The Director of External Communications is responsible for the development and execution of external corporate and brand communications in line with the business strategy including proactive corporate and brand reputation management, stakeholder engagement, executive visible leadership, issues and crisis management, media relations, and sustainability initiatives.
The role will work across our portfolio of brands helping to integrate purpose and amplify the brands’ strategic platforms. The Director of External Affairs proactively establishes Mars Petcare and our brands as industry thought leaders with external stakeholder and government relations programs, working closely with the global Petcare and Mars, Inc Public Affairs teams.
Additionally, this Associate serves in leadership roles across the business including sitting on the Pet Nutrition Global Corporate Affairs leadership team, lead External and Public affairs team for Global Pet Nutrition, and serving as the communications lead on the Pet Nutrition issues/crisis team. The Director of External Affairs will also play a role in driving the global reputation agenda.
What are we looking for?
Education & Professional Qualifications:
· Minimum 15 years relevant professional experience in related work or corporate communications
· Bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing, journalism or associated profession is required, or the equivalent combination of education, training and experience.
Knowledge / Experience:
· Proven success in leading communications across multiple brands and businesses.
· Proven success in building effective and engaged teams
· Advanced degree preferred
· CPG and/or Agency experience a plus
· Experience leading sustainability communications and programming is a plus
· Experience in public affairs and stakeholder engagement is a plus
· Experience as a corporate spokesperson
· Ability to travel
What will be your key responsibilities?
- Drive the long- and short-term Global Pet Nutrition external communications strategy, objectives and programs to further our purpose: A BETTER WORLD FOR PETS – including Brand PR, corporate communications, strategic counsel, media strategy, digital and social strategy, story development, proactive news bureau, agency management, community outreach, giving strategy, cause-related marketing efforts and sponsorships.
- Responsible for people management, engagement and talent development of the Global Pet Nutrition External Communications team and contributes to overall CA team people strategy.
- Establish best practices across all external Corporate Affairs efforts working in close collaboration with key internal and external partners.
- Develop and drive effective and engaging media strategy and develop strategic relationships with top tier media, key opinion leaders and other stakeholders.
- Lead crisis/issues communication strategy to minimize situations that can be threatening and or financially damaging to the company, the brands or the sites where we operate globally across Pet Nutrition.
- Play an active role in the global external communications community, providing perspective and engagement on global issues and reputation building.
- Fill critical role as company and brand spokesperson with diverse external audiences.
- Drive the strategic direction of Brand PR and corporate communications agencies, including identifying and recommending preferred agency partners, providing clear direction and expectations to agencies and managing and measuring their performance tied to business objectives.
- Co-lead and support the One Mars Petcare team on cross-pet business activation and reputation efforts.
- Establish and maintain relationships with key external stakeholders (consumer and professional organizations, community leaders and government officials, pet trade groups, non-profits/NGOs and consumer advocacy groups) in an effort to enhance and protect the company’s reputation.
- On 24-hour call representing MPN to:1) minimize situations that can be threatening and or financially damaging to the company, the brands or the sites where we operate; and 2) take advantage of opportunities to positively position MPN
- Assume VP of Corporate Affairs’ responsibilities during his/her absence as necessary
What can you expect from Mars?
- Work with over 130,000 diverse and talented Associates, all guided by the Five Principles.
- Join a purpose driven company, where we’re striving to build the world we want tomorrow, today.
- Best-in-class learning and development support from day one, including access to our in-house Mars University.
- An industry competitive salary and benefits package, including company bonus.
Mars is an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. If you need assistance or an accommodation during the application process because of a disability, it is available upon request. The company is pleased to provide such assistance, and no applicant will be penalized as a result of such a request.
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