The Vice President, Public Relations and Corporate Communications serves as a key member of the Marketing team and leads the Public Relations (PR) / Communications team reporting into the Chief Marketing Officer. The executive will lead his or her team and provide strategic oversight in partnership with the cross-functional leadership team. A Director of Competitive Communications will oversee all competitive aspects of the sport and report directly into this position. The VP will take a leadership role in the crafting of key internal and external communications as well as lead all aspects of league corporate communications - including brand initiatives and campaigns, executive publicity, crisis comms, partner / sponsor strategy and athlete profile publicity on behalf of the league. The ideal candidate will work aggressively to secure mainstream, broad interest print, online, social media and broadcast opportunities in an effort to generate maximum, positive publicity for the WSL.
Responsibilities include (but not limited to):
- Build global PR strategy/roadmap around the WSL’s key assets including: The WSL Tours and its athletes, WSL Studio franchises, league brand / purpose initiatives, as well as the Wave Co. Technology offering.
- Develop and lead our corporate communications strategy, ensuring it is aligned with company leadership and overall business strategy.
- For all corporate affairs, lead on press releases, media alerts, planting stories, managing executive profiles and list submissions, generating briefing notes, talking points, speeches and Q&As.
- Develop long-lasting media relationships that yield great coverage, particularly within quality media outlets. Build “Media that Matter” list in collaboration with Communications team and cross-functional teams (Studios, Partnerships, Talent, etc).
- Collaborate with partners to leverage each other’s PR firepower to elevate the WSL and drive new audiences. Work directly with partners for league announcements and campaigns/activations. Drive commercial narratives through B2B publicity.
- Elevate our athletes through insightful and distinctive storytelling.
- Manage relationships with regional teams, international agencies, freelancers and other partners who contribute to the PR function. Through skills and needs assessments, develop and manage a productive structure that encourages creativity and collaboration.
- Identify opportunities for and pitch stories that further WSL’ s position and executive profiles in the press.
- Oversee and manage key reputational issues while maintaining a risk register to predict and eradicate or minimize potential threats. Lead all crisis communication strategy, including writing crisis messaging and briefings for Leadership and executional teams.
- Develop messaging and outreach activities for topics including but not limited to corporate social responsibility, corporate and personal philanthropic efforts, equality and pay equity and other areas of strategic corporate significance.
- Create a narrative and calendar of key moments, in conjunction with the WSL Tour calendars, to best communicate the WSL's story to the broadest consumer and media segments in the most compelling way.
- Create a discipline and expertise around data, analytics and insights that can be monetized to grow the business.
- Work closely with WSL senior management team on vetting speaking opportunities and honorariums; write speeches and presentations.
- Work closely with a large diverse team to create an enterprise culture that is obsessed with understanding WSL fans, athletes, consumers and partners. Develop PR/Comms team into strategic thinkers and innovators in the space.
- Deep business experience with related PR and Comms experience in the media/sports/entertainment industry
- Knows how to mine rich brand and athlete stories; then serve them up to the right targeted media
- Results-driven executive who enjoys not only building the strategy, but also rolling his or her sleeves up to drive results.
- Enjoys the challenge of cultivating new relationships as well as maintaining and grooming existing relationships to bolster brand recognition and presence in the media space
- Knowledge of both digital and traditional media business
- Demonstrated track record of planning, managing and executing on complex campaigns
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills with the ability to establish effective relationships with all levels including executive management
- Excellent strategic thinking and analysis skills and a proven track record of creating solutions to drive client loyalty and grow revenue
- Ability to manage and grow internal and external cross functional relationships and partnerships
- Minimum of 10 years of experience working in similar role(s)
- Above all, integrity and honesty
- Entrepreneurial; willingness to work independently with the best business practices in mind
- An exceptional work ethic
- Exceptional attention to detail
- Masterful organizational skills
- An enthusiasm for coaching, teaching and the development of people
- Optimism and energy for the brand and its future
- An open and collaborative nature
- A high degree of self-awareness of one’s own personal style, strengths and weaknesses and motivational triggers
- Intellectual curiosity and enthusiasm for learning
- Action Oriented—enjoys working hard and looks for challenges; able to act and react as necessary, even if limited information is available; willing to take unpopular stands when necessary.