Senior Manager Communications and Public Relations

POSITION TITLE:  Senior Manager Communications and Public Relations

DEPARTMENT: Marketing and Communications

REPORTS TO: Assistant Vice President Public Relations

STATUS: Exempt

Organizational Overview

The National Council for Behavioral Health (National Council) is the unifying voice of America’s community mental health and addictions treatment organizations. A not-for-profit 501(c)(3) association, the National Council for Behavioral Health’s mission is to advance our members’ ability to deliver integrated healthcare. Together with our 3,400 member organizations, we serve our nation’s most vulnerable citizens — more than 10 million adults and children living with mental illnesses and addiction disorders. We are committed to ensuring all Americans have access to comprehensive, high-quality care that affords every opportunity for recovery and full participation in community life. The National Council introduced Mental Health First Aid USA and more than 2.5 million Americans have been trained.

Position Summary
Senior Manager Communications and Public Relations supports both internal and external communications efforts as it relates to the entire organization and communications initiatives, with an emphasis on public policy writing, messaging, and content development. Responsible for storytelling and developing general and advocacy related communications, strategic messaging, media relations requests and supporting media coverage through proactive initiatives and assisting with broader departmental public policy efforts.

The individual will work with colleagues across the Public Policy, Marketing and Communications (MARCOMS) teams and across the organization to develop, execute and track public policy and communications priorities and strategies. These priorities require a high degree of organization, collaboration with internal stakeholders and subject matter experts. This is a new position, and the candidate who succeeds will be self-driven and entrepreneurial as he/she defines this new role within our growing organization.

Senior Manager Communications and Public Relations assists in developing, explaining, and carrying out the organization's communications initiatives by supporting the entire organization and liaising with Public Policy, as assigned. This includes:

  •  Working with the MARCOMS and Public Policy teams to develop and execute strategic communication efforts, public affairs and media strategies for advocacy priorities by closely tracking activities and work streams and providing media relations, communications counsel and support for public relations initiatives for Public Policy.
  •  Leads the development and implementation of a comprehensive internal and external communications strategy with an emphasis on the external communications for Public Policy.
  •  Integrating communications strategies across social, web and other platforms to ensure messages are tailored to and resonate with target audiences.
  •  Aligning closely with other departments and working with colleagues from various teams, including attending inter-departmental meetings, understanding advocacy goals/objectives, managing issues proactively, executing coordinated communications campaigns and responding to requests promptly.
  •  Assisting in the development and execution of communications and public policy plans.
  •  Working with consultants and take primary lead timely development of writing, developing and copy editing impactful messaging and a variety of collateral materials including press releases, statements, op-eds, speechwriting, talking points, stakeholder quotes, FAQs, policy marketing emails, blog posts, briefings, topline findings from survey results, and fact sheets for both Public Policy and general communications initiatives.
  •  Working with policy media and building and managing relationships with print, broadcast and online/web reporters. Proactive outreach to reporters and other external audiences as well as handling responses to media inquiries, as needed.
  •  Collaborating with the Policy team on their legislative, grassroots and third-party activities, including providing communications and messaging support.
  •  Supporting the PR team in developing and pitching story ideas/statements to policy reporters.
  •  Managing interview requests, as needed.
  •  Staffing interviews, as needed.
  • Managing vendor relationships as it pertains to campaign initiatives and other work.
  •  Performing other duties, as assigned.

This is position is for someone interested in public policy and media relations, who is creative, hard-working and has an interest in behavioral health care.

Required Qualifications

  •  Bachelor’s Degree required in a communications field or equivalent experience.
  •  Minimum of 6 years strategic communications experience.
  •  Minimum of 3 years of public policy experience.
  •  Outstanding written and verbal skills with expertise in both long and short form writing (Applicant will be asked to submit writing samples and take a writing test).
  •  Exceptional skills in advocacy and using spoken and written rhetoric to persuade and inform.
  •  Excellent communication skills, both written and spoken and able to develop positive working relationships across different levels and functions.
  •  Prior public relations or marketing agency, media relations and/ Capitol Hill experience are required.
  •  Strong leadership skills.
  •  Creative thinker with a passion for storytelling in a variety of formats.
  •  Experience using data to inform and optimize communications strategies.
  •  Ability to manage numerous critical deadlines simultaneously and manage projects while maintaining attention to detail and strong internal and external relationships. 
  •  Ability to effectively communicate complex information to a wide variety of audiences.
  •  Experience with policy reporters and general media to generate local and national print and broadcast coverage. 
  •  Able and comfortable working in a developing, fluid and constantly changing organization, as well as handling multiple priorities while constantly meeting deadlines.
  •  Results-oriented with a high attention to detail, ability to multi-task and meet deadlines in a demanding, fast-paced environment.
  •  Outstanding interpersonal skills: ability to build relationships with a wide variety of stakeholders.
  •  High level proficiency in Microsoft Office – MS Word, Excel and PowerPoint.
  •  Ability to contribute to a strong team-based environment.
  •  Ability to travel up to 15%.


Desired Qualifications

  •  Demonstrated experience working within government, non-profits, consultancies, trade associations, or equivalent organizations.
  •  Work experience and/or deep personal interest in mental health and addiction.
  •  Working knowledge of Cision and PRNewswire.