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Communications Manager

Reference   (Please mention Stopdodo/Environment Jobs in your application)
Sectors Sustainability, Climate, CSR, EMS
Type Fixed Term and Permanent Roles
Status Full Time
Level Senior Level
Deadline 03/06/2015
Company Name Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI)
Contact Name
Website Further Details / Applications
Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) logo
Also Listing:
IMPORTANT:  This Advertiser has requested that applicants MUST be National Residents / Valid Work Permit-holders.  Other applicants need not apply.


The Gulf of Maine Research Institute (GMRI) has emerged as a catalyst for solutions to complex challenges at the nexus of Maine’s marine ecosystem and our economy. GMRI is widely respected as one of the top marine research institutions in the Northeast. Our fusion of science, education, and community gives us the range to effect change from multiple directions. Our objectivity and commitment to collaboration make us the go-to organization for communities grappling with contentious political issues and new business systems. We are making a long-term investment in science literacy as the cornerstone of a 21st century economy by providing programs to ignite the curiosity, ambition, innovation, and problem-solving potential of Maine’s next generation.

We are currently seeking a Communications Manager to join our development department.

As the only full-time member of our communications team, this person must have a broad range of experience and expertise. He or she will be responsible for managing our multi-leveled communications strategy while still serving as the primary producer of content. Additionally, this person will partner with staff on program-specific communications to facilitate cohesion across all of our communications through subtle and nuanced peer-to-peer leadership.

The daily focus of this position is on the production of timely and relevant communication materials in a many different forms – press releases, newsletters, webpages, blogs, videos, promotional materials, social media posts, etc. This person will also serve as our media contact and will be responsible for building relationships, pitching stories, and organizing responses to incoming requests from the media.

Strong branding, design, and technical skills are also required. Our communications manager is responsible for the management, maintenance, and content strategy of our website. The position also oversees the production and output of our graphic design projects.

This position is key to supporting our fundraising efforts, growing our awareness among donors and influencers in our market spaces, and credentialing our people and programs within relevant science, marine, and education markets.


Specific Tasks and Responsibilities:

Identify, produce, and refine content for multiple audiences (50% of time):

  • Work with a variety of program staff across the organization to identify timely and relevant stories about GMRI, its many programs, and the issues underlying our work. Produce content to share these stories in a variety of formats (e.g., written, photographic, and video) with multiple audiences (e.g., donors, diverse marine community, middle school teachers and students, and the general public).
  • Write about a wide-ranging mix of topics relevant to GMRI’s constituents (including some that are complex and/or highly sensitive) with attention to GMRI voice, audience needs, and intended format (e.g., pamphlets, brief reports, brochures, one-pagers, website, blogs, social media posts, and presentations). Review, proofread, and edit drafts completed by others.
  • Revise, customize, and repurpose existing GMRI programmatic, outreach, and marketing materials for new audiences.
  • Manage the production of GMRI’s quarterly TIDINGS newsletter (including writing articles, selecting photography, and coordinating editorial review process).
  • Write and manage targeted periodic e-communications to specific segments of GMRI’s constituent database.
  • Develop the content and manage production of GMRI’s online annual report.
  • Manage centralized GMRI social media presence and assist programs with targeted tactics/feeds.
  • Assist GMRI’s Development Team with the production of other written material and special projects as requested.

Manage media relations (15% of time):

  • Manage all GMRI inbound media inquiries, including coordinating with and pre-interview coaching of GMRI staff.
  • Develop and execute a multi-tiered outbound regional and national PR strategy to support GMRI’s fundraising and program development ambitions.
  • Write and execute press releases, media advisories, and pitch pieces to support comprehensive PR strategy and in response to emerging news opportunities (and share relevant releases directly with key GMRI constituents).
  • Identify and cultivate ongoing relationships with key media and thought leaders.
  • Monitor and organize news clips about GMRI and issues relevant to our market space and package clips for sharing with key audiences.

Manage GMRI website (15% of time):

  • Manage and resolve all incoming requests related to technical issues and updates.
  • Ensure cohesiveness of site architecture, content, style, and voice across departments, programs, and site sections.
  • Stay on top of site content and current trends to lead maintenance and continuous improvement of the site.
  • Oversee site graphic design with specific focus on consistency of brand, clarity of messages, and performance across multiple platforms.
  • Lead the development of all new features and sections, coordinating the efforts of programs staff, developers, and designers.
  • Maintain Google Analytics account to secure meaningful data on site usage and inform refinement of site content.

