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Director of Communications

JOB TITLE:  Director of Communications

DEPARTMENT: Communications

REPORTS TO:  President  & CEO

SUMMARY:

The New York Academy of Science seeks an experienced and dynamic Director of Communications to help us reimagine and reinvigorate our brand for the 21st century. We seek an innovative communications strategist with leadership experience in multiple areas of communications.  The responsibilities and remit of the role include external communications, media relations, organizational messaging, executive positioning, content strategy, and branding. The ideal candidate thrives in a fast-past environment, works well with numerous stakeholders, and can deftly balance strategy with day-to-day execution.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES:

  • Work closely with executive leadership (CEO, COO, SVPs) to shape a new strategic vision for the Academy, to include the creation of a 3-5 year strategic plan; a brand strategy, and an annual organization-wide communications plan to support and advance the vision.
  • Develop a measurement system to track and evaluate communications implementation, with appropriate metrics and key performance indicators, and report regularly on progress.
  • Identify and pursue opportunities to showcase the Academy’s thought leadership in core thematic areas. Support and coach executive staff through the development of strategic presentations, talking points, Op-eds and Opinion piece placements, and sourcing/vetting of external speaking opportunities.
  • Develop/oversee/execute media and public relations outreach strategies for strategic Academy events and partnerships, to include preparation of press releases, media alerts, pitches, and talking points.
  • Serve as executive editor of The New York Academy of Sciences Magazine—the organization’s semi-annual outreach publication for its global Membership of over 20,000.

GENERAL RESPONSIBILITIES:

Strategy, Management, Thought Leadership

  • Supervise, recruit and retain a top-notch team of communications staff, consultants, and vendors with technical, editorial, visual, media relations, and other skills to implement the Academy’s communications plan and brand strategy.
  • Create and execute short- and long-term communications plans for key Academy initiatives and programs, including its Global STEM Alliance and Nutrition Science Program, aligned with the organization-wide plan and brand strategy.
  • Lead the Academy’s cross-departmental Editorial Planning Group to align communications and content marketing efforts with organizational business goals and messaging.
  • Provide strategic counsel for program teams as needed to support partnerships as well as crisis counseling when required.

Media Relations

  • With communications staff, actively monitor the science media landscape, and establish strong relationships with key journalists and publications (print, digital, and broadcast) covering topics of relevance to the Academy.
  • With communications staff, proactively pitch both scientific and mainstream media for high priority Academy programs and initiatives.
  • Manage all incoming press inquiries and potential reputational risk issues, utilizing superior judgment.
  • Marketing, Platform and Channel Management and Content Production
  • Conceptualize magazine themes to align with Academy activities, Member Engagement, and business goals. Oversee article acquisitions, edit submissions, and manage freelance writers, graphic designers, and print and mailing vendors.
  • Create and maintain a unified digital ecosystem to support the Academy’s thought leadership, communications, advocacy, and marketing strategy. Oversee and set strategy and editorial direction for staff managing all of the Academy’s digital channels and platforms, including website and social media, including production of multimedia assets, videos, podcasts, as well as tracking the emergence of new platforms, technology, potential digital partners and other opportunities.
  • Working in full partnership with fundraising leadership and staff, lead marketing strategy and implementation, including guiding the production of marketing collateral across the Academy such as program brochures, the Annual Report, fundraising event materials, etc. as well as leading communications for major organizational activities including the Annual Members Meeting and the annual Global STEM Alliance Summit.

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITY:

Dotted line supervisory responsibility for a communications manager assigned to the Awards team.  In addition, the Director manages the Academy's relationship with external communications-related consultants and vendors.

REQUIREMENTS:

  • Bachelors' degree and 8+ years of communications experience are required, including positions of responsibility for strategy and management. Experience in communications and marketing for academic/educational institutions, non-profits, political campaigns, public relations, and marketing agencies, or other relevant organizations preferred; prior experience with making complex research, technical, and/or policy content accessible to a wide variety of audiences a definite plus.
  • Demonstrated strategic communications leadership, with a high comfort level working directly with executive leadership and forging organizational direction for communications, advocacy, and marketing; combined with a strong track record of excellent implementation.
  • Superior writing and editing skills are a must as well as a demonstrated ability to oversee strategy and execution of multiple communications platforms, channels, and tools. Successful applicants will be able to establish, articulate, and execute a clear vision for content development that resonates with target audiences.
  • In-depth experience working with media and attaining media coverage is desired. Media contacts in science or related field are a plus.
  • Strong self-motivation, prioritization and planning skills, and an ability to shepherd complex projects from start to finish.
  • Ability to manage a team with a focus on reaching key performance indicators and achieving departmental goals, as well as fostering professional growth and development in staff members.
  • Experience managing budgets, vendors, including public relations firms and other consultants, and contracts and subscriptions, including content production, equipment, software, and digital services

WORK SCHEDULE:

The Academy operates during standard business hours Monday through Friday from 9 am-5 pm. The standard workweek is 35 hours unless otherwise noted.

The Academy is based in New York, with offices in Downtown Manhattan. We offer hybrid and flexible work arrangements.

WORK ENVIRONMENT/PHYSICAL DEMANDS:

This role routinely uses standard office equipment such as computers, phones, etc. This is largely a sedentary role; however, some movement is required. Examples would be lifting files, opening filing cabinets, and bending or standing as necessary when working onsite.

HOW TO APPLY:

Applications must include a resume, cover letter, and salary requirements.

EEO STATEMENT:

The New York Academy of Sciences is an Equal Opportunity Employer, adhering to the laws which prohibit discrimination in the terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.  Academy policy expressly prohibits discrimination in employment because of any legally impermissible classification, including but not limited to an actual or perceived race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, religion, and any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.

Equal Opportunity and equal consideration will be afforded to all personnel actions involving applicants and employees, including (but not limited to) recruiting and hiring, selection for training, promotion, job assignments, working conditions, rates of pay or other compensation, discipline, transfer, and layoff, or termination.