Reporting to the President & CEO, the Vice President of Strategic Communications, Marketing and Research will play a critical role in positioning SFAA as the go-to source and thought leader for surety and fidelity bonds and will lead SFAA’s strategic priority to promote the value of surety and fidelity to various constituencies, including public infrastructure officials, private sector developers, lenders and lawmakers at the local, state and federal levels. S/He will be responsible for developing and advancing a strategic communications program that supports SFAA’s mission and strategic priorities and must be passionate about the value that surety and bonds provide. This is a pivotal position requiring exceptional leadership, writing, quality assurance and engagement skills with national, state, local, trade print and electronic media and key stakeholders.
Develop and execute strategic communications and marketing plan to advance SFAA’s mission and strategic priorities, targeting trade press, broadcast and social media, using all communication techniques;
Serve as the organization’s primary spokesperson for press releases and media inquiries and interact daily with reporters from major newspapers, network news organizations, industry trade publications, consumer publications and electronic newsletters;
Lead strategic planning and execution for SFAA key initiatives;
Establish and maintain communications policies, protocols and procedures that prioritize member engagement and promote work with cross-functional department leaders to develop new communications programs and initiatives;
Ensure effective development, implementation and evaluation by measurable metrics of public relations and marketing plans;
Develop research and execute research projects using currently available and new resources to support the strategic communications plan:
Develop one-pagers and other written resources to support the strategic communication plan;
Work with individual SFAA departments to develop consistent messaging across all traditional and social media channels.
Partner closely with the Government Affairs Department and use a wide variety of communications tools to influence policymakers to favor SFAA’s legislative agenda;
Draft materials for the CEO and officers as needed, including speeches, messages, columns, presentations and introductions;
Serve as a strategic counselor and business partner to the leadership team in identifying and managing communications on critical emerging policy or member issues;
Establish departmental goals and metrics and monitor performance and results;
Serve as staff lead for SFAA’s Communication Advisory Committee.
Other General Duties:
Provide coaching and talking points to leadership on media inquiries and, when needed, lead media training for internal and external SFAA spokespeople;
Act as first point of contact if a rapid-response need should arise ensuring that proactive, positive messaging and dialogue exists regarding SFAA;
Cultivate and maintain relationships with communications and marketing decision makers from new and existing members and media outlets;
Develop creative story angles and consistently secure coverage in high-impact print, broadcast and online media outlets;
Advance communications opportunities and solutions, and define and execute appropriate strategies to support them;
Oversee and execute website content strategy;
Oversee development of strategy and content for SFAA Weekly and Industry Insider;
Design and prepare Annual Report;
Review and edit internal and external documents for SFAA stakeholders.
Minimum of 10 years demonstrated experience and leadership in managing strategic communications, media relations and marketing programs to advance organization’s mission;
Proven leadership skills, emotional intelligence, and self-confidence;
Significant experience developing and executing multi-channel strategic communications and marketing plans;
Experience measuring the ROI of communications activities;
Well established media relationships and the ability to build additional media, social media, industry and other relationships on behalf of SFAA;
Ability to inspire trust and confidence, including ability to sell ideas and influence directly and indirectly;
Top of field verbal and written communication and presentation skills, including ability to distill complex issues into compelling communications;
Ability to approach challenging circumstances and relationships with confidence and initiative;
Excellent listener balanced with ability to challenge colleagues constructively and stimulate the thinking of others;
Confident decision maker supported by disciplined, logical thinking, attention to detail and fact-based, documented conclusions and opinions;
Ability to interpret emerging trends, transfer knowledge to peer executives and implement as appropriate to enable continued achievement of the organization’s vision;
Ability to establish leadership credibility and inspire team to achieve common goals;
Strong business acumen/sensitivity; thinks holistically, incorporates overall organizational objectives in developing team strategy and decisions;
Leadership courage; ability to appropriately challenge status quo and influence others;
Experience measuring the ROI of communications activities;
Social media savvy;
Ability to travel.
Strong, high level written, analytical and oral communication skills
Ability to work well independently and as a member of a team
Superior management skills; ability to influence and engage direct and indirect reports and peers
Ability to make decisions in a changing environment and anticipate future needs
Self-reliant, good problem solver, results oriented
Ability to meet deadlines without sacrificing quality
Social media marketing
Responsible for supervision of Communications Associate.
Required Education and Experience
Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, Journalism, Communications or related discipline;
Advanced communications-related degree or MBA preferred but not required;
Trade or professional association, in addition to private sector experience preferred.
About The Surety & Fidelity Association of America
The Surety & Fidelity Association of America (SFAA) serves as the thought leader and trusted adviser for the surety and fidelity industry, state and federal agencies and legislators. As a licensed rating agency/advisory organization and trade association, SFAA supports its members, subscribers, federal, state and local government leaders and the public by providing statistical and actuarial data, expertise, advocacy, education and promotion on the value of surety and fidelity bonds.
Our membership is comprised of over 420 companies and accounts for over 98 percent of the surety and fidelity premium written in the United States. The work of the Association is accomplished through the rich diversity of its membership - large and small companies, multi- and mono-line, regional, national, global and international.
Surety and fidelity bonds: Protecting consumers, taxpayers and businesses.