
• Solution-focused, outcome-oriented and determined to effectively complete tasks with little guidance and supervision.
• Experience inspiring and mobilizing communities into action.
• Comfortable using data and research to drive and inform decision-making.
• Capacity to manage multiple responsibilities simultaneously, set priorities and respond quickly.
• Trustworthy, operates with the highest level of honesty, integrity and discretion handling confidential information, issues and relationships with utmost professionalism.
• Comfortable working with diverse populations, deeply committed to equity and inclusion.
• Interpersonally savvy, operating with diplomacy and empathy.
• Communicates effectively in person, via email, phone and presentations.
• Efficiently completes tasks with exceptional organization.
• Creative, innovative, solution-focused and forward-thinking.
• Proactive, takes initiative and ownership of work responsibilities, contributes best self at work.
• Works well independently and collaboratively, adding value to team.
• Positive, “can do” spirit, resilient and flexible.
• Manages conflict effectively focused on finding shared understanding, alignment and agreement, remaining calm under pressure.
• Laser focused on community success, able and willing to go above and beyond to do whatever it takes to meet deadlines, achieve organizational excellence, outcomes and impact.
• Coachability and willingness to take direction.
• Committed to continuous learning, growth and improvement, raising the bar of performance.
• Advanced proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite (e.g. Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.), Adobe Photoshop, general computer and Internet research skills, familiarity with Apple-Mac systems preferred.
• Advanced knowledge and skill using social media.
• Outgoing personality with passion for storytelling and making data come to life.
Fill out the application form here, submit a resume and cover letter to Stephanie Cooper-Lewter, Executive Director. No phone calls or faxes accepted. Applications for this position will be accepted until 5 p.m. on April 30, 2019. In your cover letter include your salary requirements and address the following topics;
• Describe a time when you used your communications skills and experience to help a person or organization understand and solve a problem. Explain how you got involved in the effort, your role and responsibilities and how that experience will be useful as the Communications Director.
• What have you learned about the best ways to get people interested in your organization or cause?
• Review Leading on Opportunity’s current website and social media platforms. What initial creative ideas would you propose to enhance messaging, content and reach? Explain your recommendations.
• Describe how Leading on Opportunity’s vision and mission to improve economic mobility for children resonates and aligns with your values and experiences (personal and/or professional).
Leading on Opportunity is an Equal Opportunity Employer, welcoming people to flourish in an open, inclusive work environment. A diverse pool of candidates of all backgrounds is welcomed, applicants from diverse cultural backgrounds are encouraged to apply.