Public Relations Director

  • YMCA
  • Chicago, IL, USA
  • Jan 02, 2019
Full time Executive Nonprofit-Social Services

Job Description

The Director, Public Relations and Reputation is responsible for developing strategic integrated public relations plans that elevate/increase perception of the YMCA brand on a national and local level. The Director also leads reputation/issues management efforts for Y-USA to preserve its reputation as a leading non-profit organization. The Director is responsible for assessing, monitoring and strategizing around organizational risks and advising local YMCAs on reputation management issues/best practices to mitigate individualized risk.  In addition, the Director advises leaders of Y-USA and the Movement around Thought Leadership opportunities.

  • Bachelor's degree in Communications, Journalism, Public Relations or related field is required 
  • Minimum 7-10 years of experience driving public relations/reputation management efforts for a matrix organization is required
  • Minimum 3 years of experience managing public relations/reputation management efforts within a non-profit/agency/similar environment working with national non-profit client(s) is required; additional experience as a reporter considered a plus
  • Adept across the entire scope of Strategic Integrated Communications (SIC), including internal/external communications, executive communications, thought leadership, public relations, issues management, etc. is required
  • Experience in public relations/reputation management within a decentralized organization is strongly preferred 
  • Demonstrated success in developing results-driven public relations campaigns and media pitches/placements is required
  • Demonstrated ability to influence, set direction for and guide reputation management practices is required 
  • Advanced level of developing Thought Leadership platform, and identifying and executing opportunities is required
  • Adept at developing and conducting message/media training is required
  • Adept at developing strong relationships with national media. Existing relationships with reporters who cover non-profits is a plus 
  • Experience leading and working with cross-functional and intra-departmental teams is required 
  • Experience managing multiple projects concurrently and meeting goals and deadlines is required 
  • Excellent strategic and conceptual thinking, problem solving, and decision-making skills are required
  • Excellent collaboration, negotiation and facilitation skills are required 
  • Excellent verbal, written, and interpersonal communication skills are required 
  • Excellent project management and presentation skills are required 
  • Excellent organizational and planning skills are required
  • Supervisory experience is required 
  • Intermediate computer and Microsoft Office skills are required 
  • Ability to travel as needed is required
  • Develops and directs the implementations of strategic public relations plans and campaigns
  • Executes plans to ensure increased brand perception across target audiences and the public at-large
  • Creates and communicates opportunities and tools/resources for local YMCAs to activate public relations plans and campaigns in their local markets
  • Develops campaign media pitch/placement strategies across target media outlets
  • Tracks, evaluates and reports on ad equivalency/success measurements on public relations campaigns
  • Conduct message/media training with key leaders/team members at Y-USA and local YMCAs
  • Collaborates with Y-USA’s leadership to (1) proactively identify, assess and monitor known and perceived risks and (2) proactively and reactively mitigate issues, crises or reputational risks to the YMCA brand, Y-USA or local YMCAs 
  • Develops Y-USA’s crisis/issues management strategies and creates key messages to enable Y-USA to transparently communicate from a position of control and strength – to national staff, the YMCA movement and public constituents
  • Serves as advisor to local YMCAs seeking internal or external communications counsel for reputation management issues 
  • Collaborates with executive leadership to maintain Y-USA’s crisis communication plan and, as needed, activates the plan 
  • Works alongside the Vice President, Communications and Brand Reputation to ensure all audiences hear Y-USA speaking in a clear, unified voice and perceive Y-USA actions as the most ethical response to realized or potential issues that impact reputation  
  • Ensures national and local employees have the resources, information and support needed to maintain the YMCA’s reputation
  • Supervises direct report(s) responsible for implementing public relations plans and campaigns
  • Manages assigned agency and vendor relationships
  • Values. Demonstrates in word and action the Y’s core values of caring, honesty, respect, and responsibility and a commitment to the Y’s mission, in all matters at all times. 
  • Inclusion. Values all people for their unique talents and takes an active role in promoting practices that support diversity, inclusion, and cultural competence.
  • Relationships. Builds authentic relationships in the service of enhancing individual and team performance to support the Y's work. 
  • Communication. Listens and expresses self effectively and in a manner that reflects a true understanding of the needs of the audience. 
  • Developing Others. Recognizes and acts on the need to continually develop others' capabilities to attain the highest level of performance possible. 
  • Project Management. Supports goal attainment by prioritizing activities, assigning responsibilities in accordance with capabilities, monitoring progress, and evaluating impact. 
  • Decision Making. Integrates logic, intuition and sound judgment to analyze information to identify greatest opportunities, make sound decisions, and solve problems. 
  • Change Capacity. Leads self and others through change by navigating ambiguity appropriately and adapting well to new situations, obstacles, and opportunities. 
  • Emotional Maturity. Demonstrates effective interpersonal skills. 
  • Quality Results. Demonstrates and fosters a strong commitment to achieving goals in a manner that provides quality experiences.