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American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics: Seeks Strategic Communications Director

By Megan Gould
Posted on 27 January 2020 | 11:31 am — 

With Who:  American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

Location:  Reston, VA

Type of Employment:  Full-Time

Position Description:  Strategic Communications Director (SCD) is a key role that will lead the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) communications, web strategy, public policy advocacy and media outreach for the world’s largest professional society of aerospace engineers. You will play a vital role in supporting AIAA’s role in shaping the future of the global aerospace community. The SCD works closely with AIAA professionals’ members, their organizations and other aerospace stakeholders to tell the aerospace and defense industry’s story in the United States and around the world.

We are looking for a SCD to lead with full accountability an engaged, highly talented communications and public policy team integrating all communication platforms, web strategy and association publication, Aerospace America.

The SCD reports directly to the Managing Director of Revenue and Brand Management. The SCD is responsible for developing, implementing a comprehensive communications strategy to support the association’s mission, public policy advocacy, and future vision growth. The SCD will lead, contribute, guide and manage all communications activities of the Institute and its foundation, ensuring AIAA’s and the industry’s message swiftly and effectively reaches key audiences including members, policymakers, regulators, and lawmakers, industry leaders, opinion leaders, and academia.

Core Duties and Responsibilities:  The SCD will work with AIAA’s senior leadership team to ensure that all communications efforts align with AIAA’s mission, strategic plan, and overall objectives. In addition, the person will:

  • Develop and implement a comprehensive communications strategy to support the association’s mission, public policy advocacy, and future growth
  • Lead all communications activities of the Institute and its Foundation, ensuring AIAA’s messages swiftly and effectively reach key audiences including members, policy makers, regulators, lawmakers, industry leaders, opinion leaders, and the general public
  • Ensure advocacy efforts align with and reinforce AIAA’s mission, vision, and strategic plan
  • Incumbent will develop messaging approaches and language to engage the Institutes major audience personas and member demographics.
  • Create compelling messaging to highlight the aerospace industry as a critical to US national interests and the betterment of society for students and professionals
  • Strengthen AIAA’s voice as the leading aerospace professional organization representing the global aerospace industry.
  • Collaborate with AIAA’s policy staff to identify and respond to potential media issues and opportunities
  • Oversee B2B trade and other media relations.
  • Working with the Web Strategist and Director of Marketing, ensure impactful engagement to AIAA’s stakeholders using all the AIAA platforms both earned and paid.
  • Serve as Deputy Publisher of the monthly Institute member magazine, Aerospace America, formulating long-term strategy and ensuring financial and strategic goals are met
  • At the annual AIAA events (Forums), lead the overall communications messaging, throughout each event’s development and product cycle
  • Partner with AIAA’s Programs team to produce impactful, high-quality messaging AIAA members and stakeholders.
  • Lead the development of quality and effective AIAA communications including media alerts, releases, statements, and talking points.
  • Build a Social Media strategy that aligns with AIAA’s future vision Strategic plan
  • Lead the oversight of the Daily Launch e-newsletter
  • Develop and implement a strong program of communications to AIAA members and support the needs of AIAA staff communications as well.
  • Proactively develop communications plans for developing issues that may/will become important to our professional and corporate members
  • Develop and manage an annual budget for the Stakeholders communication function.
  • Craft and articulate the value proposition for AIAA in all phases of the aerospace professional career arc

Qualifications and Experience:  

  • Demonstrated experience as a Strategic Communications leader in an organization or association, with specific established expertise in strategic stakeholder communications, trade or B2B publishing and advocacy;
  • A minimum of five years in a management role in an association, an aerospace-related corporation, or a media relations entity;
  • Experience in the primary/senior communications role for more than three years;
  • Early adopter of technology as an enabler tool and understanding media metrics;
  • Ability to effectively communicate the vision, programs, and value of membership in AIAA to maintain and increase membership
  • Budgeting and management including oversight of budgets;
  • Superb interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work collegially with others and with the highest standards of integrity;
  • Excellent communicator with great interpersonal and presentation skills, both for policy experts and the layperson;
  • Ability to thrive in a matrixed environment and as a team player, producing high quality work in a timely manner;

Additional Skills: 

  • Aerospace/Aviation industry experience preferred
  • Ability and motivation to expand into new targeted market adjacencies, their customers, their desired expansion/growth plans, and business needs
  • Association experience preferred
  • Exceptional interpersonal and customer service skills, including digital, voice and in-person interaction
  • Ability to question the Status Quo

Apply (or request more information):  Apply today! Submit your application through the CofC Alumni Career Center.

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