Manager, Corporate Communications

Job Title: Manager, Corporate Communications

Functional Team: Corporate Communications

Reports To: Vice President, Corporate Communications

Date: March 2020

Job Summary: This position works closely with the vice president of Corporate Communications to lead corporate communication plans with audiences of dairy farmers, boards and the agricultural industry. This position contributes to the Crisis and Issues Team and provides support to the general communication needs of Midwest Dairy. This position also provides communications counsel and messaging assistance to executive directors of state trade associations, except in Minnesota.

Key Result Areas

A. Lead development and implementation of a farmer communications plan that builds awareness of checkoff program and results and grows support for dairy checkoff. 40%
Develops solutions to effectively communicate with dairy farmers and board members about the organization’s programming, impacts or effects of initiatives, and relays results of their dairy checkoff investment. Oversees the development and implementation of the organization’s farmer communications plan. Plans, produces and distributes electronic and print newsletters, annual report and state-specific compliance reports, literature, signage reports, news releases, website content, etc. that enhance understanding of Midwest Dairy’s organization and programming and showcases results of dairy farmers checkoff investment. Creates and edits written content contributions from team members in other strategy teams and business units or external sources to highlight dairy checkoff resources and projects. Assists in development or provides counsel on presentations shared by Midwest Dairy CEO and SMEs at farmer and industry meetings.Gathers and analyzes metrics and refines strategy and approaches to increase engagement with farmer communications tools.  
B. Leads agricultural media engagement efforts to highlight dairy farmers or employees and dairy checkoff programming. 30%
  Plans and develops annual editorial plan for proactive agricultural media and trade news outreach, leads media outreach by developing pitch angles and coordinating media interviews that showcase strategic successes. Grows relationships with key media outlets. Serves as media spokesperson to ag media regarding general Midwest Dairy programming and issues. Provides or coordinates media/message training for employees and farmer board leaders. Responds to media requests for information and coordinates farmer or employee participation in ag media interview requests covering organization’s strategic priorities. Develops processes and procedures for collaboration across BUs for development of regional news releases, media pitches and response to state-specific ag media requests. Consults with strategic planning teams and business units and provides best practice recommendation and message coaching in developing effective local ag media relationships as needed.  
C. Assists vice president and other team members in providing expertise and guidance for implementing best practices across the organization and ensuring effectiveness of communication.  25%
Produces and/or reviews news releases, FAQs, presentations, newsletters, talking points, speeches, reports, memos, etc. created by business unit and strategy teams to help staff effectively communicate checkoff value information. Consults with other departments to supply expertise and recommendations on creation and delivery of communication assets or training. Monitors and enforces proper use of Midwest Dairy’s logo(s). Assists other departments in complying with the brand guidelines. Develops budget requests for communications projects and manages project expenses to meet budget expectations. Manages consultants and vendors to execute corporate communication projects. Contributes to the Crises and Issues Management Team’s planning and strategic response efforts. Develops communication assets to support the response plan and serves as spokesperson as needed.
D. Supplies communication expertise as needed to organizations with contractual service agreements, such as state trade associations or livestock coalitions.      5%
  Supplies strategic communication recommendations for state trade associations (except Minnesota) to achieve their goals. Provides editorial review of documents, presentations, reports, etc. to ensure accuracy and consistency with message tone, look and feel, and any applicable standards for brand or format.  

* =  Essential Functions are defined as those functions that an individual who holds or desires the position must be able to perform unaided or with reasonable accommodation. Functions may be considered essential if:

1.   the position exists for performance of the function

2.   a limited number of employees can perform the function, and it, therefore cannot be reassigned; or

3.  the function is specialized and requires certain expertise to perform it.

JOB SPECIFICATIONS

Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree in Agriculture, Communications, Public Relations, Journalism or other related field.
  • At least 5 years of experience public relations, journalism or related communication field; or a combination of education and experience providing equivalent knowledge.

Key Competencies:

  • Ability to successfully work cross-functionally with other departments.
  • Ability to accomplish projects in a timely manner and within budget.
  • Capacity to effectively manage multiple projects and tasks simultaneously.
  • Strong conceptual and critical thinking abilities.
  • Ability to respectfully provide thoughtful counsel and constructive feedback to others regardless of seniority or status.
  • Ability to cultivate relationships with agricultural and/or consumer-oriented media.
  • Excellent written, verbal, and presentation skills to create and deliver informative, concise and influential communications.
  • Superior interpersonal, organizational, and professional skills.
  • Proficiency in contemporary document, graphic, presentation, online, and network-based communication tools and data systems.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities 

Knowledge: 

  1. Knowledge of and ability to utilize personal computers and related software for word processing, contact management and online communications systems.
  2. Knowledge of time management principles.
  3. Knowledge of basic communications principles to ensure communications efforts are effective.
  4. Knowledge of the history, mission and goals of the organization so that communications efforts will be relevant.
  5. Knowledge of Association Press (AP) writing style.
  6. Knowledge of both traditional and online news media.

Skills: 

  1. Skill of organizing and directing a work effort of others without direct authority or reporting lines, and accomplishing a goal on time and within budget.
  2. Skill of developing and maintaining positive working relationships with external and internal customers.
  3. Skill in writing for media, online channels and personal communication
  4. Skill in developing and delivering presentations using various software and resources
  5. Skill in operating video, audio and power point presentation equipment to conduct meetings.
  6. Skill in providing strategic direction or contact management/database systems and working within resulting applications.

Abilities: 

  1. Ability to present both self and ideas, orally or in writing, using knowledge and the perspective of the audience so that they are understandable and credible.
  2. Ability to organize and complete duties independently in order to meet goals without direct supervision.
  3. Ability to identify markets, opportunities, and resources to communicate them internally and externally
  4. Ability to work cooperatively and collaboratively with a team of individuals.
  5. Ability to give attention to detail.
  6. Ability to maintain discipline needed to work in a home office setting.
  7. Ability to travel with flexible hours to respond to organizational needs.

Physical DemandsWhile performing the responsibilities of the job, the employee is required to talk and hear.  The employee is often required to sit and use their hands and finger, to handle or feel.  The employee is occasionally required to stand, walk, reach with arms and hands, climb or balance, and to stoop and kneel.  Vision abilities required by this job include close vision.

Work EnvironmentWhile performing the responsibilities of the job, these work environment characteristics are representative of the environment the job holder will encounter.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable people with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is working in an office/home office environment.  The noise level in the work environment is quiet to moderate.

The office/home office environment must be flexible to receive telephone, fax and Internet signals dependably, as well as receive mail and package delivery.