Senior Director Communications

Boys & Girls Clubs of America   •  

Atlanta, GA

Industry: Non-Profit


15+ years

Posted 390 days ago


Under the direct supervision of the Senior Vice President, Marketing and Communications, the Senior Director of Communications is responsible for leading Internal, External, Executive Office and Crisis Communications units of the Marketing and Communications department.


Successful candidates for this leadership position will leverage their deep understanding of and expertise in the communications industry to help define strategic approaches and ensure executional excellence for organizational communications and brand / reputation management. Experience leading crisis communications is a requirement.


Additionally, based on the scope of this position, it will have oversight and leadership of the internal and external communications impacting the Executive Office (XO), which consists of Jim Clark, the organization’s President and CEO, along with members of the Senior Leadership Team. This position is based in Atlanta, GA.


Movement (Internal) Communications:


  • Serve as the strategic leader for a comprehensive communications plan to increase reach and engagement with 350,000 full- and part-time staff and volunteers across 4,300 independent Boys & Girls Clubs. The plan includes
    • the establishment of policies, procedures, and governance
    • the formation of several cross-functional teams tasked with ensuring adherence to the plan
    • more frequent and effective communications with BGCA senior leadership
    • the introduction of enhanced technology and message segmentation
  • Develop and implement consistent, high-visibility messaging for BGCA priorities and initiatives that drive broad awareness with key stakeholders including Great Futures 2025 – the organization’s long-term strategic plan
  • Oversee the work of the Content Development team (one direct report, with 1-2 additional skip-level reports), including, but not limited to:
    • Digital communications: Movement-wide emails, President’s blog, e-newsletters, content oversight
    • Publications: Connections magazine, fact sheets, style guide
    • Conferences and training: Printed programs, digital content, runs-of-show/scripts, signage, video scripts, emails
    • Support collateral: Military and Native Services collateral, Topical white papers, Youth of the Year, videos, Connections articles
  • Development, coordination and execution of BGCA interdepartmental communications process, roles/responsibilities and execution
  • Lead organizational communications, writing and editorial processes, standards and compliance
  • Oversight responsibilities for all print and on-line publications
  • Executive Office communication planning, management and execution 

External Communications: 

  • Lead the strategic management of brand and executive positioning, working with cross-functional department leaders to execute strategies that position the organization as the nation’s thought leader in youth development
  • Develop and implement consistent, high-visibility messaging for BGCA priorities and initiatives that drive broad awareness with key stakeholders, and serve as spokesperson with media when needed
  • Oversee the work of the External Communications team (one direct report, with 1-2 additional skip-level reports), including, but not limited to:
    • Coordinating the strategy, development, and execution of thought leadership and advocacy platforms for young people on key organizational topics (ie - child and Club safety, teens, etc), in partnership with the Brand Alignment team
    • Planning, developing, and executing strategic media relations strategies for BGCA, leveraging corporate partnerships and stories mined from across the Movement
    • Establishing and maintaining high-level relationships with key national and targeted media
    • Determining the role of outside PR consultants and agencies; oversee hiring, management, measurement and evaluation of their services
  • In partnership with the Government Relations team, oversee the organization’s communications around public advocacy efforts

 Crisis Communications:

  • Lead the strategic execution of the organization’s crisis communications policy and protocols for BGCA and its local Club affiliates to ensure positive and effective issues management responses
  • Serve as primary spokesperson during crisis situations, ensuring effective crisis management plans that protect the brand at the national and local levels
  • Respond accurately and appropriately to crisis situations, proactively anticipating questions of interest to local, national, or trade media
  • Oversee the work of the Manager, Organizational and Executive Communications, including, but not limited to:
    • Drafting press releases; holding statements; talking points; and letters to parents, donors, or other community stakeholders
    • Working collaboratively with cross-functional leadership to ensure all reported incidents are investigated and appropriately handled as it relates to any communications needs

 Executive Office:

