Position Summary: The Vice President of Communications is responsible for creating and maintaining a high level of visibility around the activities, mission, vision and values of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and Cincinnati Pops, as well as the Cincinnati May Festival. This individual will build strategies that enhances the organization’s global, national and local reputation and stature, supports the institution’s branding and audience development efforts, and ensures the institution’s story is being told. The Vice President is the leading champion for communications to all key internal and external stakeholders and drives heightened awareness externally through traditional public relations channels and emerging communication technology mediums.
Communication activities intersect with all aspects of the organization. The Vice President must work cross-functionally in close coordination of activities across departments to ensure alignment on organizational goals.
Representative Duties and Responsibilities:
With the President & CEO develop and lead a communications strategy to fulfill the organization’s mission, vision and strategic objectives.
Maintain a positive and close working relationships with the organization’s artistic leadership.
Champion a compelling communications storytelling strategy for the organization’s diversity, equity & inclusion (DE&I) plans; long-term strategic plan; and mission, vision and values.
Leverage organization’s robust and growing digital presence in service of these goals.
Develop and champion a communications strategy and key message points for each season:
Establish a strategy and goals well in advance of the season that conveys the organization’s artistic vision and ladders into the overall mission/vision/values.
Refine strategy as season progresses, reporting to the President & CEO.
Ensure alignment with this communication strategy throughout the organization, providing context, standards and guidelines.
Commission visual (video and photography) content to support verbal messaging across multiple platforms.
Ensure communications are prepared and reviewed through a DE&I lens, inculcating internal and external input as appropriate.
Oversee all facets of media relations:
Nurture responsive and constructive relationships with local, national, international and industry media contacts.
Leverage high-profile announcements to garner media attention and buzz. Plan and execute large media announcements and track and measure response.
Oversee development and deployment of timely and well-constructed media releases and alerts.
Ensure the Communications Department has a real time, comprehensive understanding of ongoing and season-specific activities, and identify and cultivate media outlets to raise awareness of prioritized activities.
Align overall communications plan with departmental objectives with an emphasis on attracting and engaging new audiences of the CSO, Pops and May Festival
Provide media training and messaging to CSO spokespersons.
Serve as point person for all crisis communications.
Identify and align on a set of key metrics to evaluate success.
Monitor progress to goals and respond to feedback in order to improve results.
Work in coordination with Director of Marketing - Music & Event Management, Inc.
Provide oversight of key institutional communication tools:
Oversee organic social content and calendars across multiple social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. Explore and make the institutional case for presence on additional platforms that support the organization’s communications strategy.
Oversee organic social media content calendar. Work cross-departmentally to ensure the Orchestra’s program books are industry-leading publications that reinforce the organization’s mission, vision and values. Evolve the physical program book to a digital publication that supports the organization’s increasing digital presence.
Ensure content is produced at the highest level, in accordance with the organization’s stated DE&I toolkit objectives and content production guidelines.
Support releases of recordings and leverage all electronic media activity (recordings, streaming and broadcasts) as part of broader communications strategy.
Contribute to email calendar and write/edit/deploy emails as needed.
Lead media content development, e.g., video, digital media, podcasts, to raise the stature of the organization. Align these efforts with Marketing to ensure social networking platforms support audience development efforts.
Ensure that community-based initiatives are integrated into organizational storytelling. Seek opportunities to align community asset-based storytelling with the CSO’s story.
Oversee internal communications:
Actively communicate key successes, needs and important institutional information to CSO staff, board, musicians and artistic leadership.
Remain open to and synthesize feedback from key stakeholders to inform ongoing plans.
Develop regular progress reports for senior management team and CSO Board of Directors.
Oversee the Communications Department:
Develop a culture of open debate of options, and assertiveness to choose the best path forward with accountability for results.
Set objectives for team members consistent with the strategic plan and linked to performance outcomes.
Develop and adhere to the departmental budget, allocating resources to the highest impact opportunities.
Manage a team that includes the Director of Communications and multiple contractors.
Work cross-functionally to achieve departmental and strategic plan objectives:
Maintain strong, productive relationships across departments to ensure that the organization’s clearly articulated communications strategy is effectively advanced.
