The Executive Director of Communications supports the Archbishop’s ministry by directing, supervising and overseeing all communication initiatives for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, including strategic communications planning, external and internal communications, digital communications and proactive and reactive media relations and issues management. The Executive Director also provides strategic communications direction for the archdiocesan offices, ministries, parishes and schools.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
•Works collaboratively to develop a strategic and comprehensive communication plan, with metrics, utilizing both legacy and digital media, to broaden visibility of diocesan ministries, the mission of the local Church and the implementation and roll out of “All Things New”.
•Serves as an active, contributing member of the Bishop’s senior staff, providing visionary insight, advisement, policy formation, evaluation, and continually seeking out new opportunities of shared services.
•Develops diocesan messages, talking points, and supporting materials as needed to maintain the pastoral visibility of the bishop and promote understanding of his pastoral and administrative initiatives.
•Oversees team that creates and maintains digital communication platforms, such as websites, email systems, social media (Facebook, etc.), and live-streaming/video, and keeps informed and up to date on current issues (such as privacy standards) and developments in the digital industries so as to advise the diocese in this rapidly changing environment.
•Develops training and provides guidance to the diocesan offices, parishes and schools in all areas of public communication, including strategic communication planning with a digital emphasis and crisis communication.
•Maintains a high degree of professionalism and credibility with the diocesan staff, clergy, parish leadership, the public, and all media through knowledge, forthrightness, and truthfulness, with a high focus on building effective and positive relationships.
•Provides public relations, digital communications and crisis management counsel to the bishop, diocesan staff, pastors, parishes, schools and diocesan agencies; which may at times require consultation with general legal counsel and human resources.
•Coordinates the appearance of all diocesan print and electronic materials such as letterhead, use of logo, brochures, and other print and digital media materials which may be necessary from time to time.
•Oversees the production, distribution and creative direction of The St. Louis Review newspaper.
•Establishes regular communications with direct reports; takes constructive timely action to remedy problems, and consistently meets quality standards and deadlines; works in a team environment and articulates the purpose and vision with staff, develop goals with them, establish objectives, and follows-up to ensure that expectations are met.
•Acts as liaison to other dioceses and national offices for media and communications matters.
•Utilizes wise stewardship principles in developing and implementing an annual department budget with monthly review of office expenditures, and oversees the budget procedures of department ministries.
•Performs other related duties as assigned.
Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities
•Minimum of a bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, digital communications or public relations with a minimum of 10 years of practical work experience in communications, media relations or public relations.
•Must be a practicing Roman Catholic in good standing with the Church who has the ability to respect, promote, accommodate, and not be in conflict with the mission, moral and social teachings, doctrines, and laws of the Roman Catholic faith.
•Specific experience in church organizational and operations procedures is preferred, or alternatively in a complex, multi-unit organization (preferably nonprofit) with service orientation.
•Superior professional writing and copy-editing skills; must be able to present ideas in a cogent, understandable, and compelling manner. Must also be able to adjust and respond accordingly on tight deadlines and in rapidly changing situations.
•Excellent oral communications skills for speaking to and interacting with the media and other appropriate stakeholders, including public speaking. Well-prepared and skilled in dealing with journalists from print, broadcast, or web-based outlets. Experience in conducting news briefings, news conferences and media interviews.
•Possesses thorough knowledge of the methods and techniques for disseminating information to the public as well as facilitating internal communication among departments and agencies.
•Must have a comprehensive knowledge of major issues facing the Catholic Church in Missouri, the U.S. and the world. Currency in Catholic-based media is a must.
•Must be able to establish and maintain effective working relationships with diocesan offices, parishes and schools, in addition to the media.
•Exercises considerable independence and judgment with a high level of confidentiality.
•Demonstrated experience managing crisis communication.
•Skilled in strategic planning, program development, media relations, and digital communications.
•Ability to capture critical information/key points by using exceptional active listening skills and asking appropriate probing questions while documenting conversations and recommendations given.
•Must have a collaborative style, be a proven team builder with effective employee-relations skills and the ability to lead and motivate teams through recognition, participation and delegation. Possess a leadership style that is approachable, engaging, as well as results and action-oriented with experience in being a “leader of leaders” with a semi-autonomous team.
•Must be able to organize and prioritize work, be proactive, take initiative, resolve complex problems, follow through, and simultaneously manage multiple priorities.
•Pursues this ministry with energy, drive and a need to produce results, especially in the face of resistance or setbacks. Must be flexible, self-confident, assertive and persuasive.
•Proficient with information technology including Microsoft Office Suite, social media usage.
•This is a full-time position and may involve evening and weekend work.
•Includes excellent benefits package.
Please submit a resume and cover letter to [email protected] by January 14, 2022.