Senior Director, External Communications
Full Time Job
Across our organization, we’re building a workplace where collaboration is essential, diverse voices are heard, and inclusion is the key to our success. We are committed to doing the right thing in our journalism and in every role at NPR. This means that integrity, adherence to our ethical standards, and compliance with legal obligations are fundamental responsibilities for every employee at NPR.
The Senior Director, External Communications will oversee NPR’s pro-active external communications strategies and activities. They will be responsible for presenting a forward-looking public image of NPR, its leadership and its Member stations by implementing strategies that support NPR’s corporate reputation management, and audience engagement priorities.
The primary responsibility of the Senior Director, External Communications is to raise awareness and tell the story of NPR by developing and overseeing creative outreach strategies that enhance the visibility of NPR’s brand, strategies, programs and staff. The successful candidate will manage and support the Media Relations, Social Media and Talent Relations teams to ensure alignment of our outward-facing messaging and strategically promote NPR’s content and revenue-generating divisions. This is a highly interactive role that will support constant communication with editorial units, editors, producers and journalists to effectively identify opportunities for telling our story.
The Senior Director will manage corporate media relations and support the Chief Communications Officer and VP for Corporate Communications in corporate crisis management, by preparing and advising on media strategies and responses across a range of complex corporate issues.
They will work extensively throughout NPR, NPR Member stations, the public broadcasting system, and national journalism and cultural organizations to help generate awareness of NPR in national, regional and local media. The position reports to the Chief Communications Officer.
The ideal candidate will have strong relationships with established media contacts; extensive familiarity with diverse media; excellent writing, speaking, organizational and interpersonal skills; familiarity with NPR and public media; and the ability to think clearly under pressure. They will work collaboratively with their team and across the organization to distill complex organizational strategies into clear and compelling messaging to reach multiple external audiences. The ideal candidate will have proven experience leading and supporting high-performing teams, working to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, and cultivating and supporting an inclusive and equitable workplace culture.
• Work with the CCO to develop campaigns that position and grow awareness for NPR’s corporate priorities with media, industry, advocates, partners, stations, associations, etc.
• Direct supervision of Media Relations, Social Media and Talent Relations teams. Provides daily oversight of their work, editing, strategy setting, goal-building and professional development for the team.
• Media Relations: Develop and cultivate relationships with key media and other external parties and act as an on-the-record company spokesperson. Manage press opportunities for NPR President and CEO and other executive leadership.
• Talent Relations: Work with the Manager to identify opportunities for NPR talent at events that will help build the NPR brand and grow and diversify the NPR audience. Work with the Manager to identify key organizations to partner with for speaking engagements in support of these goals.
• Serve as a trusted resource for the senior leadership team around media relations, social media strategy and conference planning.
• Able to lead and produce engaging, informative public and events that reflect NPR’s strategic goals and brand image.
• Reputation management: Participate in the design and implementation of communications strategies and tactics in response to issues tied to NPR’s content, funding, regulatory, legal, technology, sponsorship, personnel, and financial or editorial activities; anticipate and proactively address reputational issues as much as possible.
• Supervise the corporate Social Media team to deliver corporate messages effectively and grow NPR’s social media footprint and influence.
• Use management best practices in leading a high performing team. Motivate, coach and improve teams collective and individual performance by understanding and monitoring performance and developing plans, goals and strategies for improvements and advancement. Provide assistance and guidance to help employees improve and advance in their career. Models and incorporates DEI practices for team management and hiring.
Bachelor's degree in Communications, Journalism, or related field.
WORK LOCATION: This is an onsite role at our Washington, D.C. office.
• 8-10 years of corporate communications and/or public relations experience.
• Experience managing crisis communications around a diverse portfolio of issues.
• Skilled in developing corporate messaging in collaboration with senior executives.
• Successful track record in securing prominent media placements; established relationships with television, media, technology, political and business press; expert in media relations and influencer outreach.
• Proven track record as an on-the-record spokesperson or press secretary.
• Strong writing and editing skills across a wide range of communications vehicles; able to lead creative story development.
• Ability to quickly grasp complex subject matter and translate it into messages that are easily understood by all stakeholders at various levels.
• Fosters communication, collaboration, and influences and motivates inter-department and cross-department teams.
• Ability to treat confidential information with sensitivity and discretion.
• Must be able to work independently and with a results-oriented approach; must be able to juggle multiple tasks with differing deadlines.
• Strong relationship management skills.
• Self-starter with ability to independently initiate and follow through with opportunities; strong problem-solver
• Cultivate and promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace & cultivate and support an inclusive and equitable workplace culture
• Experience working within a communications department for a news organization or media trade association is preferred.
• Ability to understand NPR’s unique local/national model; can translate both the local and national impact of news.
All applications must include a resume and cover letter to be considered.