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New Music USA Seeks a Communications Director

February 26, 2020

Summary 

New Music USA supports the sounds of tomorrow by nurturing the creation, performance, and enjoyment of living music in the United States. We are seeking an exceptional Communications Director who will join our national support and advocacy organization at an exciting time of change. Six months ago, our new CEO & President Vanessa Reed commenced a period of review which has resulted in the creation of this post alongside new initiatives which promote equity, diversity, and inclusion in music across the United States. This year we will finalize a new strategic plan, and in 2021, we will celebrate our 10th anniversary, following the merger of Meet the Composer and American Music Center in 2011. The Communications Director will play an active role in these transformational activities and will help New Music USA tell its story, build its profile, and extend its impact as a treasured national resource for the whole new music community. The Communications Director will also be involved in the appointment and development of new staff as we build our resources following a period of transition.  

Key Responsibilities  

The Communications Director will develop and implement a comprehensive and imaginative communications strategy for New Music USA, promoting key messages and activities to advance the organization’s grantmaking, media, and development goals across the United States. This new post will introduce an integrated approach to New Music USA’s communications, including the development of our online magazine and social media presence, and regular sharing of information regarding projects and programs we fund. This postholder will also work closely with our development team on our annual campaign, publications, and events. The Communications Director will report directly to the new CEO & President, and will work closely with New Music USA’s Development Director, Director of Grantmaking Programs, NewMusicBox Editor, and Communications Associate. New Music USA is a national resource based in New York City.  Specific roles and responsibilities include, but are not limited to:  

Communications Strategy Development 

  • Designs, develops, and leads implementation of communication strategy including all activities that promote, enhance, and define the organization’s mission, core messagesprogram activities and development goals (We have undertaken some initial work with an external consultant; the new Communications Director would use our consultant’s recommendations as a launchpad for further development). 
  • Leads New Music USA’s brand strategy to achieve a cohesive presence across print, social media platforms, website, email, and more.
  • Develops and oversees integrated and inspiring digital strategy including existing and new platforms such as podcasts and media partnerships.

Strategy Execution 

  • Leads New Music USA’s online presence and social media engagement including handling of website design and oversight of digital strategy for New Music USA grantees and program recipients.
  • Leads editorial and distribution policy for NewMusicBox and Counterstream Radio; helps devise other digital resources to increase reach and relevance.
  • Supervises regular email communicationsworks with grants and development team to implement new database solution.
  • Responsible for consistency in design, style, and tone of digital and printed materials across all New Music USA communications
  • Manages Communications budget.

PR  

  • Supports New Music USA’s fundraising and events strategies including 10th anniversary in 2021, annual campaigns, publications, strategies for regular stakeholder mailings, and oversight of CRM database.
  • Represents New Music USA at funded events and liaises with media and public.  
  • Develops relationships with local, national, and international media, shaping New Music USA messaging, managing media requests, and actively seeking coverage for full range of activity. 
  • Crafts public information materials, such as press releases, fact sheets, op-eds and other materials used for dissemination of New Music USAs position.
  • Provides copy editing support, as needed.
  • Coordinates press releases and announcements internally and externally, including regular MailChimp communications.
  • Secures and guides external partners in securing media opportunities such as interviews, speaking engagements with key publications and events.

Organization development 

  • Monitors and analyzes data and communicates progress on a regular basis.
  • Facilitates internal communications and performother duties as assigned.
  • Works with staff to develop their role in New Music USA publicity efforts.
  • Supervises new communications project staff as appropriate, e.g., for new digital assets, social media.

Required Experience   

  • Minimum 5 years’ experience and outstanding track record in music, arts, public interest, and/or nonprofit communications.
  • Digital-first storyteller that can craft messages for all platforms and switch seamlessly between them. 
  • Excellent interpersonal, written, and oral communication skills, with experience of supporting development and fundraising goals.
  • Passion for brand strategy and management, including ability to inspire and guide others in embracing an organization’s brand and profile building.
  • Collaborative team player; effectively leads staff teams.
  • Excellent editing, writing, and proofreading skills.  
  • Demonstrates strong organizational skills with the ability to prioritize tasks, meet multiple deadlines, and work independently. 

Preferred Experience   

  • Strong knowledge of web design and digital transformation including oversight of new database and website projects
  • Understanding of nonprofits and philanthropy
  • Experience navigating and contributing to organizational change 
  • Experience of events management
  • Ability to contribute to in-house design

Personal Attributes and Competencies  

  • Positive, enthusiastic, and persuasive team player 
  • Well-organized, detail-oriented, and self-motivated  
  • Ability to work on big strategy plans as well as the execution of day-to-day tasks
  • Enjoys digital communications and out of the box thinking 
  • Willing to dedicate time and creativity to special projects and new initiatives  
  • A personal passion for music and the mission of a nonprofit organization 
  • Motivated to network socially and build relationships, including to support development and PR  
  • Thrives under pressure while carrying out tasks with accuracy and efficiency  

CompensationNew Music USA is offering a competitive salary for a non-profit organization of our size ($80k) and a generous benefits package, including 100 percent employer paid health insurance, dental insurance, paid vacation and sick leave. 

Hiring Process: Interested applicants should submit a resume and cover letter to Ricky Tyler at rtyler@newmusicusa.org with the subject line: Communications Director Application. We will review applications on a rolling basis until March 18Interviews will take place on March 20 & 25, 2020 or as we receive strong applications. We will not consider applications without a cover letter. We may conduct phone interviews in advance of interviews in-person. In your cover letter, please address the following:   

  • Why are you a good fit for this position and what appeals to you about New Music USA? 
  • How would you approach leading and delivering communications within a small team 
  • What are your initial impressions of New Music USA’s current communications and what would you prioritize in your first 6 months?

New Music USA, an equal opportunity employer, seeks to diversify its staff and strongly encourages applications from people of color. We welcome the unique contributions that applicants bring in terms of their education, opinions, culture, ethnicity, race, sex, gender identity and expression, nation of origin, age, languages spoken, veteran’s status, color, disability, sexual orientation, and religious beliefs.