Vice President, Marketing & Communications

Arlington, Virginia, United States
Apply by 2 December 2017
Executive-level , Full-time staff position
Posted on 2 November 2017

Job Description

Rare is a $25 million fast-paced organization that believes conservation is about people. According to CEO Brett Jenks, “The most urgent environmental challenges of our time have one thing in common: to solve them, people have to start behaving differently.” Unique as a global conservation organization, Rare uses its expertise in behavioral science to train local leaders and support community-led adoption of new sustainable behaviors and solutions in more than 50 countries. The result is lasting change—local communities shift from being resource users to environmental stewards so nature and people can thrive.

Three global solutions drive Rare’s agenda: sustainable fisheries (Fish Forever), climate smart watersheds, and organic agriculture. Through signature behavior change campaigns (called Pride campaigns), Rare inspires people to take pride in the species and habitats that make their community unique, while also introducing practical alternatives to environmentally destructive practices. Employees of local governments or non-profit organizations receive extensive training on fisheries, watershed or farm management, campaign planning and social marketing to communities. They are equipped to deliver community-based solutions based on natural and social science, while leveraging policy and market forces to accelerate positive environmental change through programs in clean water, sustainable agriculture, and coastal fisheries.

Rare’s Vice-President, Marketing & Communications is responsible for designing and executing an organizational marketing strategy to increase Rare’s brand and engagement among key target audiences and advance the revenue, policy and programmatic goals of the organization. S/he reports directly to Rare’s Chief Development Officer, manages a team of six and serves as a member of Rare’s global Leadership Team.

  • The ideal candidate will be a self-starter and proven leader with strong business instincts and a track record of developing strategic and creative solutions to organizational needs and opportunities. S/he must possess exceptional communications and staff management skills, and given Rare’s accelerated growth rate, deep experience taking an organization to the next level. The VP is expected to inspire, motivate and lead a team of six professionals and work closely to collaborate with fundraising, policy and program operations in Rare’s offices around the world. The VP will need to prioritize between competing needs given limited resources and be comfortable with change and ambiguity as well as possessing a strong bias for action;
  • Prior experience in an international, cross-cultural work environment is essential with willingness to work flexible hours on an as-needed basis to serve the needs of a global organization with diverse time zone needs;

Other areas of responsibility include:

Marketing & Communications Strategy

Develop, implement and oversee Rare’s global marketing, brand and communications strategy to advance Rare’s mission and goals. This includes raising brand awareness through creative marketing initiatives, PR, digital platforms, social media, and partnership marketing.

  • Create and execute an integrated marketing & communications plan reflecting a deep understanding of traditional and innovative marketing approaches;
  • Create engaging, compelling, highly shareable content—written and video—that tells the organization’s story to raise awareness and inspire support;
  • Develop and manage all marketing processes, measurement, and information systems, that are needed to enable the overall marketing function to operate efficiently and effectively;
  • Tap into Rare’s and others’ experience using technologies—including web design, social media channels, and third-party platforms—to create pathways that facilitate the online user journey, building confidence and interest in Rare’s work;
  • Partner with the fundraising team bringing segmentation and market-research methods to better understand current and untapped funding markets;
  • Coordinate with Rare’s strategic partners to ensure message alignment; and
  • Build a marketing & communications advisory council including board members and subject-matter experts.

Event Programming & Public Relations (PR)

  • Partner with Rare leaders to conceive of and design special events including donor dinners and trips to the field;
  • Program Rare events to deepen guests’ understanding and inspire support
  • Identify, secure, and prepare external speakers for Rare events;
  • Partner with the CEO, senior leadership and staff on high-priority external speeches and presentations;
  • Strategically use owned and earned media to effectively position Rare in print, broadcast and online media; and
  • Support and advise regions on in-country Communications.

Management and Leadership

Develop a cohesive and productive team, delivering on set goals, communicating direction, utilizing creative thinking to engage staff, clarifying roles and responsibilities, and demonstrating good judgment and clear decision making. Be a role model to others by creating and maintaining a positive and productive work environment and supporting ongoing development of staff; working in close collaboration with global units, and the global leadership team.

