Vice President, Public Affairs & Issues Advocacy – Edelman

Practice Area: Corporate & Public Affairs

In our NY Corporate and Public Affairs practice, we’re a team of 130+ dedicated professionals including former city, state, and federal government employees, philanthropic experts, journalists, MBAs, lawyers, and integrated communications marketing experts including planners and creatives. We’ve worked with many of NYC’s iconic organizations across the nonprofit, philanthropic, government, education, corporate, and real estate sectors. We support clients to execute campaigns that enhance their credibility on an issue and influence audience perception and actions through media relations, digital and influencer engagement and more. We develop positioning programs that empower an organization to get its message across in a meaningful and impactful way.

Overview of the Role

Edelman is seeking a Vice President of Public Affairs reporting directly to the lead of the Public Affairs & Issues Advocacy practice. They will be involved and lead some of the most cutting edge integrated marketing work for clients such as The Rockefeller Foundation, Conservation International, NYU and many others. Some successful past campaigns led by this practice include work for WNBA, Lambda Legal, Burn Bright for the New York Liberty, a women’s empowerment launch for the City of New York and the 62 Million Girls campaign with First Lady Michelle Obama.

The Vice President should be a seasoned leader with a strong communications/integrated marketing background in either/or non-profit, education, NGO, foundation and/or communications agency with a proven track record of success. They must possess an entrepreneurial spirit and have the capability to manage multiple, simultaneous assignments, and the ability to manage internal and external (client) expectations.

As a strategic thinker, they will apply a multi-channel media mindset to all client work and have an impressive sense of storytelling. They will oversee the creation of multi-media strategies that factor in social and paid opportunities, partnering effectively with internal content creators as well as outside agencies. The VP should demonstrate the ability to provide sound counsel and recommendations on how the business is operated with confidence.
As a member of the Public Affairs leadership team, they will demonstrate the skills and behaviors needed to build culture, up-level client work, expand our collective capability and drive growth. They not only must be a big-picture thinker, but also able to turn big ideas into action and demonstrate superior communication skills, charisma and executive presence. They must be eager to learn and evolve personally, and undaunted by change or complexity. The VP will work with your colleagues across Corporate and Public Affairs as in close partnership with your peers across the agency including our Digital, Planning and Creative teams.

The VP must have a proven background in communications, with people management, business development and budget management. They must have a strong understanding of how to communicate with teams and work from both client and agency perspectives and have a track record of leading profitable programs that have advanced client business goals. The VP must have experience successfully managing resources and budgets as well as helping win new business. They must be team focused, possess strong leadership qualities and be capable of effectively managing a team, including building the earned media skills of other members of the team. We’re looking for a driven professional, who can provide expert and creative client counsel, while inspiring and leading teams.

Core Responsibilities

• Lead operational and financial performance of account teams, ensuring quality work, effective processes and that client requests are handled in timely and strategic fashion
• Manage strategic process of pitching stories and/or responding to media inquiries
• Be a consumer of news – help identify media trends/interests, what “works” with top media
• Lead client meetings and participate new business presentations, when appropriate
• Counsel teams and clients on media relations strategies for an array of accounts; simultaneously juggling multiple projects and issues
• Expertly counsel clients based on broad communications landscape and business goals; take immediate action on client feedback
• Demonstrate advanced writing skills and supervise writing of others
• Display superior presentation skills including confidence in presenting to clients
• Identify opportunities to develop business with existing clients (including cross-selling)
• Set and lead integrated traditional and social programs
• Assist account team and counsel client on last minute media issues/opportunities (both proactive and reactive)
• In-depth communication with a variety of national and local media on behalf of clients; maintain key media contacts
• Pitch national print and broadcast media
• Propose and provide strategic media analysis and counsel to clients and target audiences
• Generate ideas for media outreach/strategy; provide media strategy to new business proposals and at clients’ requests
• Assist in development of creative platforms to account teams to increase effectiveness/impact of media campaigns
• Capitalize on, and contribute to, the Edelman global network to serve and grow business
• Lead staff by mentoring, motivating, coaching, consistently providing feedback, holding them accountable and conducting their reviews and overseeing their professional development
• Build strong and lasting relationships with clients and operate as day to day internal and/or external client contact as appropriate
• Lead the research, planning and development of comprehensive media relations programs and new business pitches, along with the Vice President and Senior Vice President
Basic Qualifications
• Have a bachelor’s degree in a related field
• 8 or more years or experience in one or a combination of non-profit, NGO’s, Education, Foundations and/or agency and/or news outlet
Preferred Qualifications
• Must be able to demonstrate excellent storytelling skills, and provide sound, level-appropriate media counsel with all levels of internal client contacts
• Excellent leadership skills
• Have a track record of leading profitable programs that have advanced client business goals
• Must have strong contacts and working relationships with local and national news media, understanding of basic television production and video terminology. Previous experience with agency and/or media outlet is preferred
• Ability to write strategic media plans and a variety of media materials with limited oversight
• Experience managing product launches, celebrity campaigns, milestone announcements, media events, participate in desk-side briefings, etc.
• High awareness of current events
• Expert in studio and production facilities/services
• Expert on satellite usage in media capabilities
• Proven ability to explain technical portion to client in an easy manner
• Expert in knowledge of TV, radio, print, and online media, in addition to working knowledge of online and social media platforms
• Must possess a broad understanding of all facets of media relations and marketing communications, a strong background of pitching and winning new business, and experience managing budgets
• The candidate should have a demonstrated history of providing high-level, strategic counsel; creative programs; quality outcomes, and; superior customer service to clients.
• Must have the ability to assess and understand complex situations and quickly distill the information for both the client and media. In addition, he/she must be team-focused and demonstrate strong leadership qualities
• A long-standing track record of developing and executing successful media relations programs with an agency or as an industry practitioner is critical
• Be a superb people manager and have experience successfully managing resources and budgets as well as helping win new business
• Be entrepreneurial and professional and have the confidence necessary to manage a team
• An advanced degree is a plus

Measuring Success
All Edelman staff create their performance goals in partnership with their supervisor and undergo an annual 360-degree review process. The VP will be evaluated on skill and behavioral competencies, with hard and soft measures including (but not limited to) revenue growth, personal leadership style, innovation and creativity, strategic thinking, contributions to NY Corporate and Public Affairs culture and team retention rates.