Coordinator, Communications and Public Relations

Organization: Shedd Aquarium (AZA Member)
Location: Chicago, IL, Country
Job or Internship: Job

Position Summary:

This is a full-time Coordinator, Communications & Public Relations position. This position works directly with the Manager of Communications and Public Relations to implement daily public relations strategies and tactics that position Shedd Aquarium as the top cultural attraction in Chicago and the country, as well as a leading global conservation organization worldwide.

Responsibilities and Duties:

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES include the following. Other duties may be assigned. To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

- Demonstrate commitment to Shedd's vision, mission and values.

- Work closely with the Vice President and Manager of Communications & Public Relations to develop and implement annual and day-to-day strategic public relations efforts to support Aquarium's integrated communications plans.

- Secure impactful media placements and develop content and messages that reinforce the significance and relevancy of Shedd while advancing the aquarium's mission. Establish and maintain strong relationships with local, national and international media and external affairs representatives.

- Work with the Communications & Public Relations Specialist to oversee the development implementation of story ideas, press releases, media advisories and targeted pitches.

- Participate in strategic planning meetings and project plan development.

- Develop and manage strategies for contributed content on Shedd's online, high-profile media channels. Seek new opportunities for editorial and multimedia placements that deliver thought leadership, engage audiences or create top-of-mind awareness for Shedd and its programs. Cultivate relationships with influential bloggers and online editors.

- Work with the Vice President of Communications and Public Relations and Executive Vice President to support implementation of external affairs programs, identify potential partnerships, support unique opportunities for elected officials and other VIP guests, and participates in strategic planning efforts.

- Provide internal media/spokesperson trainings, message trainings for guest experience staff and new employees, participate in crisis/reputation management-associated communications, and develop internal roll-outs of new programs/offerings for staff education as needed.

- Contribute to aquarium-wide internal communications strategies and tactics, including SheddNet, Town Hall meetings, staff communications and other projects.

- Coordinate with different departments for spokesperson requests, on-site media filming, monitors interviews with Aquarium personnel and responds to media inquiries. Serve as aquarium spokesperson as appropriate.

- Work with Marketing and Online Communications teams to integrate messaging and editorial strategies for Shedd's website, promotions and social media content.

- Represent External Affairs & Communications department internally on appropriate strategic teams; and externally at community and professional organizations.

- Manage public relations intern and volunteer day-to-day assignments and provide mentorship opportunities.

- Complete special projects as assigned by the Manager and Vice President of Communications and Public Relations.



Bachelor's degree in communications-related field emphasizing public relations and writing skills.


Minimum 5 to 7 years of competitive experience in public relations field emphasizing media relations, project management.

Preferred: Experience with public relations agency or conservation and animal-related public relations strongly preferred.