Director of Communications

Title:                          Director of Communications

Reports To:                Chief Development Officer

Status:                        Exempt


Position Summary
Reporting to the Chief Development Officer, the Director of Communications sets, guides, and implements the integrated, organization-wide strategic communications plan, including advertising, marketing, branding, public and media relations, website, and collateral materials to strengthen Halcyon’s brand identity across key and diverse audiences, stakeholders, partners, and Board. Works closely with Halcyon staff, Board, diverse stakeholders, and partners.

Essential Responsibilities

  • Create Halcyon’s brand/marketing/public relations strategies and plans to increase the national and international awareness of Halcyon, engage new audiences, and build on existing audiences. Implement approved plans. Recommend and oversee the continued development and use of the Halcyon brand.
  • Identify challenges and emerging issues faced by Halcyon’s sectors and organization. Work with the board and staff to recognize internal and external communications opportunities and solutions, and define and execute appropriate strategies to support them.
  • Work closely with Halcyon staff, advertising, and communications consultants, and vendors to plan, design, write, strategize placement, and maximize opportunities for press releases, implement, and track the effectiveness of public relations and advertising campaigns in all media, special event promotional materials, brochures, and collateral materials.  Create/curate content and increase audience engagement on Halcyon’s social media.
  • Must be willing to lead Halcyon’s communications strategic processes, as well as to make edits to Halcyon’s website, post directly to social media, standby during interviews or press visits, hit ‘send’ on e-mail communications, and similar across the broad spectrum of Halcyon’s communications.
  • Work closely with Chief Development Officer to maximize opportunities for press coverage. Lead all press releases and strategy, ensuring national and local coverage in all types of media, including newspapers, magazines, television, social media, radio, and the Internet. Publish press releases through Halcyon’s PR Newswire account.
  • Develop and implement a tracking system to evaluate communication and marketing effectiveness and identify improvement opportunities for all communication and marketing programs.
  • Orient and train staff and Board to cultivate and enhance meaningful relationships with targeted, high ­level external audiences, including the media, public officials, and key influencers.
  • Exercise judgment to prioritize media opportunities and prepare talking points, speeches, presentations, and other collateral material.
  • Develop, recommend, and monitor communications, advertising, and public relations budgets. Advise the Chief Development Officer on performance and budget variances and significant changes in conditions and issues.
  • Prepare, maintain and present reports necessary to carry out departmental functions, including periodic reports to the Chief Development Officer as necessary or requested.
  • Attract, develop and retain a competent, well-trained, properly structured, and highly motivated communications team capable of achieving Halcyon’s goals. Establish performance standards for communications staff. Provide staff with timely, constructive feedback. Foster collaborative efforts across Halcyon.
  • Seek out, support, and contribute to collaborative relationships and partnerships within Halcyon with its staff, Board, fellows, advisors, consultants, stakeholders, funders, politicians, audiences, and other partners.
  • Stay abreast of intellectual and programmatic developments in the field and participate in relevant professional organizations and meetings to understand and, as appropriate, incorporate trends and new approaches.

Minimum Education Required

  • BA required

Minimum Experience Required

  • Five years of successful communications/public relations/marketing experience. Previous staff management experience is required.

Skills and Attributes

  • Recognized communications professional with extensive contacts in the field
  • Excellent oral and written communications skills
  • Excellent grammar and proofreading skills
  • Excellent problem-solving skills, including identifying and recommending solutions
  • Detail-oriented with strong follow-up skills
  • Ability to work well in a team environment and independently to achieve common objectives
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment and make timely decisions
  • Ability to work with multiple projects, priorities, and deadlines
  • Proven ability to work collaboratively with others
  • Willing to maintain confidentiality
  • Strong computer, web, and social media skills and experience with content management and other software
  • Proficient in Adobe Creative Suites
  • Applied and working knowledge of WordPress a plus
  • Willing to take part in developing a strategic plan as well as to make direct edits to the website (or similar task)
  • Team player with a good sense of humor and willingness to pitch in where needed
  • Strong commitment to Halcyon’s mission and support of its work
  • Track record of networking, building, and nurturing positive relationships with existing and new media/communications/marketing contacts, stakeholders, partnerships, government agencies, donors, sponsors, and the public.
  • Ability to speak publicly and knowledgeably, both extemporaneously and from a prepared text
    Good social skills for dealing with donors, sponsors, educators, representatives of city/state/federal entities, diplomatic corps, volunteers and professional colleagues, press
    Thrive on working in a fast-paced, dynamic, start-up environment


Willingness and ability to work evenings and weekends to meet program requirements.

Please send your cover letter, resume, and salary requirement to