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Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Kohnstamm Communications - SVP, Agency Operations & Strategic Insight

Kohnstamm Communications, a Twin Cities-based independent public relations firm with a national client roster, is seeking a vibrant new member for its executive team, whose accomplishments and proven capabilities in leadership, communication, strategy and execution will be both complimentary and additive to our agency. 

Kohnstamm was named Boutique Agency of the Year and a Best Agency to Work For by The Holmes Report nationally.

Position Summary

The new Senior Vice President/ Agency Operations & Strategic Insight provides overall direction and guidance to the operational activities of the agency with the objective of maximizing growth and profitability, as well as strategic leadership for all agency client accounts. 

As senior strategist, the SVP is accountable for maintaining and fueling agency growth by driving innovation and brand effectiveness for a dynamic portfolio of clients in a range of sectors including organic/natural food, food safety, complementary medicine, higher education, law and others.  The SVP is responsible for attaining high-level client engagement and support of PR programs by interacting with C-Suite personnel with a full command of all aspects of the client's business, its future offerings and competitive landscape. 

As the agency’s second most senior official, the SVP works in close alignment with the CEO through utilization of collaborative leadership techniques, and will direct, lead and develop a team of Account Directors and staff to foster a high performance, results-driven agency culture.        

Key Responsibilities

·         Manages Agency operations by directing and coordinating activities consistent with established goals, objectives and policies and implements programs to ensure attainment of business plan for growth and profit. 
·         Develops the strategic plan, direction, sell-in, retention, and key program deliverables for each client account including identification of new growth opportunities and building internal Agency expertise to accommodate additional program demands.
·         Leads complex, multi-layered public relations efforts including strategy development, story pitch angles, and set standards that assure fact checking, reporter targeting, and direction for outcomes-oriented account team execution of plans. 
·         Serves as architect for goal development, principles and measurements to ensure progress and alignment with desired business outcomes defined by clients and meets short term and long term results for the Agency.
·         Interfaces with key accounts and builds/maintains "c-suite" strategic partnerships with clients, client partners, key media, and analysts. 
·         Serves as agency ambassador at events, meetings, interviews and award ceremonies.
·         Participates/leads PR innovation projects to continuously improve the firm’s competitive edge as a nationally recognized PR agency.  Employs social media/digital media, mobile media and other sophisticated strategies that exponentially advances communication goals while continuing to support the agency’s core media relations activities.
·         Builds and refines internal efficiencies, metrics, systems and processes to assure the Agency exceeds peer-related industry standards including billability and other key profitability measures.
·         Prepares annual client budgets, forecasts, and required reports; manage and monitor budgets and the agency’s ability to deliver results and meet client expectations within those budgets.
·         Drives a high-performance framework by providing ongoing direction to Account Directors and overall account team.  Targets areas of prioritization, program development/innovation, effective execution, partnership relationship management, integration and collaboration, workload management, and results attainment.
·         As an employee-driven workplace, instills a collaborative, engaged and high performance work ethos throughout the firm that results in high client satisfaction, PR industry awards and agency personnel retention.
·         Supports the identification and implementation of organizational change strategies
to instill all teams’ accountabilities and to maximize capabilities.

·         Provides continuous performance feedback, including driving individual development plans (IDP's), regular coaching discussions and annual performance reviews.
·         Collaborates with CEO/President to set standards and to determine recognition/rewards
            for achievement of account staff personal development through bonus and promotions.
·         Fosters continuous improvement efforts, soliciting feedback to generate new and innovative ideas for ongoing Agency enhancements.

Professional Experience/Qualifications

·         MBA/Masters Degree in Communications, Journalism or marketing related discipline required.  APR preferred.
·         Minimum 15 years of progressively responsible public relations experience, including solid agency experience, and both consumer and business public relations experience highly preferred.
·         PR expertise and industry knowledge of sustainability, CPG, branding, organic and natural foods, healthcare PR and B2B highly desired.
·         Strong financial acumen and an ability to authoritatively discuss business strategy (vs. singularly PR) with a demonstrated ability in provide strategic-level counsel to C-suite business leaders.
·         Ability to manage and execute the implementation of complex communications programs.
·         Demonstrated ability to maintain a focus on the “big picture” strategies in development of growth and improvement solutions.
·         Ability to use the power of PR to help clients meet their business goals and address their business challenges.
·         Demonstrated proficiency in quickly drafting and editing communications materials – news releases, fact sheets, talking points, executive briefings, etc.
·         Successful background motivating and managing professional teams achieving high-levels of performance while efficiently maximizing available time to align with anticipated client results.
·         Superior consultative, interpersonal, diplomacy, communication (written and oral), presentation, crisis management and facilitation skills. 
·         Strong history of quickly building trusting relationships, and sustainably gaining credibility, and partnering with leaders and peers. 
·         Experience in facilitating change within an organization to include process improvement.
·         Proven planning, priority setting, time management, and decision-making skills.  Ability to achieve results in a fast-paced dynamic environment with shifting priorities and short deadlines.
·         Documented experience building effective new media campaigns to achieve desired financial and business results.
·         Relevant and established media contacts and relationships.
·         Enthusiasm for business, entrepreneurial spirit, and a passion for driving results that substantively impact the client’s business.  Proven coaching and collaboration skills.

We offer a competitive salary, bonus, benefits package in a collegial, healthy and high-energy downtown work environment.

Named "Boutique Agency of the Year" nationally in 2010 by The Holmes Report’s PR Agency Report Card, Kohnstamm Communications is the 9th -ranked PR agency in the Twin Cities and 137th by revenue nationally, according to PRWeek.

To apply, please e-mail cover letter and resume to: