The B-A Communications Director directs the overall management and implementation of public relations and communications for Breakthrough-ACTION (B-A), a new five-year USAID flagship project for social and behavior change (SBC), led by the Johns Hopkins Center for Communication Programs (CCP). S/he will be based at the B-A project office in Washington, D.C. with occasional visits to CCP headquarters in Baltimore, MD.
The Communications Director will use creative and strategic approaches to grow awareness of B-A, expand the project’s reach and resources, and propel the positioning of SBC as an essential element in achieving improved global health outcomes. S/he will lead the development and implementation of communications strategies that align with the project’s objectives and management goals and measure the impact of those strategies, making real-time adjustments as needed. S/he will provide technical assistance to B-A senior staff at CCP and its partners as well as guidance and support to B-A country programs as appropriate. S/he will lead the communications team through resource planning, work assignment, information exchange, setting goals and staff mentoring. S/he is also responsible for coordinating internally with the CCP External Relations team to integrate project communications into CCP marketing and communications efforts.
Essential duties and responsibilities:
Create and implement strategic communications and marketing plans for B-A that identify goals, strategies, tactics, audiences, and desired results for all relevant communications, public relations and promotional functions and programs. This will include a strategic media relations plan to highlight the impact of SBC in improving health outcomes.
Develop and maintain project identity and brand management, providing guidance to global and country programs, and ensure compliance with project branding and marking plan.
Work with B-A Senior Management Team and CCP External Relations team to commission strategic market research, such as brand awareness and preference studies, share of voice and analysis to improve participation in online communities of practice and learning forums. Use this and other data to assess the impact of various communications efforts and adjust strategy and tactics appropriately.
Oversee the design, launch and ongoing updates of a new project website.
Oversee regular external communications that showcase B-A products, activities, research, and programs through print, multimedia and web channe
Oversee project documentation and dissemination, including annual reporting, media outreach, website content, blogs, newsletters and feature stories, conceptualizing and rolling out creative formats that capture the attention of the intended audience.
Plan, supervise and provide technical assistance and promotion for local and global project events, both virtually and in-person, including meetings, seminars, learning workshops and the bi-annual SBCC Summit. Assist in-country staff to do the same as requested and feasible.
Work with staff to ensure consistency of messaging and proper management of brand assets.
Support and provide leadership for the communications team through resource planning, work assignment, information exchange, setting goals and staff mentoring.
Ensure deliverables are met on-time and in-budget to a high quality and provide oral and written reports on activities, successes and challenges to project leadership and donors.
Estimate, plan and track budgets to ensure that activities are implemented in a cost-effective manner.
Contribute to production of annual workplans and budgets, semi-annual and annual reports.
Upload and save deliverables on relevant knowledge management platforms.
Secure and manage specialized contractors (such as website developers or videographers).
Proactively identify, communicate, and generate solutions for communications challenges, as they arise.
Ensure B-A products adhere to the project’s Branding and Marking Plan and assist with requesting exceptions from said plan.
People Management and Relationship-Building:
Secure, maintain and grow media relationships with reporters, editorial writers, columnists and broadcast media to highlight project activities and impact and the role of SBC in addressing pressing global health challenges.
Develop and maintain strong relationships with communications/public relations counterparts at CCP, JHU, B-A partner organizations, Breakthrough-Research, other global health implementing organizations and USAID.
Master’s Degree in communications, public relations, marketing or related field required.
Minimum 10 years related experience required.
Commitment to the mission of CCP and the B-A project.
Demonstrated ability to set strategic, creative and results-oriented communications strategies across traditional and digital media and translate into implementable tactics.
Outstanding writer and editor, with demonstrated ability to communicate information to multiple audiences, including donors, policymakers, global health implementing partners as well as the public.
Demonstrated high-level of oral communication, including creating and giving presentations, and facilitating group discussions.
A solid understanding of writing and editing for the media and promoting stories to journalists and media outlets.
A commitment to innovative approaches, with a proven track record of taking initiative to find and develop solutions.
Evidence of successful performance in a complex and deadline-driven environment with outstanding organizational and project management skills.
Deep curiosity and an ability to leverage data and discover potential opportunities for growth and innovation.
Ability to estimate, plan and track budget and manage contracting and vendor negotiation processes.
Proven ability to quickly and effectively forge collaborative relationships with staff members and teams across an organization.
A demonstrated track record in managing a high-performing communications and public relations team.
Skill in “managing up,” and delivering appropriate counsel to senior leadership when required involving staff from multiple organizations.
Track record of seeking and welcoming a diverse set of backgrounds, experiences, and perspectives and of building an inclusive environment.
Experience in communications for USAID or USG awards is a plus. French or Spanish language abilities a plus.
Background in marketing, public relations and/or communications with global health focused organizations. Government, media or a communications/public relations agency experience also preferred.
Johns Hopkins University remains committed to its founding principle, that education for all students should be grounded in exploration and discovery. Hopkins students are challenged not just to learn but also to advance learning itself. Critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, and entrepreneurship are all encouraged and nourished in this unique educational environment. After more than 130... years, Johns Hopkins remains a world leader in both teaching and research. Faculty members and their research colleagues at the university's Applied Physics Laboratory have each year since 1979 won Johns Hopkins more federal research and development funding than any other university. The university has nine academic divisions and campuses throughout the Baltimore-Washington area. The Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, the Whiting School of Engineering, the School of Education and the Carey Business School are based at the Homewood campus in northern Baltimore. The schools of Medicine, Public Health, and Nursing share a campus in east Baltimore with The Johns Hopkins Hospital. The Peabody Institute, a leading professional school of music, is located on Mount Vernon Place in downtown Baltimore. The Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies is located in Washington's Dupont Circle area.