Director of Marketing Communications

Organization: The Chicago Zoological Society (AZA Member)
Location: Brookfield, IL, Country
Job or Internship: Job

Since the opening of Brookfield Zoo in 1934, the Society has had an international reputation for taking a cutting-edge role in animal care and conservation of the natural world. The Society is an active partner in wildlife protection programs around the world, including the Sarasota Dolphin Research Program, the world’s longest-running study of bottlenose dolphins. We have pioneered the field of conservation psychology, the study of how people connect with animals and nature. We are able to reach so many audiences each year, including 2 million zoo guests engaged by unique exhibits and programs; some 250,000 schoolchildren, campers, and families who participate in award-winning science education programs; nearly 24,000 teachers who take part in our professional development workshops; and, diverse communities across Chicagoland. The animals at Brookfield Zoo are ambassadors to those in the wild. Through care and breeding and, in some cases, reintroduction to their natural habitat, we replenish nature many times over. Thanks to generous donations, thousands of animals representing 400 species receive state-of-the-art care through top-notch medical, husbandry, and nutrition programs. In fact, animal care technologies developed at Brookfield Zoo are employed in 165 countries. And, you can be a part of that.

As the Director of Marketing Communications, you will: Assist Vice President of Marketing and Communications (“Vice President”) with day-to-day management of staff and their progressive professional development. Also assists Vice President with management of all department functions, including: marketing and communications plan development, establishing metrics of success and profit and loss projections, effective plan execution, budget management, and post implementation assessment. Hires and supervises assigned employees, including but not limited to selection, orientation, training and development, performance coaching, management, and reviews, and recommendation of appropriate employment actions. Effectively develops staff to take on increasing responsibility in order to achieve stated goals of the department. Oversees interactive/digital marketing efforts via Internet, social media, and mobile platforms with the primary objective of engaging consumers in a manner relevant to their lifestyle which will subsequently influence their leisure planning or purchase decisions. Responsible for the ongoing development of a vibrant website that dynamically represents the Society’s brand and institution, that is also seamlessly adaptable to mobile platforms. Develops plan to ensure a continuing dialogue with guests through social media and other digital means. Assist Vice President in the development and progressive evolution of the Society’s brand strategy and establishing and maintaining global recognition of the brand. Coordinates direction to all involved agencies on strategic direction regarding media planning, media/creative production, and Web/digital program development. Works directly with Communications Manager to coordinate consumer communication priorities, synchronizes communication timing, and ensures consistency of message through all consumer touch points. Monitors all internal and external communication channels to ensure consistency of brand representation. Assess future potential of grass-roots marketing outreach and promotions programs and negotiates impactful Society presence in those with the highest impact potential. In cooperation with Creative Service and Plant & Facilities, develops on-site marketing communications plan that ensures a quality guest experience. Actively participates in and supports the annual employee engagement survey and action planning process. Encourages maximum survey participation, shares survey results, works to improve survey scores, and engages all reporting staff in the action planning process. Facilitates regular survey discussions and the creation of specific action plans for improvement, including SMART measures, timelines, and specific employee accountabilities. Monitors and documents progress. Incorporates survey action planning into regular work group/department meetings on an ongoing basis. Holds reporting managers and staff accountable for implementation of action plans, continuous improvement and improvement of survey results. Shares actions and successes within and outside the work group/department. Other duties as assigned.

The requirements for the position include:

Bachelor of Arts/Sciences in Marketing or Communications or equivalent combination of training and/or experience required.

Minimum seven years directly relevant experience in marketing with a minimum five years in a marketing leadership capacity with responsibility for staff management and multi-faceted strategic development.

A strong complementary background along with minimum five years experience working on interactive, digital marketing and social media strategic development is also required.

Demonstrated experience initiating strategic marketing communication and media campaigns.

Proven track record in creative development and employing multi-channel communications; developing and managing budgets, and producing quality deliverables within stated timeframes.

Proven ability to think, plan and act strategically and deal with changing priorities, emergent issues, multiple projects, and clients simultaneously.

Strong interpersonal and communication skills, including verbal, written, listening, and presentation skills.

Must be articulate and able to represent the organization effectively and in a professional manner both internally and externally.

Must be strategic in orientation, proactive, persistent, and helpful.

Must be able to handle multiple projects simultaneously and work within a very fast-paced environment with rapidly shifting priorities.

Computer proficiency required: Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.

Valid driver’s license required for Illinois residents within 90 days of hire; valid out-of-state license required for out-of-state residents.

The desirable/preferred qualifications include:

Masters degree in Marketing or Communications or equivalent combination of training/experience preferred.

Experience in tourism or leisure marketing strongly preferred.

Experience in marketing communications or publicity is a definite plus.

Multilingual ability Spanish fluency a plus.

Additional Information: This position description summarizes the primary duties and functions of this position, but should not be considered a complete listing of every duty the incumbent may ever be called upon to perform. It is a highly visible position, interacting with all internal departments as well as the entire range of external constituencies. The incumbent’s energy, creativity, and commitment to the mission of the organization will reflect the importance of the Society, its conservation purpose, and its diverse programs and offerings, the Chicago Zoological Society and the Brookfield Zoo, and the organization’s image and brand in the local Chicago metropolitan marketplace, as well as on the national and international stage. Incumbent is required to gain an intimate understanding of the organization, its mission, vision, values, and operating philosophies, and how marketing activities impact the operation and success of all aspects of the organization. Works closely with senior managers and other staff to plan and provide a full range of services in support of a comprehensive marketing program. Incumbent must be able to maintain a sensitive balance between bottom line and Society mission, goals and objectives, internal and external relationships, program quality, and effectiveness. Must have a high level of energy, be self-motivated, results-oriented, confident, customer oriented, and have strong people skills. He/she must be highly flexible and able to respond and adapt to changes. Must be able to establish and maintain a strong rapport and positive relationships with senior managers, staff, and external clients. Incumbent must enjoy a challenge, be passionate about his/her work, embrace the organization’s mission and ethic of caring and conservation, and have a commitment to excellence. Normal workweeks of 50 hours+ are not unusual. Individual will be expected to be present and visible at marketing events and other events sponsored by the Society for its employees and other professional participants and audiences, including evenings, early mornings, and weekends as needed. Some occasional local and domestic travel may be required. Thus, individual must be prepared to make a significant commitment to the organization.

The Chicago Zoological Society is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Affirmative Action Employer - M/F/V/D. If interested in being considered for this opportunity, please visit the CZS Career Center at to obtain more details about the position and to apply by submitting your profile to Requisition Number #1164.