Sr. Director of Communications
Who We Are
At Parks California, our vision is for vibrant, healthy parks that welcome, engage, and inspire. As California State Parks’ only statutory non-profit partner, we have a clear mission: to help strengthen parks and inspire all people to experience these extraordinary places. As a team, each of us at Parks California strives to:
o Be a valued and trusted partner organization.
o Serve as catalysts for the future of parks.
o Cultivate a culture of philanthropy.
o Model emotional and cultural intelligence in our work every day.
o Embody the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
What We Can Achieve Together
Do you believe in the transformative power of experiencing parks and open spaces? Are you passionate about climate resiliency and expanding access to natural spaces for all communities?
At Parks California, you’ll operate in an ecosystem of park champions, renowned experts, and innovators who are implementing solutions to address issues ranging from climate change and biodiversity loss, to equitable access, to helping shape the future of parks – one that serves everyone in California. We collaborate with incredible organizations across the state to bring culturally-relevant experiences to parks and nurture a lifelong connection with nature. You’ll contribute your expertise to help us tell our story and reach our goals.
About The Role
Now in our fourth year with a new strategic plan to guide our next phase of growth, we’re looking for a strategic and collaborative communications leader to join our team. The Sr. Director of Communications will be responsible for leading and evolving our communications function to elevate the mission and profile of Parks California. In this role, you’ll report to the President & CEO and work closely with her, the team and Board to help implement our vision and shape our communications strategy. The successful candidate will create and execute a comprehensive strategic communications plan, enhance the tools and processes we use to communicate with and engage audiences, and craft compelling content that articulates our impact and progress.
This role is highly collaborative and cross-functional, working with leadership and team members in and outside of the organization. The position requires a high-impact leader who knows what great looks like in a scaled and growing organization and can shift seamlessly from strategy to execution.
This is a new role that reports directly to the President & CEO. This role will manage a direct report and work cross-functionally to achieve goals and desired outcomes.
We are a remote-first organization. This allows us to work from anywhere in California virtually, in our Sacramento and San Francisco hubs, as well as in some of the most beautiful natural spaces across the state. This role is based in California.
The successful candidate must be able to travel when needed within California, which we expect will amount to approximately 15-20% of the year.
As our top strategic communicator, you will serve in a leadership position, be a thought partner and strategic communications counselor to the President & CEO, board and staff. You’ll partner with colleagues across the organization (internally) and across Parks California’s partner and grantee ecosystem (externally) to tell our unique story. And you’ll achieve impact through the following responsibilities:
• Create, execute and oversee strategic communications plans that directly support the organization’s three-year strategic plan and long-term goals.
• Develop a recognizable, distinct and trusted brand voice, and help us continue to differentiate Parks California.
• Create and maintain excellent relationships with key external contacts across Parks California’s partner ecosystem and other top targets, such as media and influencers, and support awareness-raising efforts such as special events, external engagements and influencer collaborations.
• Lead a comprehensive earned media relations program – including proactive and reactive needs – and regularly conduct relationship-building outreach to reporters, editors, and influencers. Identify spokespersons to conduct media interviews, and provide prep, training and coaching ahead of speaking and media opportunities.
• Help raise the organization’s profile by developing and overseeing the execution of proactive speaking engagements, paid media opportunities, and thought leadership platform.
• Think creatively about communications opportunities and campaigns that directly support our fundraising objectives, drive interest in community engagements and events, and identify ways to reach new and diverse audiences.
• Develop communications standards based on best practices, create processes and tools for consistent and effective communications and outreach to all internal and external audiences, and identify ways to streamline how we work.
• Establish a system to consistently track and measure communication activities, evaluating ROI in order to guide future priorities.
• Ensure the Parks California team is equipped with the communications tools, resources, and trainings to achieve goals and desired outcomes.
• Oversee communications vendors and resources, such as contractors and freelancers, and provide guidance and accountability for deliverables.
• Develop strategies to optimize all communication channels (such as the website, social media channels, etc.) and collateral (such as press kits, briefing sheets, talking points, photo/B-roll archive library, etc.); and create standards to ensure assets are stored in a uniform and comprehensive system, and work with staff and contractors to update assets, as needed.
• Serve as the project lead for the creation of core Parks California materials, such as the annual report.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS
• This is a full-time, exempt position, with a salary range of $135,000 – $165,000
• We offer a comprehensive benefits package including a 401K plan that matches up to 5% without a waiting period, and $150 per month reimbursement for home Internet service and mobile phone service.
• We provide 20 days paid vacation to start which increases over time (23 days after 2 years, and 28 days after 10 years); 10 paid sick days, 13 paid holidays, and a flexible, family-friendly schedule.
One of Parks California’s primary goals is to cultivate an inclusive work environment so that employees have a sense of belonging and feel that their unique contributions are valued. To help achieve this, we’re focused on hiring and engaging a diverse staff that reflects the communities in which we work. Recognizing that people develop talent and skills outside traditional job scopes, we take a holistic approach to recruitment that considers life experience in addition to the professional requirements listed in our postings.
What You’ll Bring
• Deep commitment to our values, mission and core values; and dedication to continuous listening and learning to increase cultural competency on both a personal and organizational level.
• A strategic vision for communications, a start-up mindset, and experience in creating best-in-class communications function.
• Proven record of excellent leadership ability, who works with a high level of initiative, motivation, curiosity, confidentiality, judgment and integrity.
• While you lead with a collaborative spirit, you have a bias for action and are equally oriented around driving projects in a strategic and expeditious way.
• Minimum 10+ years of relevant work experience, such as in marketing, communications, public relations, journalism, or related field, and including at least 3 years of experience managing teams and budgets.
• Broad experience developing and executing strategic communications plans and implementing marketing programs, with demonstrated understanding of media relations, paid media/marketing planning, measurement, events, digital and social media, and publication production.
• Significant experience cultivating and managing relationships with senior-level executives, Board of Directors, and external contacts.
• A powerful, dynamic writer who can convey complex issues in approachable and compelling language, and a discerning editor.
• Experience managing staff and consultants who possess diverse skills and backgrounds.
• Strategic agility with a keen ability to fly high (focused on driving strategy) and low(focused on execution) as needed.
You May Have Additional Desired Experience:
• Multi-lingual skills appreciated.
• A background working for non-profit organizations, or mission-led, for-profit companies, such as a B Corp-certified brand.
• Experience coordinating across multiple, public-sector agencies.
• Experience launching and overseeing campaigns to support fundraising objectives.
Please submit a current resume and cover letter by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
We begin reviewing resumes and cover letters on February 17, 2023, and will accept resumes and cover letters until the position is filled.