Position Summary: The Vice President of Communications is responsible for creating and maintaining a high level of visibility around the activities, mission, vision and values of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops, as well as the Cincinnati May Festival. This individual will build strategies that enhances the organization’s global, national and local reputation and stature, supports the institution’s branding and audience development efforts, and ensures the institution’s story is being told. The Vice President is the leading champion for communications to all key internal and external stakeholders and drives heightened awareness externally through traditional public relations channels and emerging communication technology mediums.
Communication activities intersect with all aspects of the organization. The Vice President must work cross-functionally in close coordination of activities across departments to ensure alignment on organizational goals.
Representative Duties and Responsibilities:
With the President & CEO develop and lead a communications strategy to fulfill the organization’s mission, vision and strategic objectives.
Maintain a positive and close working relationships with the organization’s artistic leadership.
Champion a compelling communications storytelling strategy for the organization’s diversity, equity & inclusion (DE&I) plans; long-term strategic plan; and mission, vision and values.
Leverage organization’s robust and growing digital presence in service of these goals.
Develop and champion a communications strategy and key message points for each season:
Establish a strategy and goals well in advance of the season that conveys the organization’s artistic vision and ladders into the overall mission/vision/values.
Refine strategy as season progresses, reporting to the President & CEO.
Ensure alignment with this communication strategy throughout the organization, providing context, standards and guidelines.
Commission visual (video and photography) content to support verbal messaging across multiple platforms.
Ensure communications are prepared and reviewed through a DE&I lens, inculcating internal and external input as appropriate.
Oversee all facets of media relations:
Nurture responsive and constructive relationships with local, national, international and industry media contacts.
Leverage high-profile announcements to garner media attention and buzz. Plan and execute large media announcements and track and measure response.
Oversee development and deployment of timely and well-constructed media releases and alerts.
Ensure the Communications Department has a real time, comprehensive understanding of ongoing and season-specific activities, and identify and cultivate media outlets to raise awareness of prioritized activities.
Align overall communications plan with departmental objectives with an emphasis on attracting and engaging new audiences of the CSO, Pops and May Festival
Provide media training and messaging to CSO spokespersons.
Serve as point person for all crisis communications.
Identify and align on a set of key metrics to evaluate success.
Monitor progress to goals and respond to feedback in order to improve results.
Work in coordination with Director of Marketing - Music & Event Management, Inc.
Provide oversight of key institutional communication tools:
Oversee organic social content and calendars across multiple social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Explore and make the institutional case for presence on additional platforms that support the organization’s communications strategy.
Oversee organic social media content calendar. Work cross-departmentally to ensure the Orchestra’s program books are industry-leading publications that reinforce the organization’s mission, vision and values. Evolve the physical program book to a digital publication that supports the organization’s increasing digital presence.
Ensure content is produced at the highest level, in accordance with the organization’s stated DE&I toolkit objectives and content production guidelines.
Support releases of recordings and leverage all electronic media activity (recordings, streaming and broadcasts) as part of broader communications strategy.
Contribute to email calendar and write/edit/deploy emails as needed.
Lead media content development, e.g., video, digital media, podcasts, to raise the stature of the organization. Align these efforts with Marketing to ensure social networking platforms support audience development efforts.
Ensure that community-based initiatives are integrated into organizational storytelling. Seek opportunities to align community asset-based storytelling with the CSO’s story.
Oversee internal communications:
Actively communicate key successes, needs and important institutional information to CSO staff, board, musicians and artistic leadership.
Remain open to and synthesize feedback from key stakeholders to inform ongoing plans.
Develop regular progress reports for senior management team and CSO Board of Directors.
Oversee the Communications Department:
Develop a culture of open debate of options, and assertiveness to choose the best path forward with accountability for results.
Set objectives for team members consistent with the strategic plan and linked to performance outcomes.
Develop and adhere to the departmental budget, allocating resources to the highest impact opportunities.
Manage a team that includes the Director of Communications and multiple contractors.
Work cross-functionally to achieve departmental and strategic plan objectives:
Maintain strong, productive relationships across departments to ensure that the organization’s clearly articulated communications strategy is effectively advanced.
Guide senior staff toward potential opportunities that surface.
Perform concert duty:
Regularly attend CSO and Pops concerts and events, assisting critics and media partners, and serving as an onsite advocate among key stakeholders.
Serve as the media contact for CSO and Pops concerts on domestic and international tours.
Other duties as assigned
Reporting Relationship: The Vice President of Communications reports to the President & CEO, serves on the senior management team and acts as a liaison with members of the Board of Directors.
Highly strategic thinker with proven track record of leading communications strategy and initiatives that drive interest and engagement across multiple stakeholder groups, including media.
Knowledge of and passion for classical orchestra music.
Focus on timely execution in a fast-paced environment with high accountability and a strong drive for results.
Ability to work collaboratively and effectively with internal and external stakeholders to advance strategic objectives.
Deep experience and skill in public relations, coupled with broad relationships with national media classical arts writers
Strong leadership and managerial skills with the ability to prioritize activities of the Communications team.
Understanding of emerging communication technologies.
Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to act independently with community leaders.
Strong verbal and writing skills to present a polished image of the institution.
As the CSO positions itself during this pandemic as a leading digital-first performing arts organization, the successful candidate will demonstrate their ability to leverage this unique moment to drive and sustain a clear, compelling institutional message strategy.
About Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
Comprised of the world’s finest musicians, the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra aims to fulfill its mission: to seek and share inspiration. A cornerstone of the Cincinnati arts community, the CSO’s vision is to engage audiences and community better than any other orchestra in the world. The CSO, which also performs and records as the Cincinnati Pops Orchestra, presents over 100 concerts and events annually.
As one of the oldest symphony orchestras in the United States, the CSO has achieved international critical acclaim and an operating budget that consistently places it among America’s top 10 orchestras. An Andrew W. Mellon Foundation and National Endowment for the Arts grant recipient the CSO serves as an ambassador for Greater Cincinnati to the world through national and international tours and an extensive Grammy-winning recording catalog, with over 10 million recordings sold worldwide. The success of the CSO is predicated by its values: it is an orchestra determined for greatness and committed to experimentation that serves as Cincinnati’s ambassador to the world and remains devoted to the Cincinnati community.