Job Listing: Communications & Engagement Director

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Mid-Ohio Regional Planning Commission Published: January 6, 2019
Columbus, Ohio
Job Type


Description: Serves as the agency's chief communications and engagement officer and leads the agency’s public information, engagement, membership, and events programming.  Responsible for developing and implementing effective public relations strategies that protect and enhance MORPC’s reputation.  Provides leadership throughout the agency and to local governments on related initiatives, public information, strategic approaches, and collaborative efforts. The director establishes budgets and sets direction for an annual department plan and priorities. Manages a creative, experienced team. Reports directly to the executive director and serves as a member of the agency’s senior leadership team.

Examples of Work

  • Develops MORPC’s coordinated approach to ensure robust communications, media, events, and membership strategies for all agency programs and services.
  • Develops both long-term plans and annual work plans to ensure they are consistent with the department and MORPC’s mission, vision, values, policies, strategic plan, and annual work plan.
  • Directs, reviews, monitors, and develops team performance based on the achievement of department and agency outcomes.
  • Provides meaningful guidance and strategic advice to executive director, senior leadership team, and MORPC members and to other communities and entities on questions about agency policies, best practices, and programming relating to communications and engagement.
  • Responsible for advancing and overseeing critical aspects of MORPC’s diversity and inclusion plan, developing strategies for robust and diverse engagement and public information, and leading and/or participating in similar programs to enhance opportunities for new and diverse voices to participate in MORPC’s various boards, events, and activities. Prepares and presents updates for the Executive Committee, the Commission, and the MORPC leadership team.
  • Able to think creatively, approach communications from new angles, and work collaboratively with other departments and programs to achieve agency and programmatic communications and public information goals.
  • Focuses on building upon the agency’s brand and supporting multiple departmental and program marketing and community outreach goals.
  • Develops and supports partnerships and initiatives to benefit MORPC’s members and to enhance our reputation as a leading regional organization.
  • Works closely with, acts as a trusted senior advisor to, and supports the executive director, officers, and senior management on messaging, speaking opportunities, media requests, internal communications, commission affairs, board relations, and more.
  • Leads and/or assists the executive director and efforts throughout the agency in developing collaborations, resources, grants, and fundraising efforts, including grant development and management, to support interdepartmental efforts and additional services for MORPC member communities and their residents.
  • Serves as lead staff to necessary Commission external and internal initiatives, OARC and NARC committees, and community working groups or other efforts as required. Assists MORPC Executive Committee as needed.
  • Oversees and directs strategic development of a member services plan as well as ongoing membership development, recruitment, retention, and engagement.
  • Establishes and maintains close communication and effective working relationships with Executive Director, Executive Committee, Commission leaders, department heads, community partners and funders.
  • Represents Executive Director and/or the Commission before governmental bodies and other public meetings.
  • Attends professional meetings and stays current on professional development, certifications, and new developments in associated fields and programs. Supports leadership and professional development within the department and agency.
  • Actively supports MORPC's Affirmative Action Plan, Equal Employment Opportunity, Code of Ethics, and other MORPC policies.
  • Assists the executive director, board, and department heads in the coordination, development, update, and/or implementation of strategic initiatives.
  • Develops department budget semi-annually, projects revenues and expenditures for new and existing programs. Monitors and controls expenditures and takes appropriate steps to reduce costs and obtain additional revenue.  Directs the development of budgets of special marketing campaigns, projects, and events.
  • Oversees the planning and implementation of the agency’s annual and special events. Obtain additional revenue for events and projects through sponsorship and other fundraising strategies.
  • Assists with the organization’s overall efforts to increase revenue and diversify funding sources.
  • Creates, communicates, and implements agency’s public information, communication, graphic design, social media, website, and other related policies.
  • Attends all meetings of the Commission and appropriate committee meetings to report progress and assist in making recommendations.
  • Evaluates the effectiveness of programs and projects. Drops, adds or revises programs as appropriate. Develops and implements continuous improvement processes within the department as needed.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Required Knowledge, Skills and Abilities
Ability to handle multiple projects, prioritize, and proactively initiate change and new strategies. Experience in leading strategic planning and execution of communications plans and in working with all forms of media. Advanced understanding of public information and participation processes as well as local government concerns and necessities and regional approaches. History of anticipating topics and the skills to be strategic, proactive, and innovative. Ability to effectively lead a professional team and counsel senior team leaders and board members on communications and engagement matters. Strong media relationships and experience as a media spokesperson. Advanced knowledge, skills, and understanding of digital and social marketing. Understanding of current management and office practices and Microsoft Office computer applications.  Willingness to use personal vehicle with mileage reimbursement to conduct MORPC business.  Essential functions include the ability to use telephone and computer and to participate in meetings and events outside the office and during evenings and weekends.

Acceptable Experience and Training
Bachelor's Degree and a minimum of eight (8) years progressively responsible experience in communications, public affairs, engagement or related positions including at least five (5) years in management of programs and staff involving budgeting, fundraising, and supervision.  A Master's Degree in communications, journalism, public administration, planning, or related field preferred. A Master’s Degree may substitute for two (2) years of management or professional experience.  Professional experience with local, state, or regional government is preferred.

Must have valid driver’s license, good driving record and maintain liability insurance coverage as required by MORPC.

Excellent benefit package. MORPC is an EOE/AAP employer. Please apply online at (http://www NULL.morpc or complete an application at MORPC, 111 Liberty St., Suite 100, Columbus, OH 43215. ATTN: P&GA-1-19,

No phone calls please. (http://www NULL.morpc