Job opening • Communications Director

OREGON DAIRY PRODUCTS COMMISSION

POSITION DESCRIPTION 

Communications Director 

POSITION ANNOUNCEMENT

The Oregon Dairy Products Commission (dba Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council or ODNC) is seeking a dynamic, seasoned experienced professional to join our team to lead a strategic communications initiative on behalf of Oregon’s dairy farm families and dairy processing community.  In this role, the selected individual will develop and implement the Commission’s overall strategic communications plan with oversight of five key areas:  communications, media relations, industry relations, issues and crisis management, and internal and external messaging.

Working as part of a dynamic small office team, the successful candidate will have a minimum of seven to 10 years’ professional experience in a combination of communications roles that may include journalism, investor relations, business communications, and/or public relations experience. Agriculture and food-related industries background is preferable, in addition to people management and budget administration.  Important to the success of this work is a positive attitude and an appreciation for the growth and prosperity of Oregon’s dairy industry. 

This is a management position and reports to the Executive Director. The Communications Director supervises two staff including the Digital Communications Senior Manager and Industry Relations Manager. 

Please read the Position Description thoroughly before applying. The position is based in Tigard/Portland, Oregon working a full-time hybrid schedule with defined days/hours in-office and at a home office.

APPLICATION PROCESS

Please read below for a full position description.  Initial review of applications will begin the week of April 25, 2022.  Applications will be accepted until position is filled.  

To apply, please send cover letter and resume to HR@odncouncil.org.  In the subject line note: ODNC Communications Director.  No phone calls or faxes, please. 

Qualified candidates selected for subsequent interviews will be required to provide at least three personal references. 

POSITION INFORMATION

Position Title:                          Communications Director

Position Category:                  Communications 

Agency Number:                     617000

Work Location:                       Portland, Oregon

Position:                                  Full Time 

Eligible for Overtime:              No / FLSA Exempt

PROGRAM/POSITION INFORMATION

The Communications Director leads a strategic communications plan with five key areas: communications, media relations, industry relations, issues and crisis management, and internal and external messaging.  As part of a dynamic team, the Communications Director works to ensure programming meets the overall goal of building trust in and sales of Oregon dairy foods.  This position reports to the Executive Director. 

The Oregon Dairy Products Commission (ODPC) was created in 1943 by an act of the Oregon State Legislature and represented the first industry in the state to request the authority to tax itself for the purpose of its own betterment through marketing, promotion, education and research. ODPC is one of Oregon’s industry-funded commodity commissions that operate with oversight by the Oregon Department of Agriculture’s (ODA) Commodity Commission Program, and whose statutory authority is provided specifically in ORS 576. The Commission also operates under the USDA Agricultural Marketing Services, as outlined in the National Dairy Research and Promotion Act.  The organization is funded and directed by Oregon dairy farmers and processors.  ODPC does business as Oregon Dairy and Nutrition Council (ODNC).

ODNC serves the Oregon dairy industry as a strategic resource to help the industry grow and thrive.   Our work is pre-competitive and supports the entire dairy food system – small and large, new and established farms and businesses – and the full range of dairy products.  

DESCRIPTION OF DUTIES

The Communications Director develops and implements all communications functions for the Commission with six key areas of responsibility:

Communications

  • Lead a communications program with the goal of increasing consumer belief in and trust of dairy farming and dairy foods, quality and safety. Create positive visibility for the essential nutrition dairy foods provide and the responsible way in which they are produced, from farm to table.
  • Supervise Digital Communications SR Manager and direct digital communications program plan and execution.
  • Actively participate in national, state/regional workgroups through Dairy Management, Inc., to ensure use of current content and messaging, collaboration among States and Regions, use of best practices, and application of ongoing research.
  • Perform additional communications-related assignments as directed by the Executive Director. 

Media Relations

  • Serve as the primary contact for news media.  Establish editorial contacts in consumer, business, and trade publications.  
  • Pursue feature and article placements in targeted media in support of the Commission’s objectives. Develop feature content based on success stories within Oregon’s dairy community and from content at the regional and national level.  
  • Act as a resource for media.  Deliver materials, interviews, features, case studies, facts, backgrounders, and other items in response to all media requests.  

Industry Relations

  • Supervise the Industry Relations Manager and direct the industry relations program plan and execution, which may include:  
    • Represent ODNC with allied industry groups.
    • Build dairy advocates among dairy producers, processors, and allied industry. Identify subject matter experts who can speak to issues.
    • Identify speakers and coordinate presentations for a variety of audiences and settings.  
    • Provide trainings and information for dairy advocates to help them best represent the industry through their own communications.
    • Support the Commission’s dairy farm tour program, support for thought leader farm tours, and other outreach activities. 

