The Illinois Secretary of State’s office seeks an experienced communicator to serve as its Director of Communications.
This position will oversee and support the internal and external communication efforts for all areas of the Office and its 25 departments, including strategic communications, public relations, media relations, marketing, writing, publications, design and new media.
The Director will have excellent communication, writing and editing skills, and have a proven record of engagement with media, significant experience in traditional and digital media and strong background in communications planning.
Act as chief SOS spokesperson and media contact, responding to media inquiries and sharing information pro-actively with journalists.
Serve as the communications lead for the Office, contributing to the development of long-term vision. planning and goal setting, working closely with the senior executive team.
Develop and execute short- and long-term communication strategies encompassing various mainstream, digital, social and alternative forms of media.
Lead a team of communications professionals and provide direction and guidance.
Advance the SOS' mission, develop and execute media plans and encompassing local, statewide, nation and trade-based media.
Work with and manage/coordinate digital channels including social platforms to effectively promote information about the Office.
Research, analyze and advise on policy, legislative and budget initiatives and determine how to promote messaging to targeted and mainstream audiences.
Write and/or manage content for press releases, policy briefs/statements, FAQs, speeches and internal communications and help prepare for media events.
Provide strategic analysis and consultation, training and preparation in advance of announcements, speeches, interviews and events.
Communicate regularly with journalists and cultivate relationships with media that reflect the diversity of the state and various audiences.
Maintain in-depth knowledge of all facets of the office and internal matters, often serving as a liaison between supervisors and SOS executive staff.
Interact closely with department directors to promote innovative programs, anticipate emerging issues and breakdown complex and technical issues to provide a better understanding for public consumption.
Responsible for measuring the effectiveness of communications programs, providing oversight and ensuring execution of programs and responsible for overseeing external agency vendors.
Oversee the tracking of media reports of the office, employees, services and other SOS office activities.
A minimum of 5 years' experience in professional communications-related setting, which could include journalism or public affairs, corporate, government or agency or crisis communications environment.
Exceptional writing and storytelling skills as well as strong verbal communications and presentation skills
Experience developing relationships with reporters/media, pitching news stories/ ideas, managing media inquiries and serving as a spokesperson a plus.