Deputy Chief of Communications

Company Non-profit Public Charter School Network
Location Philadelphia, PA
Category Communications

Description

Chaloner has partnered with a non-profit public charter school network that currently operates in Philadelphia, PA and Camden, NJ serving elementary, middle, and high school students. Our client is unusual in that most of their schools are turnarounds of historically struggling neighborhood district schools located in high poverty communities. Their turnaround schools have dramatically increased academic achievement and decreased violence. Their turnaround work has been recognized by US Department of Education and President Obama.

Our client believes that educational inequity is the most pressing social problem facing the country. Their goal is to create a network of exceptionally high performing urban schools organized around a common vision: “Our schools are joyful, authentic communities where students learn how to think critically and act independently so they are truly prepared for post-secondary success.” Their work is rooted in an unwavering belief that students can achieve at the highest levels. To fulfill this vision, our client values academic as well as personal skills, and schools match their high expectations with high levels of support.

Position Summary 

Our client is seeking an exceptional leader to serve as Deputy Chief of Communications (DCoC) responsible for designing and executing a communications strategy that supports strategic goals. The communications strategy will have both an internal and external component, and is intended to influence our client’s relationship to students, parents, and staff as well as key stakeholders and the broader education reform movement. The DCoC will be responsible for all communications including brand management, internal and external communications, social media strategy, collateral materials, media relations and crisis communications. S/he must be able to clearly articulate and promote our client’s mission, program impact, and core values to a variety of key constituents. The DCoC is a newly created position and will work with and report directly to the CEO.

Key responsibilities include:

Strategy And Brand

  • Develop and implement a strategic communications plan to deeply connect our client to their parents and staff as well as position our client clearly to policy makers. The new DCoC must know how to use an integrated approach that focuses on parents, students, teachers, political and community leaders.
  • Create a strategic communications plan that will focus first on a branding process to better define and leverage our client’s value and key messages to a variety of constituents, most notably parents.
  • Build a message platform that will drive all marketing communications efforts. Key messages will highlight our client’s profile as the leading high-quality public school system that truly serves and delivers for all students, particularly students living in high poverty communities.
Staff Connection & Recruitment 

  • Coordinate the CEO and Chiefs team to deliver consistent, informative internal communication strategy that reinforces our client’s brand, values, and strategy and their belief that investing in teachers is the most effective means to support students’ academic and personal achievement.
  • Coordinate with the Chief Talent Officer to communicate our client’s mission and value proposition to prospective staff.
Advocacy And Community Outreach

  • Coordinate the new communications strategy with our client’s advocacy team in Philadelphia and Camden. Work with the advocacy team to support their efforts to reach parents, as well as political and community leaders and engage them in our client’s education reform efforts
  • Work in partnership with the development staff to ensure that consistent, powerful messages reach current and potential donors/funders.
Traditional & Social Media Relations, Print Materials Management 

  • Supervise a Communications Manager and external consultants to:

    • Manage website
    • Execute social media as well as traditional media strategy
    • Manage media contacts and relationships
    • Deliver press releases, media events, op-eds, briefings
  • Manage the development and maintenance of all internal and external print and electronic materials. Manage external designers and communications firms.
  • Develop and manage crisis communication plans for network and individual schools.
  • Serve as a spokesperson for our client in public forums and support the CEO in public engagements. Write talking points as needed for CEO and other staff.
Qualifications 

  • A strategic thinker who can get things done.
  • Passionate about our client’s mission and vision
  • Mature leader who listens, integrates others’ perspectives and work effectively with a wide variety of stakeholders
  • Rock star writer and communicator.
  • Creative – can find the daylight and opportunity in any situation
  • Great storyteller who can take complex ideas and make them sing
  • Nimble, multi-tasker who can get things done in a fast-paced environment without compromising quality
  • Project manager who can manage team members and contracted vendors to deliver high-quality results
  • Sense of humor -- the work is hard; it will come in handy
Requirements 

  • BA/BS required, relevant advanced degree preferred
  • Minimum 7 years senior communications or relevant professional experience
  • Successful track record of building and improving organizational brand awareness
  • Experience developing and managing internal communications programs
  • Evidence of ability to craft convincing written materials for a variety of audiences
  • Experience working in a competitive environment that requires on teamwork, quick thinking and thick skin
  • Understanding of urban political dynamics at the city and neighborhood level
  • Knowledge of public education, charter schools, and issues related to poverty a plus
Interested and qualified candidates should submit their resume and cover letter to Amy Segelin (amy@chaloner.com).

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