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Thursday, February 07, 2013

Catholic Charities - Director of External Affairs


The Director of External Affairs is responsible for shaping the public voice of Catholic Charities through all external communications, branding, media relations, marketing and reputation management, as well as internal communications and community engagement. The Director is an important member of the Catholic Charities senior leadership team, managing the development and execution of an agency-wide integrated communications plan designed to accomplish specific goals and deliverables. The Director supervises, coaches and develops external affairs and communications staff and serves as a liaison to key stakeholders within Catholic Charities and in the broader Twin Cities community. This position is officed at the Administration Center, across the street from the Minneapolis Convention Center. Our location provides connections with both major cities, the Minneapolis Skyway system, free parking, and easy access to freeways.

Strategy and Leadership

  • Partners with the Executive Team and agency leaders to develop a strategic communications strategy for the organization.
  • Provides vision, direction, and execution for internal and external communications, branding, reputation and public positioning efforts for the organization.
  • Works closely with the Office of the CEO and Executive Team with respect to matters of external affairs and communications activities for the organization.
  • Works in partnership with the Catholic Charities Development and Advocacy teams to implement best practices and creative communication/engagement approaches.
Public Relations / Communications
  • Leads public relations efforts for the organization, creating and maintaining favorable relationships with external stakeholders through personal relationship building and the use of a wide variety of communications vehicles (e.g. publications, social media, traditional media, website).
  • Works closely with the Development team to increase both the number of donors and contributed revenue to the organization from individuals, corporations, and foundations.
  • Customizes communications/external affairs strategies to effectively reach and motivate a diverse set of core audiences, while maintaining a strong and consistent Catholic Charities brand.
  • Primary responsibility for protection and growth of the Catholic Charities brand and reputation. Establish, maintain, and monitor organizational style and branding to ensure consistency of messaging. Develops guidelines and provides training for staff as required to embrace the branding and public voice of Catholic Charities. Collaborates with HR in the development and implementation of training package.
  • Responsible for all Catholic Charities publications, printed and electronic communication, including writing/producing/editing/approving materials for individual departments and special Catholic Charities projects/ initiatives. Works with relevant program staff and external experts as needed.
  • Provides direction/counsel to organization leadership and staff to effectively market individual programs and services.
  • Develops, implements, and coordinates agency-wide event production and sponsorship strategy.
  • Manages planning and execution of large-scale organization events, including the annual St. Nicholas Dinner, Dorothy Day Community Breakfast and other significant stakeholder/donor events.
Internal Communications
  • Responsible for ongoing development and execution of internal communications strategies and systems that provide increased transparency, access to important information and foster an organizational culture of philanthropy and advocacy.
Media Relations
  • Develops and manages earned and paid media strategies, including developing and maintaining media contact lists, fostering good working relationships with media, writing/editing strong media materials and identifying appropriate investments in paid media exposure.
  • May serve as organization spokesperson and represents the organization at external functions as directed by the VP of Development and External Affairs.
  • Provides support and training to organization leadership who will serve as media spokespeople.
Department / Team Management
  • Partners with HR to recruit and hire team members.  Supervises, coaches and develops department staff and coordinates with others across the organization to ensure the department is meeting its goals and objectives.
  • Manages the department’s budget and budgeted amounts for specific projects.
  • Tracks and reports on the reach and impact of marketing and communications initiatives.  Works with team members to develop function metrics, and prepares and distributes metrics reporting as required.
  • Maintains Catholic Charities communications assets, such as photo files, archives of previous publications, etc.
  • Represents Catholic Charities at conferences and meetings.

  • Bachelor’s Degree in public relations, public affairs, marketing, journalism, English or related field required.
  • Minimum of ten (10) years of experience working in communications, public relations, public affairs, marketing or related field.
  • Experience managing and developing staff in a team environment.
  • Experience leading integrated communications campaigns/strategies with multiple components, including grassroots outreach, earned media, paid advertising, special events, promotions, social media and other components.
  • Experience leading efforts to raise the profile and reputation of an organization, including strategic public positioning of key organization leaders.
  • Excellent written communication and editorial skills; ability to produce top quality writing for a variety of media/formats.  
  • Experience with traditional media relations and proactive media outreach.
  • Knowledge of best practices as well as emerging opportunities associated with social and viral media and generational opportunities.
  • Familiarity and comfort engaging in the Twin Cities civic/business/public policy arena.
  • Knowledge of nonprofit marketing and communications principles and best practices.
  • A highly effective communicator, a persuasive influencer and a good listener.  She/he must be able to build and support effective teams; encourage a spirit of participation and belonging; and enhance group cohesiveness by emphasizing team objectives, accountability and reinforcing collaboration.
  • Must have an authentic affinity to the mission of Catholic Charities in service to those most in need and advocacy on their behalf.
  • An entrepreneurial, results-driven style but also know how to lead and manage from an institutional perspective.  
  • Comfort and/or familiarity working in a social service environment or an organization with a comparable size.
  • Commitment to the use of data and quantifiable metrics in analysis, goal-setting, planning and reporting.
  • Demonstrated relationship-building skills and experience to meet the expectations and requirements of key stakeholders and colleagues.
  • Ability to be flexible and respond positively to changing demands and priorities.
  • High proficiency with Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, and Powerpoint on a PC platform.
  • At times, position will require more than a 40 hour workweek, including nights and weekends to attend organizational events or public relations functions.
Apply online now.