Issues and Crisis Management

  • Lead ongoing issues management and response.  Provide regular updates and alerts to ODNC team and industry leaders.  Determine issue response either through strategic communications plan or targeted communications.
  • Lead efforts for crisis communications, including planning, preparedness, and network building.
  • Develop and implement a set of crisis preparedness best practices and continuous improvement for staff and industry, at the farm and processing level.
  • Serve as the primary liaison to national and regional crisis preparedness teams.

Internal/External Messaging

  • Enable consistent messaging across the organization in multiple formats (social media, print, digital, web, mobile, speaking, in-person, video, and online).  Develop and maintain a style guide for ODNC.
  • Provide content guidance to program areas, helping produce effective communications to various audiences.  
  • Develop strategies and direct activities to garner visibility for successes in youth wellness, nutrition, business development, dairy industry, and consumer programming.  

Administrative

  • Develop comprehensive communication plans, strategies and budgets to support the organization’s objectives, manage and mitigate issues, and advance the organization’s positive visibility for dairy.
  • Determine best practices for reaching objectives and ensuring ongoing measurement and reporting of results.
  • Lead and supervise the communications team.
  • Ensure ongoing liaison with regional counterparts and national dairy organizations.

SUPERVISORY DUTIES

The Communications Director supervises two staff including Digital Communications Senior Manager and Industry Relations Manager.

DECISION MAKING

  • Manages priorities to meet program and strategic objectives within established timelines and budget.
  • Exercises good judgment and discretion in handling confidential matters and information in accordance with the Commission’s Employment Policies.
  • Ability to make difficult decisions as they pertain to budgeting, program, and employment matters.
  • Supervises and mentors direct reports to support each individual’s professional development.

REVIEW OF WORK

Performance is reviewed on an annual basis by the Executive Director. 

WORKING CONDITIONS

  • Applicant must have, or be able to obtain, a valid driver’s license and have a good driving record or be able to provide an acceptable method of transportation and must carry full liability insurance coverage (personal injury and property damage) in at the least the minimum amounts required by state law.
  • The individual will be expected to work a full-time hybrid schedule.  Occasional overnight travel and work during weekend and evening hours may be required.  The position is not eligible for overtime.
  • This position is based in Portland/Tigard, Oregon.

GUIDELINES

The Communications Director must become familiar with applicable statutes, rules, policies, and procedures of the State of Oregon, and as they relate to a commodity commission marketing and promotions program. In addition, the individual will understand national policy as it relates to qualified dairy checkoff programs under USDA Agricultural Marketing Services. 

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS, SKILLS AND ABILITIES

Qualifications

  • Candidates selected for consideration will have seven to 10 years’ minimum professional experience in any combination of news reporting, journalism, investor relations, business communications, and/or public relations experience. 
  • Degree in communications, journalism, or public relations is highly desirable.  Master’s degree a plus.
  • Ability to accommodate overnight business travel and work occasional evenings and weekends.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Proven ability in program development and management. Experienced in successfully setting strategy and goals, measuring and delivering program results in a business setting.
  • Proven strong experience in developing story content, making presentations, and storytelling in a meaningful format under deadline is a must.  Newsroom or other reporting experience is a plus.
  • Proven experience and skills in working with members of the media in various formats.  High level of familiarity with news reporting, news cycles, information channels, content development, and editorial standards and practices. 
  • Experience with all media formats including social, digital, print, virtual, and video.
  • Knowledge of, or exposure to, agriculture and food-related industries is desirable.
  • Demonstrated success in creating working relationships and professional networks.
  • Strong leadership, supervisory management, budgetary experience and teamwork capabilities.
  • Ability to handle changing priorities, multiple projects, on multiple topics with varying timelines.
  • Proven skills in persuasion, influence, strategy, creativity, analytics, and organizational abilities are a must.
  • Microsoft Office 365 skills and experience.

COMPENSATION

As an agency of the State of Oregon, the Commission provides a benefit package including PEBB medical, vision and dental insurance; paid vacation, three paid personal days, sick leave and holidays; employee assistance program (EAP), and; contribution toward Oregon PERS state retirement plan.  Options for life and disability insurance are available. This is a full-time, salaried position and is not eligible for overtime compensation.

Starting Salary Range:  $ 90,000 to $97,000 depending on experience.

The Oregon Dairy Products Commission is an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). Qualified applicants are considered for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, national origin, marital status, disability, political affiliation, belief, or veteran status.