  • Serve as lead consultant and communications liaison with all levels of organizational leadership – from C-suite to board of governors – to advise and elevate matters that impact public perception, thought leadership and positioning on key issues
  • Advise the CEO and senior leadership team on opportunities to expand BGCA footprint via channels including original research, publishing, social media and traditional print/broadcast properties
  • Proactively seek external speaking and media engagements, with high-visibility and recognition for BGCA, positioning the organization’s subject matter experts as leading advocates on youth development and BGCA as the most trusted brand in youth development
  • Lead the development and distribution of written, oral and electronic communications that tell our Movement’s story, including the creation of presentations, announcements, speeches, town halls, panels, interviews, blogs, webcasts and websites, as well as through proactive media relations
  • Manage highly sensitive and confidential organizational communications, initiatives and projects and advise senior management on associated communication strategy and issues
  • Oversee the development of CEO internal communications and external speeches, multi-media presentations, scripts, key messages, talking points and background information
  • Provide leadership and support CEO media relations engagements and external speeches
  • Support communications needs of functional leaders, as needed


  • Advise departmental leadership on all matters relating to marketing that are of interest and concern to Boys & Girls Clubs of America and to the overall Movement
  • Hire, train, supervise, evaluate and develop assigned staff according to BGCA's policies and procedures, consulting Human Resource staff as indicated
  • Perform special projects as assigned by the SVP and CEO
  • Demonstrate BGCA mission-driven values of integrity, collaboration, accountability, respect, and excellence, and integrate these values into work environment
  • Adhere to organizational policies and procedures as described in BGCA's Employee Handbook, Ethics Policy and elsewhere


Business Acumen:

  • Has strong strategic acumen with a bias for execution and knows how the business works
  • Knowledge in current and possible future business policies and practices
  • Ability to develop and track accountabilities and performance measurements
  • Is aware of the nuances of a multi-local affiliated or franchised business
  • Strong communication skills that transcend an organization vertically and horizontally

Demonstrates deep expertise in Communications:

  • Possesses the functional and technical knowledge and skills to perform the job at a high level
  • Is able to represent and articulate the vision and plans of the Marketing and Communications department
  • Is knowledgeable about policies, practices, trends, competition, technology and information impacting communications and the organization
  • Is astute in communications disciplines and best practices

 Action Oriented:

  • Enjoys working hard
  • Is full of energy for the things that are challenging
  • Not fearful of acting with minimal planning
  • Seizes more opportunities than others

Managing Vision and Purpose:

  • Optimistically champions vision of core purpose
  • Proactively identifies challenges or barriers to achieving vision
  • Assist in achieving mileposts and symbols to rally support behind vision
  • Transparent and collaborative regarding vision and purpose
  • Can motivate others behind vision and mileposts

 Relationships and Teambuilding

  • Builds trust and rapport quickly
  • Relates well to people of varying background
  • Shares information in an open and transparent fashion
  • Is tactful and respectful
  • Has a network of contacts
  • Addresses conflicts constructively

 Project Management


  • Effectively scopes and charters the project
  • Monitors progress and intervenes in a timely way when course correction is needed
  • Brings projects to closure



  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communications, public relations, business administration and/or similar degreepreferred
  • Advanced degree(s) in related area or 15-20years of evaluated experiencedesired
  • Minimum of 15-20years of experience, including management responsibilities
  • Established experience working with C-Suite and Board level personnel, and in crisis situations
  • Proven track record in managing through complex issues to desired outcome
  • Experience in multi-local affiliated or franchised organizations is preferred, with understanding of best practices to influence independent operations and gain collective ownership and consensus with varied sized affiliates
  • Exceptional interpersonal and communication skills


Environmental and Working Conditions

  • Normal internal office environment. Travel estimated at 30% (can be up to 6-8 days or more in a month, including weekends, depending upon scheduling requirements).  The individual selected for this position must possess and maintain a valid driver’s license and be able to navigate areas of the country or abroad by using a map or other direction methods.  Ability to travel by car, airplane or other modes of transportationrequired.


Physical and Mental Requirements

  • Ability to carry out detailed and complex instructions; ability to interact with coworkers and public by telephone and in person as a member of a team to provide services to customers, both external and internal; ability to perform a variety of duties and to prioritize tasks to meet organizational needs. Ability to clearly and concisely exchange ideas, facts and/or technical information and guidance in person, by telephone, email, fax or correspondence.  Physical requirements include: sight, hearing, sitting for four + hours a day, standing for one to two + hours a day, stooping; skills essential for successful communications include speaking, writing and reading comprehension.