Senior Communications Manager



Marketing & Communications, Sales & Business Development
Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Tuesday, November 14, 2023
General Summary

The senior communications manager reports to Oceana’s communications director and is a member of the Global Marketing and Communications department. The senior communications manager will work with the campaign director and team to advance Oceana’s U.S. campaigns to save North Atlantic right whales from extinction and promote responsible fishing.

In addition to providing communications counsel to these campaigns, the senior communications manager proactively identifies and manages the execution of strategic activities and tactics to influence decision-makers and increase public awareness and engagement for the campaigns. This individual is responsible for end-to-end public relations management, managing initiatives through research, planning, implementation, and evaluation. This individual is also responsible for cultivating and maintaining successful relationships with media to secure placements for Oceana’s campaigns in top local, regional, national, and international media. To prepare experts for media interviews, the senior communications manager leads internal media trainings for campaign staff and is responsible for campaign message development.

The senior communications manager is also responsible for overseeing the creation and production of campaign materials, including project management of reports, which requires timeline and budget management, overseeing reviews, content creation for supporting materials, and promoting reports for maximum exposure through strategic channels, including earned, paid, and social media. This individual must create strategic messaging, translate scientific information into public-friendly materials, and strategize and develop various communications for targeted audiences and stakeholders (e.g., news media, government officials, donors, and public).

The senior communications manager is also responsible for managing strategic relationships inside and outside of the organization to facilitate our work and maximize Oceana’s campaign visibility, including executives and campaign teams, the digital and creative teams, organizational partners, communications teams in other country offices for overlapping work, outside consultants, and influencers and celebrity supporters.

Candidates must be able to manage competing priorities and thrive in a fast-paced environment that requires quick decision making under pressure and strong multitasking skills. Candidates must have a superior attention to detail and excellent written and verbal communications skills. Ideal candidates must be problem-solvers and possess excellent customer service skills, as well as be extremely organized and responsive.

This position is based in Washington, D.C. Limited domestic or international travel is required.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities

Essential Functions:

  • Serve as a communications lead for Oceana’s U.S. campaigns. Develop and execute communications strategies for Oceana’s campaigns, managing initiatives through research, planning, implementation, and evaluation.
  • Oversee the public rollout of campaign reports and projects, including managing timelines, budgets, reviews, production, release, and promotion.
  • Oversee the planning, coordination, and execution of other high-profile strategic events and special projects, including campaign launches, media roundtables, and more.
  • Prioritize the cultivation and management of successful relationships with members of the media, securing placements for Oceana’s campaigns in top local, regional, national, and international media outlets, including tracking press coverage and meeting specific goals.
  • Serve as a campaign spokesperson where relevant.
  • Lead internal media trainings for new campaign staff, as well as key message development for each campaign, including talking points, statements, and issue-specific messaging.
  • Translate scientific information into public-friendly materials and strategize and develop communications for targeted audiences and stakeholders (e.g., news media, government officials, donors, and public). Other content production includes brochures, fact sheets, social media toolkits, presentations, website content, press materials, and more.
  • Secure speaking engagements for Oceana’s campaign experts and provide support with logistics, presentation materials, and preparation.
  • Find opportunities to spread Oceana’s campaign messaging through traditional and online media sources, such as letters to the editor, op-eds, editorials, and blog posts. Efforts include drafting, editing, and placing strategic opinion pieces.
  • Manage strategic relationships inside and outside of the organization, including executives and campaign teams, the digital and creative teams, organizational partners, communications teams in other country offices for overlapping work, outside consultants, and influencers and celebrity supporters.
  • Create materials and oversee the promotion of campaign work on social media and advertising channels, working closely with Oceana’s digital team to ensure a stronger voice for our campaigns across the organization’s social media channels like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.
  • Manage outside vendor agreements for the campaigns with Oceana’s legal department.
  • Provide writing and editing support for other campaigns, projects, and initiatives as needed.

Job Requirements

  • Bachelor’s degree in public relations, journalism, communications, or related field; and five to eight years of public relations experience, with expertise in media relations, advertising, events, and project management; or equivalent combination of education and experience.

Skills and Knowledge:

  • Strong journalistic writing skills with excellent knowledge and use of the Associated Press Stylebook guidelines.
  • Superb writing, editing, and verbal communication skills adaptable to a variety of audiences.
  • Superior attention to detail and organizational skills.
  • Ability to synthesize complicated scientific jargon quickly and accurately for lay audiences.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to work collaboratively as a team player to coordinate projects, and work effectively with a variety of personalities.
  • Ability to meet strict deadlines and work under pressure while maintaining humor and high energy.
  • Ability to adapt to a fast-changing environment, manage multiple assignments and coordinate with all levels within the organization.
  • Ability to approach problems with a sense of ownership, enthusiasm, and innovation.
  • Comfortable with ambiguity and able to spot opportunities in times of change.
  • Must be a proactive team player and have a positive, customer service attitude.
  • Independent and original thinker, able to provide solutions both within the team environment and on their own.
  • Ability to take initiative in suggesting ways to expand work and responsibilities of position to help Oceana’s campaigns achieve their goals.
  • In-depth knowledge and use of social media tools, networks and online communities is a plus.
  • In-depth knowledge of media tracking software, primarily Meltwater.
  • Ability to write in AP style.
  • Interest in ocean conservation is a plus.

Required Competencies:

  • Action Oriented: Makes things happen. Takes on new opportunities and tough challenges with a sense of urgency, high energy, and enthusiasm.
  • Instills Trust: Gains the confidence and trust of others through honesty, integrity, and authenticity.
  • Ensures Accountability: Follows through on commitments and makes sure others do the same. Has a reputation of taking ownership and responsibility for decisions, actions, and failures.
  • Effective Communication: Understands the value of effective communication. Can deliver messages in a clear, compelling, and concise manner. Actively listens, checks for understanding, and adjusts content and style to meet the needs of different stakeholders.
  • Customer Focus: Is skilled at anticipating customer needs (internal and external) and providing services that are beyond customer expectations. Establishes and maintains effective customer relationships.
  • Plans & Aligns: Skilled at creating plans that are aligned with Oceana’s priorities and that enable individuals and teams to get organized, remain focused, and proceed with confidence.
  • Drives Results: Is skilled at communicating a vision, setting priorities, developing, and executing plans that achieve desired outcomes. Has an overall achievement mindset, a bias for action, an eagerness to take initiative.
  • Directs Work: Provides direction, delegates, and removes obstacles so work can get done. Sets clear expectations, tracks progress, and communicates information that people need to do their jobs.

Oceana values a diverse workforce and welcomes people different from each other in many ways, including characteristics such as race, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, and national origin. Oceana considers all qualified candidates and seeks to recruit from a diverse candidate pool.

Note: Oceana requires all employees to provide proof of vaccination against Covid. Accommodation for new hires who have disabilities that make the vaccine medically inadvisable or those who have a sincere religious belief that the vaccine is impermissible may contact Accommodation will be provided only as required by applicable law.

Oceana's US offices operate on a hybrid schedule and staff are required to work from their assigned office on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. With agreement between the employee and their supervisor, the employee may work from home Monday and Friday.