­Job Title: Public Relations & Outreach Manager

Office Location: Kalamazoo

Department:  Community Engagement

Supervisor: President & CEO

Supervisory Responsibilities: This position does not have supervisory responsibilities

Job Type: Full-time exempt with a minimum starting salary of $52,000. A hybrid work environment with 2-3 days per week in the Kalamazoo office and 2-3 days remote when feasible.

Position Summary: The Public Relations & Outreach Manager will be a key member of a three-person Community Engagement team, utilizing a distributive leadership model to drive decision-making. This role requires close collaboration with colleagues focusing on marketing fundraising/development to ensure cohesive strategy and execution. The manager will lead efforts in community engagement, media relations, content creation, crisis management, business development, stakeholder engagement, and systemic change messaging.

Team Dynamics: As part of a collaborative Community Engagement team, the Public Relations & Outreach Manager will engage in distributive leadership practices, contributing to shared decision-making and supporting team members in public relations, outreach, marketing, and fund development. This role encourages cross-functional integration and requires a team player with strong leadership abilities to contribute to the team’s overall success. This role demands close cooperation with colleagues focused on marketing and fund development to ensure alignment and synergy across all Community Engagement initiatives.

In this dynamic environment, you may be called upon to take on responsibilities typically associated with the other roles within the team, depending on the current workload, seasonal campaigns, or specific needs that arise. This flexible approach ensures that we leverage our team’s full breadth of skills to meet our goals effectively and efficiently.

In this role, you will work closely with the managers of the Battle Creek and Berrien Cass offices to provide support and gain a deep understanding of the unique needs of these communities. While the managers of these offices will actively participate in development, public relations, and marketing efforts, you, as part of the distributive leadership team, hold the overarching responsibility and authority to set goals and practices for the entire organization.

It is essential to balance the broad organizational strategies with the specific objectives and insights from the Battle Creek and Berrien Cass offices to ensure a cohesive, responsive, and localized approach that serves all communities effectively. Your leadership will incorporate the distinct perspectives and goals of the local offices, ensuring that the organization’s mission is fulfilled uniformly while also honoring local nuances and the diverse needs of all communities we serve.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Develop and execute innovative community engagement strategies to include underserved and unserved groups.
  • Represent the organization at community events, meetings, and networking functions to cultivate and maintain relationships with diverse stakeholders, including donors, partners, sponsors, and community members, fostering partnerships and donor engagement opportunities.
  • Manage media relations, including crafting press releases, managing inquiries and interviews, and preparing team members for media engagement.
  • Oversee video storytelling’s creation and consistent messaging to highlight customer stories and organizational impact.
  • Execute crisis communication plans, monitor public perception, and proactively respond to concerns.
  • Develop tailored communication strategies for diverse audiences to showcase the organization’s unique value and services.
  • Foster ongoing engagement with stakeholders through various platforms, organizing public events and speaking engagements.
  • Collaborate with the systems change teams and policymakers to align and promote systemic change messaging and efforts.
  • Community Needs Assessment: Conduct assessments to identify unserved and underserved groups within the community. This involves gathering data and insights to understand their specific needs and challenges.
  • Targeted Outreach Programs: Develop and implement outreach programs tailored to the needs of unserved and underserved groups. This could include organizing community events, workshops, or information sessions for these groups.
  • Establish and foster partnerships with local organizations, community leaders, and advocacy groups that have a direct connection to or influence on unserved and underserved communities.
  • Create communication strategies that specifically address the barriers that unserved and underserved groups face. This might involve using diverse media channels, languages, and culturally sensitive messaging.
  • Capture stories and images of our team, services, and customers for marketing, outreach, and fundraising.
  • Advocate for the needs of unserved and underserved disabled groups within the organization and the broader community. This could involve working on policy issues, resource allocation, or creating platforms for these groups to voice their concerns.
  • Regularly report on outreach efforts, successes, and challenges in reaching unserved and underserved groups. Document best practices and lessons learned for continuous improvement.
  • Train and oversee volunteers and interns as needed.
  • Use Microsoft Office and database software applications, with or without an accommodation.
  • Perform all other duties as assigned by the supervisor.

 

Qualifications:

  • Lived experience with disability is desired
  • Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Journalism, Marketing, Public Relations, a related field, or equivalent life experience
  • Three or more years of work experience in community engagement, media relations, or communications
  • Understanding and commitment to the disability rights movement and dedication to the Independent Living philosophy
  • Commitment to organizational diversity and providing culturally responsive services and programming
  • Demonstrated ability to engage with diverse community groups, including working with underserved populations
  • Proven track record of building strong partnerships and networks
  • Skilled in creating compelling content for various media platforms
  • Experience in crisis communication management and public perception monitoring
  • Ability to develop and maintain relationships with stakeholders and media outlets
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously
  • Availability to work occasional nights or weekends
  • Ability to travel for in-person customer service delivery and meetings
  • Being proficient in a language that represents a historically left-out population in Southwest Michigan is a plus
  • Background checks relevant to the position are required

 

Research shows that women and individuals from underrepresented backgrounds often apply to jobs only if they meet 100% of the qualifications. We recognize that an applicant is unlikely to meet 100% of the qualifications for a given role. Therefore, if much of this position description describes you, then you are highly encouraged to apply for this role.

Disability Network Southwest Michigan is an Equal Opportunity Employer

TO APPLY FOR THIS POSITION

Please submit a resume and cover letter or email message articulating your interest in the position to humanresources@dnswm.org. This position is posted until filled. Individuals with a disability are encouraged to apply. Requests for accommodations in the application process are welcomed and can be directed to Mona Khaled at khaledm@dnswm.org.