Guide senior staff toward potential opportunities that surface.
Perform concert duty:
Regularly attend CSO and Pops concerts and events, assisting critics and media partners, and serving as an onsite advocate among key stakeholders.
Serve as the media contact for CSO and Pops concerts on domestic and international tours.
Other duties as assigned
Reporting Relationship: The Vice President of Communications reports to the President & CEO, serves on the senior management team and acts as a liaison with members of the Board of Directors.
Highly strategic thinker with proven track record of leading communications strategy and initiatives that drive interest and engagement across multiple stakeholder groups, including media.
Knowledge of and passion for classical orchestra music.
Focus on timely execution in a fast-paced environment with high accountability and a strong drive for results.
Ability to work collaboratively and effectively with internal and external stakeholders to advance strategic objectives.
Deep experience and skill in public relations, coupled with broad relationships with national media classical arts writers
Strong leadership and managerial skills with the ability to prioritize activities of the Communications team.
Understanding of emerging communication technologies.
Excellent interpersonal skills with the ability to act independently with community leaders.
Strong verbal and writing skills to present a polished image of the institution.
As the CSO positions itself during this pandemic as a leading digital-first performing arts organization, the successful candidate will demonstrate their ability to leverage this unique moment to drive and sustain a clear, compelling institutional message strategy.
Compensation and Benefits: The position garners a competitive salary and offers generous benefits including: medical, dental, long term disability, life insurance, health savings account contribution, 403(b) participation with employer contribution, up to 12 weeks paid parental leave, flex time and the opportunity to work for an artistically thriving and financially stable nonprofit organization.
A Commitment to Inclusion: The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra’s commitment to inclusion is fundamental to who we are as an organization. Reflecting our community and the world around at every level – on stage, behind-the-scenes, and in neighborhoods throughout the region — is essential to the CSO’s present and future and makes us a stronger ensemble and institution. We encourage underrepresented candidates to apply.
About Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra
The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, which also performs as the Cincinnati Pops, is one of America’s finest and most versatile ensembles. With a determination for greatness and a rich tradition that dates back over 120 years, the internationally acclaimed CSO attracts the best musicians, artists and conductors from around the world to Cincinnati. With new commissions and groundbreaking initiatives like LUMENOCITY®, One City, One Symphony, The Pelléas Trilogy, and the MusicNOW Festival collaboration, the Orchestra is committed to being a place of experimentation.
Louis Langrée began his tenure as the CSO's 13th Music Director in the 2013/14 season with a celebrated program The New York Times said “deftly combined nods to the orchestra's history, the city's musical life and new music.” Over the Orchestra's 122-year history, it has also been led by Leopold Stokowski, Eugène Ysaÿe, Fritz Reiner, Eugene Goossens, Max Rudolf, Thomas Schippers, Jesús López-Cobos, and Paavo Järvi, among others.
A champion of new music, the Orchestra has given American premieres of works by such composers as Debussy, Ravel, Mahler and Bartók and has commissioned works that have since become mainstays of... the classical repertoire, including Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man. The Orchestra continues to commission new works and to program an impressive array of music. In recent years, the CSO has performed the world premieres of Nico Muhly's Pleasure Ground, David Lang's mountain, Caroline Shaw's Lo and Daniel Bjarnason's Collider as part of the groundbreaking collaboration with the MusicNOW Festival, as well as the world premiere of André Previn's Double Concerto. More recent commissions include Gunther Schuller’s Symphonic Triptych, Michael Fiday’s Three for One, three works set to the poetry of Dr. Maya Angelou by T. J. Cole, Jonathan Bailey Holland and Kristin Kuster, as well three new concertos for orchestra by composers Sebastian Currier, Thierry Escaich and Zhou Tian, which are featured on the Orchestra’s most recent commercial recording.
The CSO was the first American orchestra to make a world tour sponsored by the U.S. Department of State and continues to tour domestically and internationally, most recently to Asia in March 2017 and a three-week European tour in August and September of the same year. The CSO has performed at New York's Carnegie Hall 48 times since its debut there in 1917, most recently to rave reviews in May of 2014. In January of 2016, the Orchestra performed at New York’s Lincoln Center as part of the invitational Great Performers series.