Public Relations Manager - Chicago, IL

Position Description:
The Public Relations Manager’s primary responsibility is to seek visibility for the organization through public relations/communication campaigns and earned media relations, partnering closely with our marketing communications and digital communications teams. The position will support leaders in our field offices on local media relations efforts resulting in features highlighting the organization’s mission and income development programs. This position will build and manage relationships with media contacts for the organization. The Manager will help lead efforts to communicate and uphold a national nonprofit’s reputation, brand and messaging tied to its mission to a wide variety of audiences including: the corporate and organization business community, private sector, donors and prospects, related organizations and associations, partners, policymakers, and consumers interested in supporting our mission.

Responsibilities:
- Garner national and regional earned media attention for MDA.
- Create communications and publicity materials including, but not limited to, press releases, pitch letters, organization statements and media alerts.
- Provide strategic public relations counsel to leaders in Income Development, Research, Healthcare Services and Advocacy.
- Proactively identify, create, pitch and follow up on media opportunities for the organization, and field media inquiries.
- Coordinate external distribution of communication materials, including building media lists.
- Work in tandem with appropriate leadership on breaking news situations.
- Identify media trends, news cycles and relevant opportunities for visibility tied to our programs.
- Help establish, follow and support compliance of nationwide branding, messaging and creative services guidelines.
- Coordinate and distribute weekly internal communications email to all staff.
- Create daily media captures of relevant news including neurology research, pharmaceutical, income development and general human interest stories.
- Analyze, measure results of and report on communications and media projects.
- Responsible for securing and managing media-vendor relationships and contracts.

Competencies:
- Interpersonal Skills: Focuses on solving conflict, not blaming; Maintains confidentiality; Listens to others without interrupting; Keeps emotions under control; Remains open to others' ideas and tries new things.
- Oral/Written Communication: Speaks clearly and persuasively in positive or negative situations; Listens and gets clarification; Responds well to questions; Demonstrates group presentation skills; Participates in meetings. Writes clearly and informatively; Edits work for spelling and grammar; Varies writing style to meet needs; Presents numerical data effectively; Able to read and interpret written information.
- Organizational Support: Follows policies and procedures; Completes administrative tasks correctly and on time. Supports organization's goals and values; Benefits organization through outside activities; Supports affirmative action and respects diversity.
- Judgment: Displays willingness to make decisions; Exhibits sound and accurate judgment; Supports and explains reasoning for decisions; Includes appropriate people in decision-making process; Makes timely decisions.

Qualifications:
Experience
- Bachelor's degree or equivalent, preferably in journalism, communications, public relations, marketing or related field.
- At least 2 years of media, public relations and/or communications experience, ideally for a large organization with a widespread community presence, with demonstrated portfolio of proof of performance, i.e., media clips, media reports, strategic pitching materials, etc.
- Proven ability to cultivate and secure media in a variety of traditional and digital media outlets with proven skill in initiating and responding to media inquiries.
- Experience in developing and leading communications initiatives different levels.

Skills
- Strong writing, editing, interpersonal, diplomatic and verbal communication skills required.
- Must possess highly evolved teamwork skills as well as strong time management skills.
- Strong and effective leader and counselor with a documented track record of success helping organizations secure positive, prominent publicity.
- Disciplined planner, who knows to chart the proper course first, then produces high quality publicity and communications plans that enable successful outcomes.
- Highly collaborative and strong consensus builder; capable of exercising positive influence in driving outcomes.
- Excellent project management skills and client-centered orientation.
- Demonstrated ability to leverage new and emerging communications channels.
- Desire and ability to thrive in fast-paced, resource-constrained environment.

MDA is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability, or protected veteran status.


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