  • Provide effective management and collaboration within the Marketing and Communications team to ensure that it functions in a collaborative, inclusive and productive fashion that relies on Rare’s core Values and strengthens Rare’s culture;
  • Serve as trusted communications advisor to Rare’s CEO and global leadership team;
  • Provide effective management and supervision of all direct and indirect reports and oversee the maintenance and functioning of a strong and integrated team;
  • Manage direct reports performance and career advancement throughout the year, as well as lead their professional development, training, and mentoring;
  • Dedicate sufficient time to developing staff and creating opportunities for each individual to operate at a higher impact level to ensure continuity and deliverable of outcomes;
  • Ensure marketing & communications team is aligned with the latest program progress and that effective and regular communications exist between the global partners as well as with regional offices, Fish Forever Global Initiative, Development, etc.;
  • Actively participate in the Development & Communications (DevCom) Leadership Team;
  • Apply leadership competencies to lead by example as an individual learner and team player; demonstrate the ability to build trusting relationships with all roles and ranks, be a systemic thinker, and demonstrate integrity and accountability at all times; and
  • Evaluate and report out on the Marketing and Communications global strategy to the Executive Leadership Team, functional units, and the Board of Trustees.

Required Experience and Education

This position requires a dynamic and self-driven strategic thinker with a creative mindset and well-honed teambuilding and communications skills. The successful individual is adept at problem solving and collaborating with multiple dispersed global teams in a fast-paced and results-driven environment. S/he will have demonstrated accomplishments in managing a wide range of marketing and communications related activities, preferably within an agile, entrepreneurial, high-growth environment. Other qualifications include:

  • A minimum of 15 years of senior level marketing & communications experience leading global, multi-faceted initiatives, including at least five years of management and leadership, preferably within a fast-paced, high-growth environment;
  • Demonstrated success in complex project management and advancing multiple projects simultaneously with exemplary organizational skills and meticulous attention to detail;
  • Proven ability to maximize technologies such as web design, social media channels, and third-party platforms to create pathways that engage the online user and promote Rare’s global mission;
  • Exemplary organizational, staff management and relationship building skills with a wide range of internal audiences including executive leaders and strategic partners;
  • Sound business judgment and ability to manage shifting priorities and competing deadlines to ensure accuracy and high-quality standards while applying a systems view of outcomes and impact;
  • Exceptional writing, communication and public speaking and presentation skills;
  • Proven financial management experience, including the preparation and management of budgets and contracts;
  • Penchant for problem-solving and collaborating with different teams in a fast-paced and entrepreneurial work environment;
  • Initiative to take on new projects and continually exhibit a positive, proactive attitude towards all tasks and people;
  • Willingness to be hands-on in a role that is demanding and requires a high level of energy, relationship building and staff development;
  • Must be able and willing to travel domestically and internationally (10-15%);
  • A minimum of a BA degree, with a Masters degree in Business, Marketing or other related field a plus; and
  • Fluency in Spanish, Portuguese, Tagalog, Mandarin and Bahasa Indonesia language skills a plus.

*Rare is an equal opportunity employer M/F/D/V

About the Organization

Rare inspires change so people and nature thrive. Rare believes that conservation is about people. True, most environmental problems stem from human activity, but people also wield the solutions. Rare concentrates on finding and replicating proven solutions to many of the world’s biggest environmental challenges. Rare’s mantra is to find what works and then repeat. Core to that approach is Rare’s insight that individuals and communities are motivated as much by emotion as by reason. Thus conservationists must become as skilled in social science as biological science. This is the rationale behind Rare’s signature Pride campaigns. Rare trains local leaders to run Pride campaigns that employ proven social science methods typically reserved for the marketing and advertising industries to inspire change people to adopt conservation solutions and empower them to make those solutions their own. By appealing to both hearts and minds, Rare’s prove approach accelerates the adoption and increases the sustainability of the solutions. Rare and its partners have conducted over 250 Pride campaigns in more than 50 countries, empowering local communities to become natural asset managers across Latin America, Asia and Africa. • Rare offers generous vacation, holidays, personal days, sick leave and a weeklong power-down. • Rare’s compensation philosophy is to pay above market level, so salaries are commensurate with experience and include an annual bonus plan tied to the organization’s and individual’s performance. • Benefits include fully-covered health plans and a matched retirement savings plan. • Individual training budget is assigned to every staff member to enhance skills and professional growth. Global Geneva, a Swiss media outlet specializing in news from the nonprofit and development world, ranked Rare 26th in its 2015 list of Top 500 NGOs. This is the third year in a row Rare made the list:

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