Severe weather disrupts lives, displaces families, and drives financial loss. The Insurance Institute for Business & Home Safety (IBHS) delivers top-tier science and translates it into action so we can prevent avoidable suffering, strengthen homes and businesses, and support thriving communities. IBHS is an independent, nonprofit 501 (C), scientific research and communications organization supported by property insurers and reinsurers. IBHS’s building safety research leads to real-world solutions for home and business owners, helping to create more resilient communities.
The Communications Director will support the organization’s objectives by developing and driving strategy for creative and effective communications programs that grow awareness of IBHS science and inspire audience action. This position reports to the Managing Director, Communications & Media and is part of a team of communicators and content creators, including specialists in public relations, social media, graphic design, web content strategy and executive communications who bring audiences inside the natural perils of high wind (hurricanes, tornadoes), hail and wildfire, and provide actionable guidance to strengthen and prepare homes and businesses to end the repeated cycle of damage.
To perform the job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. Reasonable accommodation may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.
• Proven well-rounded, multi-channel communicator with a strong media relations skillset, from developing newsworthy media angles and writing content to building reporter relationships, equally adept at and comfortable with strategy and hands-on execution
• A passion for designing and implementing effective public relations strategy and programming, from ideation to execution, to build reputation and awareness for IBHS’s science and research-backed solutions to reduce the impact of natural disasters
• Ability to plan and leverage a variety of written and visual content across communications channels, including through news media, social media, websites, employee communications, and IBHS Member communications
• Generates compelling ideas to capitalize on IBHS-exclusive visual content, including from ongoing testing at our Research Center in Richberg, SC – the only one of its kind in the world – on the ground post-disaster (storm or wildfire) investigations, and periodic research demonstrations for media and influencers
• Excels at bold thinking and creative ideas that can advance IBHS’s position as a credible, respected, science-based thought leader and resource, yet in a style approachable enough to serve as a trusted guide to homeowners and business owners as they prepare for severe weather and wildfire
• Lead brand positioning and narrative development to enable effective, action-oriented storytelling that elevates the Institute’s research in a variety of settings, including events, speaking engagements, public announcements, research updates, guidance and education, and media relations
• Work with internal business partners to explore and develop campaign strategies to bring homeowners and business owners inside severe weather events to compel them to take action to reduce their risk
• Support an executive thought leadership program for several leaders to amplify the Institute’s messages and mission to externally engage members of the disaster preparedness community through a proactive program that leverages content, public appearances, and industry events
• Poised and able to partner with IBHS Member companies to develop ideas, provide content and arrange access to IBHS researchers to support their communications programs
• Partner with multiple internal and external stakeholders, including other organizations with a shared interest in severe weather and wildfire preparedness and resilient building, on integrated communications campaigns and initiatives
• Collaborate with creative contributors, product managers, public policy leaders, researchers, and executives across the organization to constantly seek and evaluate new opportunities to advance the Institute’s industry leadership
• Leverage analytics to evaluate the effectiveness of and optimize communications programs
• Ensure excellence and innovation on all communications output
• Contribute to helping ensure the team remains up-to-date on new advancements in communications and embraces a culture of constant evolution to keep the Institute ahead of the curve on new channels, techniques, and strategies
• Ability to partner with and manage agency partners, including public relations firm and design resources, co-creating programs and ensuring quality work
• Ability to lead by influence in a matrix environment
• The dynamic nature of public communications requires support at critical points in time, some nights, weekends, and travel may be required
Big picture strategic thinker, with proven ability to drive execution. Fosters a cohesive, supportive work environment. Focuses on achieving results in an effective and timely manner. Can clearly convey goals and expectations. Communicates ideas persuasively. Paves the way for positive change. Contributes to formulating objectives and priorities. Implements plans consistent with the long-term interests of the organization. Capitalizes on opportunities and manages risks.
Focus on quality
Sets high quality standards and strives for continuous improvement and quality assurance.
Planning and organizing
The ability to determine goals and priorities. To assess actions, time and resources to achieve goals. Completes assigned work within defined time frames and competing priorities.
Relates to internal and external customers in an open and friendly manner. Values teamwork and collaboration. Must have excellent interpersonal and communicative skills, as well as demonstrate sound leadership and decision-making ability in partnership with others.
