Overview

Reports to: Chief Communications Officer
Department:  Communications
Status:  Full-Time/Exempt

About Central Park Conservancy:

Central Park is one of the most famous and beloved urban public spaces in the world. Designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux in 1857, the 843-acre park was the first purpose-built public park in the country and is a National Historic Landmark. The Central Park Conservancy, a private not-for-profit organization, was founded in 1980 to rescue the Park which had fallen into serious disrepair. Since that time, the Conservancy has overseen the investment of approximately $1 billion in the restoration of the Park, and now hosts over 40 million visitors a year.

The Conservancy’s mission is to preserve and celebrate Central Park as a sanctuary from the pace and pressures of city life, enhancing the enjoyment and wellbeing of all. The City of New York has formally entrusted the care of the Park to the Conservancy which is responsible for every aspect of the Park’s care, including landscape maintenance, capital improvements, and the visitor experience. Committed to sharing the best practices in urban park management, the Conservancy also serves as a resource for other NYC parks and for public-private partnerships around the world. The Conservancy employs roughly 325 people and has an operating budget of $80 million.

Job Summary
Reporting to the Chief Communications Officer and serving as an integral member of the senior management team, the Vice President (VP) of Communications will be responsible for the development of the Central Park Conservancy’s communication strategy and implementation. The VP of Communications will develop a world-class communications plan, directly managing communications activities that promote, enhance, and protect the organization's public profile. The VP of Communications will be responsible for the development, integration, and implementation of a broad range of public relations activities relative to the strategic direction and positioning of the organization and its leadership.

In addition, the VP of Communications will be an ambassador for the organization and will need to build strong relationships with the media. The goal is to raise the Conservancy’s profile with relevant constituents, as well as to drive broader awareness and donor support for the organization. Additionally, the VP of Communications will be responsible for managing our internal communications, including reviewing cadence, distribution channels and writing quality. 

The Vice President will manage a team of two employees, including the Director of Communications and Marketing Administration and Director of Social Media, and will be one of two senior members of the Chief Communications Officer’s leadership team which also includes the Vice President of Visitor Experience. Other key members of the team include the Senior Director of Digital Experience, Director of Marketing, Director of Video Production, and Art Director.    

As a member of the Conservancy’s Senior Leadership Team, this person will contribute to strategic management and policy decisions across the organization. This is a full-time, year-round, exempt position.

Responsibilities

Communications Strategy, Vision and Leadership
  • Develop and implement an integrated strategic communications plan to raise the Conservancy’s public profile; broaden awareness of its impact on Central Park; bring attention to our priorities; and increase the visibility of our programs across key stakeholder audiences.
  • Create a public relations strategy that will allow Conservancy leadership, particularly our President, to cultivate and enhance meaningful relationships with targeted, high-level external audiences, including the media and key influencers.
  • Develop and implement a cohesive internal communications strategy to reach all employees both in the Park and in our administrative office.
  • Identify challenges and emerging issues faced by the organization. Work with leadership team and staff to recognize internal and external communications opportunities and solutions and define and execute appropriate strategies to support them.
Communications Operations
  • Oversee development of internal and external communications plans and work collaboratively across the organization to make sure our channels for communications are clear and effective.
  • Along with the Chief Communications Officer, serve as a spokesperson and lead point person on media interactions that help promote and/or impact the organization.
  • Prioritize media opportunities, prepare talking points, speeches, Op-Eds, presentations, and other supporting material as needed.
  • Actively engage, cultivate and manage press relationships to ensure excellent coverage surrounding our programs, special events, public announcements, and other projects.
  • Oversee the day-to-day activities of the communications function including budgeting, planning, and staff development
Team Development/Management
  • Serve as a communication and writing mentor to all members of the department.
  • Promote a culture of collaboration and high performance that values learning and a commitment to quality.
  • Mentor and develop staff using a supportive and collaborative approach on a consistent basis.
  • Establish priorities for the team; monitor staff performance and development goals, assign accountabilities and set clear objectives.,

Qualifications
  • Exceptional written, oral, interpersonal and presentation skills; ability to effectively interface with senior management and staff
  • Passion for Central Park and the Conservancy’s mission
  • Minimum of 10 years’ experience in a senior management role either in-house or with an agency
  • Demonstrated skill and comfort in proactively building relationships with top tier reporters and editors and in successfully positioning subject matter with the media to achieve high-impact placements
  • Extensive successful writing and editing experience (externally focused) with a variety of print and online communications media
  • Demonstrated experience and leadership in managing a comprehensive strategic media relations and internal communications program to advance an organization's mission and goals
  • Proven ability to convey a creative and thoughtful approach on how new media technologies can be utilized
  • Innovative thinker with a track record for translating strategic thinking into action plans and output
  • Experience in building, mentoring, and coaching a team of communications specialists
  • Excellent judgment and creative problem-solving skills, including negotiation and conflict resolution skills; self-reliant and results oriented
  • Superior management skills; ability to influence and engage direct and indirect reports and peers
  • Stature, gravitas, and confidence to gain the credibility and respect of staff and the media
  • Ability to make decisions in a changing environment and anticipate future needs
  • Excellent and persuasive communicator
  • Flexible and collaborative nature; a proactive team leader who can positively and productively impact both strategic and tactical finance and administration initiatives
  • Ability to operate as an effective tactical as well as strategic thinker
  • Bachelor's degree in journalism, communications, or related field is required; an advanced degree is preferred

 
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