Communications Director, US
- Full Time
Communications Director, US
Guardian News & Media (GNM), publisher of theguardian.com, is one of the largest English-speaking newspaper websites in the world with over 150 million unique browser visitors per month globally. Since launching its US and Australia digital editions in 2011 and 2013 respectively, traffic from outside of the UK now represents over two-thirds of the Guardian’s total digital audience. Guardian US, with newsrooms in New York, Washington and Oakland, brings a global perspective to America on issues including inequality, race and immigration, the environment, the role of technology in our lives, national security, women’s rights, the rise of the far right, gun control, and more.
Guardian News & Media is the publisher of the US news website www.theguardian.com/us, the Guardian and Observer newspapers, and www.theguardian.com website around the world. We're a highly regarded global news brand, owned by the Scott Trust — an arrangement that guarantees our independent voice in perpetuity. The Guardian US is an entirely digital operation that seeks to engage US readers by combining The Guardian's internationalist, online journalism with US voices and expertise.
We are looking for a Communications Director to help build our growing brand and reputation in the US. This pivotal role acts as a partner and strategic adviser to the Guardian US editor, CEO, and other senior leaders across all functions, to drive brand awareness and cut through with key media influencers, media stakeholders, and commercial audiences. This role leads all internal and external communications activity for the US (commercial, digital, brand leadership, editorial, and employee communications), partnering with wider global communications team members, and others to deliver a compelling communications strategy, including brand, commercial, and editorial communications. The ideal candidate for this position will be a masterful communicator who is creative, innovative, collaborative and confident, with a passion for media, news, and the core values that make The Guardian so unique.
- Develop compelling and relevant US communications narrative and supportive messaging, consistent with global positioning, to communicate effectively the Guardian’s purpose, values, strategy, and journalism to US audiences.
- Build clear strategies and plans for consistent promotion of Guardian US journalism, and Guardian US commercial and corporate initiatives..
- Advise US Editor and CEO on all internal and external communications and reputational issues, working closely with London-based team as required.
- Promote and defend The Guardian’s reputation in the US through proactive and responsive media management including broadcast strategy to maximize Guardian brand awareness with key audiences and stakeholders; provide strategic leadership in the media handling of reputational issues; build and maintain excellent relationships with journalists and media sector influencers.
- Develop US-focused leadership communications programs for Guardian US CEO and Editor. Advise US and UK senior leadership on US-based communications – e.g. writing speeches and presentations, directing media relations strategy, overseeing interview briefings, etc.
- Work with Guardian US and global colleagues to support internal and external communication of major editorial projects, product launches, partnerships, joint ventures, and business deals.
- Develop policy positions on key media sectors for Guardian US, in conjunction with the Group Director of Communications, Head of Public Policy, and senior Guardian US team, consistent with Guardian US brand, editorial, and commercial strategies.
- Ensure strong relationships with press and PR counterparts at priority clients, agencies, and media partners.
- Work in partnership with global internal communications colleagues to ensure Guardian US employee population is engaged, informed, and supportive of Guardian-wide initiatives.
- Translate global communications strategies into pragmatic local strategies and tactics, relevant to the US market and audience.
- Act as first point of contact for media requests to the department and provide support for the wider Guardian press office function, including working across time-zones and markets to help ensure excellence in a global 24/7 operation.
- Identify, oversee, organize and attend media interviews, PR events and/or speaking engagements for senior editorial, commercial and digital spokespeople.
- Assist in crisis PR and issues management.
- Ensure that Guardian US communications output is measured and shared regularly with stakeholders across PR, stakeholder outreach, and internal activity.
- A seasoned leader with a demonstrated ability to quickly pivot between strategic leadership and fast, high quality delivery under pressure. A willingness and ability to roll-up their sleeves, dive into the detail, take a hands-on, positive approach to work across borders and time zones as a key member of the global communications team.
- A proven tactful and skilled influencer with first class communication and interpersonal skills to interact confidently and effectively with senior internal and external stakeholders and secure buy-in.
- Executive presence, resilience, and poise with a confident, positive, and pragmatic leadership style. Manages and leads through ambiguity and tackles business challenges with a solutions-focused attitude.
- Ability to handle conflicting viewpoints, held by strong-minded and passionate people, with sophisticated influencing and persuasion skills to gain consensus amongst stakeholders.
- Ability to effectively manage multiple colleagues across functions and geographies, outside agencies and partners, timescales, and budgets to deliver objectives.
- Creative and innovative with the commitment to encourage fresh ideas and develop potential, tempered with a practical focus on goals to ensure such activities are coordinated and deadlines are met.
- Self-starter with the intuition and ability to identify potential opportunities and translate these proactively into stories.
- Well-networked in the US media, with an in-depth understanding of how all forms of media operate, a natural flair for news coupled with excellent editorial judgment.
- Deep understanding of communications, media, and digital best practices and industry trends, with the ability to create and recommend new strategies and programs, with a particular emphasis on keeping abreast of developments in the market that could add value to the Company’s editorial, commercial, and digital offerings.
- Ability to build and sustain effective working relationships with partners, clients, stakeholders and internal leadership, with the ability to adapt working style accordingly.
- Track record of successful execution, planning, and project management with strong attention to detail and drive for action.
Undergraduate degree or equivalent in communications, journalism, or related field such as public policy preferred.
- Five years’ progressive media relations and external communications experience – ideally in a leadership role of an international organization – covering proactive, strategic and tactical planning, crisis management and rebuttal across all media: business and corporate, tabloid, trade, consumer and online. Experience of working proactively with broadcast media strongly preferred.
- Experience working in the news, publishing, or media industries a plus.
- Considerable experience managing press, media relations and PR in complex, issues-rich organizations.
- Extensive experience successfully managing consumer, trade, and corporate press at a senior level.
- Proven experience successfully developing a proactive press strategy in a major organization is critical.
- Experience building internal and external communications strategies to support strategic and business plans.
- Experience partnering with HR, sales, legal and other business functions to deliver rounded internal and external communications strategies.
The Guardian is an equal opportunity employer. We value and respect all differences in all people (seen and unseen) at the Guardian. We aspire to provide inclusive working experiences and an environment that reflects the audience we serve, where our people have equal access to career development opportunities, their voices are heard, and they can contribute to our future.