Enthusiastic to be both a hands-on content creator as well as a strategist. Self-starter, with the ability to think on feet and show excellent judgment.
The ability and willingness to relate to internal and external business partners in an open and friendly manner to achieve desired outcomes.
Adherence to standards, values and rules of conduct associated with IBHS culture. Exhibits high levels of trustworthiness with confidential information or documents.
Able to seed digital mindset and creative excellence in a matrix structure. Gives positive and critical feedback on written and visual content that is timely and direct. Demonstrates personal growth and learning.
Attention to detail
High attention to detail, especially with regards to grammar, voice, and tone. The ability to process detailed information effectively and consistently with excellent output.
The ability to absorb new information from a variety of sources in a short time frame. Can use new information to improve processes and decision-making.
Works as a team member, treats others with respect, reflects a positive attitude. Displays personal commitment to the workplace is punctual and manages time off appropriately.
Critical thinking and decisiveness
Ability to define problems or obstacles, consider alternatives and consequences and offers workable solutions. Seeks appropriate advice when necessary. Comfortable working in a fast-paced environment, successfully managing multiple programs at any given time
Knowledge, skills and abilities:
• Education/Experience – 10+ years of communications experience, including 7+ years of hands-on media relations experience. Ideal candidate will also have experience with employee communications, executive communications, social media and/or marketing communications. Four-year degree required. Position competencies and KSA’s are typical of a person with 8-10+ years similar experience. Media relations enthusiast a must. Experience with and independent user of social platforms (Facebook/Facebook Stories, Twitter, Instagram/Instagram Stories, Pinterest, LinkedIn, YouTube, etc.) is a plus. Four-year degree required. Position competencies and KSA’s are typical of a person with 8-10+ years similar experience
• Computer Skills – Advanced proficiency with Microsoft and familiarity with media relations databases and tools like Cision, Meltwater or similar program. Experience with social media listening and measurement tools is a plus. Familiarity with Adobe Creative products is a plus
• Language Skills – Able to interact and influence at an executive level. Advanced proficiency with the English language in writing, editing and speaking Intermediate proficiency in editing and proofreading, demonstrating attention to detail, accuracy and presentation of information with the end user in mind
• Mathematical Skills – Ability to perform mathematical calculations at the pre-Algebra level; ability to determine time frames, scheduling and distance; ability to conceptualize alternative plans and consequences regarding time, distance and money
• Reasoning Skills – Ability to exercise good judgment under limited supervision. Can apply common sense understanding to carry out detailed, but uncomplicated written or oral instructions. Ability to deal with problems involving few concrete variables in standardized situations. Ability to multi-task
• Creativity Skills – Advanced ability to turn new and imaginative ideas into reality. Creativity is characterized by the ability to see IBHS research and surroundings in new ways, to find hidden patterns, to make connections between seemingly unrelated phenomena and to generate solutions
• Presentation Skills – Ability to deliver information to a varied audience and impart knowledge transfer. Critical thinking and ability to think on one’s feet are necessary. High levels of charisma or ability to work the audience to ensure high engagement is essential
• Writing Skills – Advanced ability to write and edit for accuracy, as well as audience, grammar, punctuation, spelling, clarity, voice and style
Work is performed indoors and outdoors, climate adjusted with mild noise and light fluctuations. The environment will fluctuate between office setting and minimal field work with a variety of environmental effects.
• Sedentary work – Exerting up to 10 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up-to the negligible amount of force frequently
• Visual Acuity – Close visual acuity to perform an activity such as computer typing, extensive reading, preparing and analyzing reports, documenting minutes of a meeting
• Hearing – Perceiving the nature of sounds at normal speaking levels with or without correction. Ability to receive detailed information through oral communication, and to make the discriminations in sound
• Repetitive motion – Substantial movements (motions) of the wrists, hands, and/or fingers
• Talking – Expressing or exchanging ideas by means of the spoken word. Those activities in which they must convey detailed or important spoken instructions to other workers accurately, loudly, or quickly
• Feeling – Perceiving attributes of objects, such as size, shape, temperature or texture by touching with skin, particularly that of fingertips
• Fingering – Picking, pinching, typing or otherwise working, primarily with fingers rather than with the whole hand as in handling
• Sitting – Particularly for extended periods of time
• Grasping – Applying pressure to an object with the fingers and palm