VP, External Communication & Media Relations

New York City, New York
Not Specified
Sep 29, 2016
Nov 28, 2016
Job Type
Not Specified
Career Level
Not Specified
This key role reports to the Senior Vice President, Global Communication, serving as the leader of Assurant's enterprise media relations team. Conducts regular, proactive business media (print, broadcast, online) media outreach on behalf of C-Suite level executives and has oversight of annual media relations plan. Acts as operations owner of media relations shared services infrastructure and key advisor to media relations colleagues enterprise-wide within Assurant. Coordinates media monitoring and reporting throughout the year. In partnership with other Communication leadership, the VP, External Communication & Media Relations serves as a primary spokesperson and communication advisor for Assurant corporate-level strategic initiatives (i.e.: new ventures, M&A). Drafts, and /or edits primary communication materials including news releases, message panels, talking points, blogs and social media posts across various channels to advance and reinforce Assurant's strategy among key external stakeholders. Provides primary writing and editorial support for the company's financial news releases and other materials as needed for the Assurant Investor Relations and Financial Ratings department. Supports content development for www.assurant.com. Primary accountabilities
  • Serves as primary contact for day-to-day Assurant corporate media inquiries
  • Available, when 24/7 support is required, in crisis situations to ensure effective external communication counsel and support for Assurant and its senior leaders
  • Develops the media relations and external communication strategy and plans for Assurant and corporate-led initiatives, including other new ventures and M&A transactions
  • Cultivates relationships with writers, editors and/or producers at targeted major media and key industry trade outlets to generate and participate in stories related to Assurant
  • Organizes op-eds and bylines related to global and key corporate issues and initiatives
  • Exercises independent judgment in selection and pursuit of media opportunities and engagements
  • Identifies and develops appropriate agency and third-party relationships and partnerships to help Assurant create an effective communication infrastructure and achieve desired outcomes that enhance the reputation of the company and its leadership.
  • Conceives, writes, schedules distribution and facilitates approval of various corporate and financial news releases, as well as sequencing and approval of business-level news releases and announcements to maximize strategic impact for Assurant
  • Responsible for writing key messaging, news releases, bylines, blogs and certain executive presentations in support of financial and strategic corporate initiatives, including but not limited to quarterly earnings announcements, Investor Days and other corporate-led initiatives
  • Reviews and facilitates approval of all business-level news releases, bylines, white papers and other public information to ensure adherence to AP Style and company policies and procedures
  • Tracks, analyzes and measures penetration of messaging in external media on a quarterly basis and reports effectiveness to senior leadership
  • Acts as senior leader and communication resource in crisis and issues management; drafting statements; managing media inquiries.
  • Leads and develops other team members across global locations
Financial Responsibility
  • Maintains budget oversight for key agency relationships. Oversees budget management of media monitoring, tracking tools and related distribution service (s), i.e. BusinessWire
Basic Qualifications
  • Bachelors' degree
  • 12-15 years of related work experience with media relations track-record (either agency or corporate)
Other Requirements
  • Demonstrated successful media relationships/interaction with high-level business and broadcast media
  • Previous C-Suite or CEO level interaction and counseling ability
  • Prior experience handling crisis and issues management at a corporate level
  • Prior experience managing a team or staff
  • Experience working with or leading an outside agency relationship
  • Exceptional writing and editing skills with strong journalistic and media relations instincts to generate ideas for stories and external communication initiatives
  • Outstanding personal communication and interpersonal relationships skills, program and budget management skills; ability to maintain calm demeanor and positive attitude amid competing demands and tight deadlines; ability to work independently and as part of a larger, collaborative team to accomplish defined goals and timelines
  • Outstanding speaking skills in multiple forums including before large groups, in one-to-one conversations with reporters and editors; via small group web-meetings or conference calls, and in meetings with colleagues and senior leadership
  • Familiarity and comfort with contemporary public relations and media relations practices including social media techniques and strategies
  • Strong project management, follow-up, and deadline management skills; ability to work and respond quickly and effectively in a dynamic, collaborative culture; high degree of comfort interacting at senior-executive level and understanding financial information
  • Proven ability to effectively supervise, coach and support, formally or informally, other members of the enterprise Communication team at all levels as duties and project responsibilities require.
Preferred Qualifications
  • Degree concentration in public relations, journalism, communication or marketing
  • Knowledge of financial services and insurance industry with ability to comprehend and express complex ideas in easy-to-understand communication materials for key stakeholders