Job Description Summary:

The Director of Communications will guide and manage a communication strategy for each annual conference and the Bishops’ Office.  Working within the mission/vision of each annual conference, this person will facilitate the conferences’ use of effective communication tools, techniques and technology to fulfill their mission, vision and ministry of making disciples of Jesus Christ for the transformation of the world.  There will be a particular emphasis on resourcing districts and local churches with communication tools that strengthen our connection.

This is a full-time exempt position.

Interested candidates should submit their resume via email to personnelteam@wpaumc.org by June 15th, 2022.

OBJECTIVE: 

Plan, organize, direct, evaluate and supervise a comprehensive communications program that will assist both the Annual Conference and local churches in their mission and vision. 

ACCOUNTABILITY: 

The Director of Communications is directly accountable to and works under the supervision of the residential or assigned bishops in the SUS and WPA annual conferences and works collaboratively with the Director of Connectional Ministries in the SUS and WPA annual conferences.

PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES

Basic Functions

  1. Develop, organize, and implement the communication strategy to reach stakeholders, key audiences, and local church leaders
  2. Develop and guide the strategy for all communication vehicles, including print, website, interactive online content, social media sites and external messaging to consistently articulate the annual conferences’ missions and visions
  3. Oversee and implement the communication of news and information from the annual conferences and the larger United Methodist Church, modeling a climate of understanding, trust and open communication within the conference and among its churches
  4. Review/approve written and electronic communications from the annual conferences
  5. Serve as the primary spokesperson with all external news media and oversee the conference’s crisis communication response

Staff Supervision and Team Support

  1. Lead and equip the communications staff; supervising, evaluating and hiring in cooperation with the Bishops and Directors of Connectional Ministries
  2. Work cooperatively and strategically with the Executive Staff, IT and Cabinet
  3. Serve as a member of the Conference Committee on Sessions, and other committees/task forces as requested by the bishop(s)

Internal Communication

  1. Oversee the creation, production and distribution of official conference media which are culturally relevant and mission-focused
  2. Assist Conference leaders in interpreting the conference Plan for Funding Ministries
  3. Assist the Resident Bishop in communicating the purpose and vision of the General Church and the Annual Conferences
  4. Assist in appropriate preparation and communication functions for the sessions of Annual Conference
  5. Perform other duties and responsibilities as reasonably assigned by the Resident Bishop

External Communications

  1. Lead the conference in developing effective relations with the news media within the Annual Conferences and to guide and serve with the Resident Bishop, as the primary Area and Conference spokesperson with the news media
  2. Provide leadership to crisis response strategy to all levels of the Annual Conferences
  3. Provide the connectional relationship between the conference and United Methodist Communications

Training and Support

  1. Provide training and support for Annual Conferences, district, and local church leaders in using new and emerging technologies as tools for ministry
  2. Provide training and support for Annual Conferences, district, and local church leaders in using effective communication practices and strategies
  3. Attend and participate in continuing education events to further develop skills as a communicator, leader and supervisor of staff
  4. Perform other duties and responsibilities as reasonably assigned by the Resident Bishop

QUALIFICATIONS:

Experience and Background

  1. Knowledge of current and emerging media venues
  2. Commitment to diversity and inclusion regarding culture, race, ethnicity, gender, theology
  3. Proven experience in leading and managing change
  4. Excellent communication skills through speaking, writing, listening and presenting
  5. Strong leadership and organizational skills
  6. Ability to work both independently and collaboratively
  7. Demonstrated ability to maintain confidentiality

Education

  1. Bachelor’s degree in communications or related field and/or demonstrated experience in communications, mass media, journalism or related areas
  2. At least 5 years of communications experience preferred, especially managing projects, staff and/or consultants

Theological Understandings

  1. Demonstrates an active faith within a Christian faith community
  2. Willingness and ability to support the vision, mission, core values, and polity of The United Methodist Church and the Susquehanna Annual Conference and Western Pennsylvania Annual Conference
  3. Willingness to learn to be an advocate for work within the polity of The United Methodist Church
  4. Knowledge of the structure and polity of The United Methodist Church is preferred
  5. Be willing, able, and supportive of the diversity within The United Methodist Church

Other Essential Functions

  1. Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work with a team in order to implement the work of the Annual Conferences
  2. Ability and commitment to work some weekend and evening hours
  3. Willingness to travel both within and beyond the two annual conferences
  4. Must be able to pass required background checks