Identify, facilitate, and execute effective communications strategies (10% of time):

  • Identify and prioritize key audiences and implement strategies to target communications based on audience needs/interests/affinities and preferred channels.
  • Design and execute an annual plan for organizational communications and organize monthly communications planning meetings with designated program staff to build cohesiveness across all program efforts.
  • Mentor program staff in identifying/refining key messages, developing effective communications strategies, producing quality products (including assisting with writing, design, brand adherence, etc. as needed), and redeploying content across multiple communications channels. Review program communications materials as appropriate.
  • Identify and implement tools/strategies to track efficacy of various tactics within organizational communications and assist program staff in adopting as appropriate.
  • Accelerate GMRI’s use of social networking tools to further outreach and communications goals; monitor and share emerging trends.
  • Assist in maintaining digital assets such as photographs.
  • Serve as GMRI point of contact with other communication professionals who focus on marine science (i.e. coastal and estuarine programs, state agencies, etc.).

Manage graphic design department (10% of time):

  • Provide daily guidance and feedback to graphic design contractors and serve as on-site graphic design representative
  • Manage organization, prioritization, and timely delivery of all incoming graphic design projects
  • Ensure the effectiveness and brand cohesion of all projects

General Responsibilities:

As part of GMRI’s Development team, the Communications Manager will participate in weekly staff meetings and will support GMRI’s commitment to growing our base of support and increasing public awareness about our institution and mission. As the sole communications staff member on the team, the Communications Manager will be expected to operate independently to take the lead on all aspects of organizational communications, while also taking a highly collaborative approach to working with staff across the organization. Given that GMRI is a young, rapidly-growing organization with a lean staff, the Communications Manager will be expected to be flexible and assist with other tasks that may arise, however challenging or menial. There is also significant opportunity, based on the Communication Manager’s skills and interests and the organization’s evolving needs, to utilize initiative and creativity in expanding responsibilities.


GMRI depends on the talent and dedication of the people who work here. Our current staff comes from around the world and a wide variety of backgrounds. For this position we seek to hire a bright, highly motivated individual who has demonstrated capacity to think strategically about communications, an orientation to roll-up their sleeves and actually do the day-to-day work of generating content, and the savvy to serve as a guide to others in the organization tasked with communications at vary skill levels.

The following mix of skills and experiences is required:

  • Bachelor’s degree plus 7 years of relevant experience or equivalent.
  • Proven writing ability (minimum 5 years in a professional setting, prior experience writing in a science or multidisciplinary organization a strong plus).
  • Direct experience in communications strategy/planning and media relations.
  • Direct experience in marketing, advertising, and/or corporate branding.
  • Direct experience with website maintenance and content development (development and/or administrative experience with Drupal 7 a strong plus)
  • Sensitivity to quality graphic design and familiarity working with graphic designers. 
  • Working knowledge of a range of social media tools and strategies for effective use.
  • Strong proofreading and editing skills.
  • Understanding of the marine, scientific, and educational communities, or nonprofit communities/market spaces.
  • Demonstrated ability to understand and synthesize complex scientific or technical information and explain to a broad audience.
  • Strong computer skills, including word processing, spreadsheet, and desktop publishing (working knowledge of Adobe Creative Suite and/or video editing software a plus);
  • Self-starter with excellent organization skills and attention to detail.
  • Ability to manage priorities and accomplish multiple tasks in a demanding environment with limited resources and staff support.
  • Team player with a sense of humor and ability to function in a fast-paced, energetic and rapidly evolving organization.

We are proud to be an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity Employer. Our employment decisions are made without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, disability, marital status, veteran or military status or any other legally protected status. In order to comply with local, state and federal Affirmative Action and Equal Employment regulations we need to identify certain applicant data which will only be used for reporting to government agencies. You are not required by law to provide this data. The data you provide on this form will be kept confidential, used solely for statistical purposes and maintained separately from your employment application. This data will not be used to make a decision about your employment


DEADLINE:  June 3, 2015

Resumes reviewed on receipt. Required application materials include cover letter, resume and three writing samples (not to exceed 2 pages in length each). Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Click Here to apply. You will be navigating away from the GMRI website.

Questions should be referred to jobs@gmri.org. Please note, we will not be accepting resumes sent to this email address.


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