Vice President, Communications

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Summary

This sample job description for a vice president, communications role in a small nonprofit organization is strategic and has a heavy emphasis on brand management. This role is responsible for managing all communications plan activities and building external relationships with the organization's constituencies, including funders and the media. Feel free to use this sample job description in creating one for your organization.
This description is part of the Nonprofit Job Description Toolkit View more

This vice president, communications role is strategic and has a heavy emphasis on brand management. This role is responsible for managing all communications plan activities and building external relationships with the organization's constituencies, including funders and the media.

Feel free to use and modify this sample job description to help you create one for your organization.

Sample Description

XYZ Nonprofit
Vice President, Communications

Reporting to the president, and serving as an integral member of the senior management team, the Vice President (VP) of Communications will be responsible for the development of XYZ Nonprofit's communication strategy and will contribute to XYZ Nonprofit's organizational strategic planning process. The VP of Communications will develop a world-class communications plan for XYZ Nonprofit, directly managing communications activities that promote, enhance, and protect the organization's brand reputation. The VP of Communications will be responsible for the development, integration, and implementation of a broad range of public relations activities relative to the strategic direction and positioning of the organization and its leadership. This individual will be an ambassador for the organization and will need to build relationships with the media. The goal is to advance the organization's position with relevant constituents, as well as to drive broader awareness and donor support for the organization. The VP of Communications will be responsible for XYZ Nonprofit's varied and integrated communications products and services including: newsletters and other print publications; web, enews, and other online communications; media and public relations; and marketing.

Responsibilities

Communications Strategy, Vision and Leadership

  • Develop and implement an integrated strategic communications plan to advance XYZ Nonprofit's brand identity; broaden awareness of its programs and priorities; and increase the visibility of its programs across key stakeholder audiences.
  • Create marketing/public relations strategy that will allow XYZ Nonprofit leadership to cultivate and enhance meaningful relationships with targeted, high-level external audiences, including the media and key influencers.
  • Identify challenges and emerging issues faced by the organization. Work with leadership team and staff to recognize internal and external communications opportunities and solutions, and define and execute appropriate strategies to support them.
  • Serve as communications counselor to XYZ Nonprofit leadership.

Communications Operations

  • Oversee development of all XYZ Nonprofit print communications including the annual report, marketing collateral materials and electronic communications including XYZ Nonprofit's website and new media; manage relationships with associated vendors.
  • Serve as a spokesperson and lead point person on media interactions that help promote and/or impact the organization.
  • Exercise judgment to prioritize media opportunities, and prepare talking points, speeches, presentations, and other supporting material as needed.
  • Actively engage, cultivate and manage press relationships to ensure coverage surrounding XYZ Nonprofit programs, special events, public announcements, and other projects.
  • Oversee the day-to-day activities of the communications function including budgeting, planning, and staff development

Team Development/Management

  • Recruit and manage a communications team to support the development and execution of the communications strategy.
  • Promote a culture of high performance and continuous improvement that values learning and a commitment to quality.
  • Mentor and develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach on a consistent basis.
  • Establish and monitor staff performance and development goals, assign accountabilities, set objectives, establish priorities, conduct annual performance appraisals, and administer salary adjustments.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor's degree in journalism, communications, or related field is required, an advanced degree is preferred
  • Minimum 10 years experience in a senior management role either in-house or with an agency
  • Demonstrated skill and comfort in proactively building relationships with top tier reporters and editors, and in successfully positioning subject matter with the media to achieve high-impact placements
  • Extensive successful writing and editing experience (externally focused) with a variety of print and online communications media
  • Demonstrated experience and leadership in managing a comprehensive strategic communications, media relations, and marketing program to advance an organization's mission and goals
  • Creative and thoughtful on how new media technologies can be utilized
  • A minimum of five years experience in planning, writing, editing, and production of newsletters, press releases, annual reports, marketing literature, and other print publications and directories
  • Innovative thinker, with a track record for translating strategic thinking into action plans and output
  • Experience in building, mentoring, and coaching a team of communications specialists
  • Excellent judgment and creative problem solving skills, including negotiation and conflict resolution skills
  • Superior management skills; ability to influence and engage direct and indirect reports and peers
  • Stature, gravitas, and confidence to gain the credibility and respect of high-performing Board of Directors
  • Self reliant, good problem solver, results oriented
  • Ability to make decisions in a changing environment and anticipate future needs
  • Excellent and persuasive communicator
  • Energetic, flexible, collaborative, and proactive; a team leader who can positively and productively impact both strategic and tactical finance, and administration initiatives
  • Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal, and presentation skills and the ability to effectively interface with senior management, XYZ Nonprofit's Board of Directors and staff
  • Ability to operate as an effective tactical as well as strategic thinker
  • Passion for XYZ Nonprofit's mission
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