General Motors: Seeking Director, GM Defense Communications

With Who General Motors

LocationWashington, D.C.

Type of Employment:  Full-Time

Position Description:  The Director, Communications will lead communications, public affairs, and media relations initiatives within the newly-created General Motors Defense LLC (GMD) organization within General Motors Company. This is a critical role for the new company and requires a candidate who is proactive, action-oriented, creative, a skilled writer, and willing to quickly immerse him/herself in the business to produce results.

This person is primarily responsible for the development and execution of the GMD communications strategy in support of business priorities, and must collaborate with a wide range of government, business, and communications leaders to drive both an active strategic and tactical approach to media relations across the organization – ensuring GMD plans, messages, and executes in a manner that gains the most visibility and results for the organization. This individual must have the executive presence to influence and drive action across a diverse set of internal and external constituents, and the agility to multi-task in an ever-evolving environment.

In addition, this professional will manage external consultant relationships, as required, including those pertaining to trade show involvement.

Key Areas of Responsibility:

  • GMD campaign strategy: create and execute a comprehensive and holistic communications strategy that supports GMD business objectives
  • Media relations: serve as the primary GMD media relations liaison with key aerospace and defense, technology, and business media; partner with corporate public relations to engage top-tier press, as needed.  Additional media related responsibilities:
    • Spokesperson: serve as a spokesperson for select media inquiries
    • Social media monitoring & engagement: develop and execute a strategy for engaging with key press and other influencers via social media vehicles; gather and report back key intelligence
    • Daily News Digest: create a daily digest of relevant aerospace and defense news stories for sharing with GMD and other leaders
    • Media Training: serve as primary media trainer and coach for business spokespeople
  • Messaging/Content Development: partner with integrated communications leads and the brand journalist to hone campaign messaging as appropriate to support public affairs activities; serve as staff writer and content creator (e.g., backgrounders, presentations) to support these efforts.  Additional content responsibilities:
    • GMD website: manage all aspects of GMD website
    • Story development: identify and develop storylines that support GMD business priorities, and/or communicate the organization’s technology/innovation leadership; determine appropriate assets (e.g., video, multimedia, Web, etc.) necessary to drive coverage, increase awareness and educate stakeholders about GMD capabilities; partner with internal teams to develop assets and execute programs
    • Press releases: conceptualize, draft and finalize announcements; drive announcement outreach strategy
    • OpEds and Bylined articles: work with GMD leadership to develop themes to support successful content placement; write/identify resources to write articles, etc.
    • Third party and thought leader: partner with GM Communications, GMD Government Relations, and GMD Business Development to engage think tanks and other third parties in support of key GMD pursuits and programs
    • Trade show support: lead overall global tradeshow planning and management, to include media strategies for press briefings, content for shows, and targeted outreach for multi-program shows
  • Market Dynamics/Major Milestones: Drive ongoing proactive responses to market dynamics (e.g., geopolitical issues, Department of Defense activity) with communications strategies that mitigate threats and/or bolster supportive positioning.  Additional milestone requirements:
    • Measurement & reporting: identify appropriate resources for measuring public relations activity
  • Corporate & other GM business PR: serve as GMD liaison to GM Corporate Communications, as well as other businesses; partner with other PR leads to drive “one company” opportunities
  • Vendor Relationships: manage third-party vendor relationships (PR agencies, consultants, etc.)

Candidate Requirements:

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Communications, Public Relations, organizational Communications or related disciplines
  • Eight-10+ years of defense-specific public affairs/relations experience or combined public relations/journalism experience with at least four years in a defense corporate or agency public relations environment
  • Must possess and exhibit exemplary writing skills, organizational skills, a solid grasp of public relations strategies, and an understanding of media relations tactics
  • Must identify experience influencing defense, national security, and/or government focused contributors in a fast-paced work environment
  • Must show experience supporting communications in a global environment
  • Must show experience with maximizing reach through social media platforms
  • Must be solution oriented, showing results and the ability to develop and execute strategic communications plans
  • Must be able to simultaneously manage multiple projects from conception to completion
  • Must meet deadlines under pressure in a changing, fast-paced, deadline-oriented environment
  • Must possess excellent organizational, prioritization, and time management skills
  • Must show a strong work ethic and ability to multi-task with impeccable attention to detail
  • Must have experience managing external and internal vendor relationships and working within defined budget parameters, including the negotiating of contracts to achieve budget goals
  • Travel required (~20-30%)

Additional Desired Qualifications:

  • Aerospace, Defense, national security industry and/or federal civilian government agency communications experience is highly preferred
  • International public relations experience is a definite plus
  • Experience working on national or international tradeshows is highly desirable
  • Management experience and the ability to interact with/influence/staff varying levels of leadership is ideal

Personal Characteristics:

  • Ideal candidate is a positive and candid self-starter who enjoys working with others in a cross-functional environment and is also able to think and operate autonomously, strategically, and tactically to ensure duties are achieved while new opportunities are developed
  • The candidate enjoys building programs, developing people, and educating an organization about the power of effective internal and external communications
  • Being able to quickly become knowledgeable about the GM Advanced Technologies, Product Development and planning processes and portfolio of offerings related to GMD, including engineering, design, propulsion systems (electric and traditional), is essential for success

Apply (or request more information):  See the job posting, or request more information, on the GM Careers site.

About Megan Gould

Ms. Gould is the Coordinator for Events, Outreach, and Public Relations for the Department of Communication at the College of Charleston.

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