Position: Director of Marketing and Communications
Since 1934, the Metropolitan Planning Council (“MPC”) has been dedicated to shaping a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous greater Chicago region. As an independent, non-profit, non-partisan organization, MPC serves communities and residents by developing, promoting and implementing solutions for sound regional growth.
To meet its mission, MPC brings together businesses, communities and government to broker solutions to the area’s toughest planning and development challenges. MPC believes that every neighborhood has promise, that every community should be heard, that every person can thrive.
MPC seeks a Director of Marketing and Communications who will report to the Vice President of Philanthropy and Communications and will have the following responsibilities:
MPC is seeking a Director of Marketing and Communications to advance organizational goals through strategic communications. The Director will develop and oversee MPC’s brand, strategic media and messaging, communications strategies, and marketing tools to position MPC as an industry expert and thought leader. Ultimately, the Director will elevate MPC’s profile and attract new supporters and allies to our work.
Reporting to MPC’s Vice President of Philanthropy and Communications, the new Director will be a strong and creative team leader with extensive experience and a demonstrated track record of delivering a full range of integrated marketing, public relations and communications initiatives and activities.
- Develop and implement strategic, integrated marketing communications plans to advance MPC’s work; broaden awareness of its agenda and priorities; and increase the visibility of its overall impact across key stakeholder audiences.
- Oversee the creation, integration, and implementation of a broad range of marketing and public relations activities related to the strategic direction and positioning of the organization and its leadership.
- Work with leadership, development, and program staff to develop effective message and communications strategies for a range of MPC’s policy and systems-change goals.
- Write high-level communications for internal and external audiences, including speeches and talking points, op-eds, news releases, letters to the editor, news items, newsletters, research reports, annual reports, programmatic materials, development / promotional materials, and other information.
- Write and edit a wide variety of MPC’s work, elevating organizational priorities and thought leadership through compelling communications that promote, enhance, and protect the organization’s brand, staying on the cutting edge of emerging technologies for digital marketing through website, blogs, video testimonials/storytelling, etc.
- Ensure alignment and consistency with brand strategy and execution.
- Develop and executive innovative public and private event concepts, including attracting top-tier speakers, moderators and event sponsors that grow MPC’s audiences, advance project goals and align with organizational priorities and values. This includes MPC’s Annual Event, the Council’s signature fundraising event; and MPC’s Executive Advisors program.
- Develop co-branded events and communications opportunities with peer organizations throughout the region and country, and coordinate closely with various coalitions.
- Provide media relations coaching and training to staff and prepare MPC experts for interviews and other public appearances, including press conferences.
- Regularly conduct targeted outreach to local, state, regional and national reporters and bloggers; Forge and foster key relationships with press and secure growth in top tier media hits.
- Respond in real time to media inquiries on a range of issues (from TV/Radio networks and cable television to the trade press and bloggers).
- Design and normalize standards for communications success; Develop and monitor metrics to measure reach and impact of communications and to identify areas of success and opportunity.
- Manage and mentor the communications team (Events Manager/MarCom Manager and Marketing Associate) to promote positive team culture, develop individuals professionally and exceed team goals.
- Coach staff on how to improve their blog writing, editing staff blog drafts to ensure brand consistency and SEO optimization.
- Serve as an ambassador for the organization, building and sustaining mutually beneficial external relationships, and acting as on-the-record spokesperson for MPC, as needed.
- Create and implement crisis communication strategy, as needed.
- Other projects and tasks, as assigned.
- Minimum of 8 years of relevant experience in journalism, media relations, public relations, marketing and/or communications.
- Bachelors and/or Master’s degree in journalism, communications or related field, or equivalent experience.
- Ability to speak and write in a clear and understandable manner for internal/external audiences, including public officials.
- Excellent writing and editing skills required, preferable involving public policy.
- Strong organizational and project management skills essential.
- Personal relationships with major regional and national reporters and bloggers a plus.
- Proven record of securing placement with traditional and digital media.
- Competent social media skills and thorough knowledge of Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and data visualization tools.
- Knowledge of media database tools, including Meltwater, a plus.
- Spanish-language skills and multi-cultural competencies a plus.
Knowledge, skills and abilities:
A qualified candidate:
- Is an excellent writer and an articulate speaker in a range of settings, including with media and the Board;
- Is able to communicate effectively, and work collaboratively with staff colleagues and multiple external partners;
- Has experience communicating complex ideas and diverse audiences;
- Is passionate about the issues that MPC addresses and committed to supporting the organization’s mission, as well as developing her/his competency in diversity, equity and inclusion;
- Has a working knowledge of relevant stakeholders and institutions in the Chicago region;
- Is a self-starter, able to prioritize, handle concurrent tasks and projects, and work in a fluid environment;
- Is a team player and project leader who is highly organized and brings an ability to see immediate task needs with an eye to the bigger picture of desired outcomes;
- Is willing to navigate uncertainty and challenge assumptions and status quo thinking in a productive manner; and
- Enjoys a fast-paced, challenging, intellectually-stimulating workplace.
- Experience working in tandem with Development teams a plus
MPC has a values-driven workplace and we are seeking candidates with a demonstrated commitment to – and willingness to have active conversations about – creating a region that is:
- Equitable: For MPC, equity means that every individual and community in our region has the opportunities they need to thrive. Promotion equity means that we recognize the harm that discrimination and racism have caused and continue to pose to our lives and neighborhoods. That’s why we drive policies, investments and ideas that ensure all current and future residents can reach their full potential.
- Prosperous: For MPC, prosperity means that both the Northeastern Illinois region and all of its people are economically healthy and prepared for growth. MPC is focused on ensuring that everyone who lives and works in our region can provide for themselves and their families. We support commitments that bring resources, development, and fairly paid and quality jobs to all communities.
- Sustainable: For MPC, sustainability means that our region meets the natural, human and financial needs of the present while improving conditions for future generations. MPC’s agenda supports ecological vitality, residents’ health and economic stability for the long term, and ensures that as things change, our region adapts.
- Engaged and Responsible: For MPC, civic participation and effective government are cornerstones of our region’s viability. We drive policies that strengthen the participation and impact of residents in local and regional decisions. We also promote adaptive, collaborative, just and transparent governance at all levels.
No phone calls please.
For more information on MPC, please visit our website: www.metroplanning.org
MPC is proud to be an equal opportunity employer.