Director, Communications and Public Affairs

Posted Date: May-28-2019

Job ID: 14098

Job Type: Full Time

Job Function: Public Affairs

City: Kent

State: Washington

Store: REI Headquarters is moving to Bellevue, Spring 2020!

What's cool about this job

As Director of Communications & Public Affairs, you will join a team whose job is to help REI, the nation’s largest consumer co-op, fight for life outside. You will have an outstanding track record in the craft of public relations and / or public affairs, with proven experience in advocacy and/or sustainability. You will have a deep love of the outdoors and believe in the power of purpose-driven businesses to benefit communities and society. You will be central to the design and execution of strategic brand engagement efforts across disciplines. Through strategic, creative and operational leadership, you will help bring the purpose of REI to life, principally by developing and implementing proactive and defensive external communication strategies and initiatives that reinforce REI’s brand, values, business goals, and industry/community leadership. In a highly collaborative role, you will lead REI’s earned media strategy, telling the co-op’s story on behalf of 18 million REI members. You will counsel the C-suite of REI and oversee all executive positioning. You will lead issues and crisis. You will identify and engage with issues that matter to the co-op and its members to build and defend the brand. You will develop strategies in collaboration with multiple internal and external partners, including creative, government affairs, community investment, sustainability, local marketing, digital, content, and other marketing leaders. Advanced integrated planning, team leadership, and program management skills are vital. You will formulate annual goals and budgets for REI’s external communication’s initiatives while aligning with internal communications. You will play a central role in the co-op’s stewardship and sustainability strategies as an advocate and spokesperson. You will measure divisional performance against group and company performance indicators and exemplify REI’s values.

  • Models the idea that “a life outdoors is a life well lived” and embraces the Co-op Way
  • Identifies and communicates responsibilities and practices to ensure the organization promotes a successful attitude, confidence in leadership, and teamwork to achieve results.
  • Drives company programs, procedures, methods and practices to promote REI.
  • Challenges and inspires employees to achieve business results.
  • Ensures employees adhere to legal and operational compliance requirements.
  • Oversees training and development of employees directly and indirectly managed and makes effective staffing decisions.
  • Conducts and ensures the completion of performance reviews.
  • Provides coaching, direction, and leadership support to employees in order to achieve department, company and customer results.
  • Establishes and maintains visibility within the department.
  • Monitors operational statistics, reports trends, variances, and issues, and takes appropriate action.
  • Plays a leading or supporting role in cross-divisional engagement strategies which draw together multiple disciplines spanning the creative to operational spectrum; a natural integrator and inspiring convener.
  • Develops and implements an annual communications strategy that supports co-op business plans and divisions. Sets direction for and approves annual and opportunistic communication and publicity plans, success measures and planned resource deployment.
  • Leads executive positioning and development of collaborative communications strategies and initiatives with internal and external partners, including alignment with creative, community and marketing partners on complementary communication strategies. Has a direct working relationship with the co-op’s “Brand Lab”.
  • Negotiates and sets cross-divisional strategy and resource allocation for communications efforts and ensures that communications maximize value to the company while protecting and enhancing REI’s brand and reputation.
  • Ensures clarity and mutual understanding of issues of consequence among REI stakeholders with the goal of creating mutually beneficial outcomes for all parties.
  • Positions the co-op effectively in response to issues, opportunities, and threats and is proactive in efforts to guide business actions that reflect REI’s values and key stakeholder expectations. Designs and delivers clear and consistent messages that address the communication needs and requirements of stakeholders.
  • Negotiates and/or approves final strategy and work scope for outside communication contractors, agencies and consultants. Approves final vendor selection for communication and issues initiatives.
  • Serves as the lead communications consultant on significant communication challenges and reputational issues. Serves as the media relations lead for proactively positioning, training and supporting the company’s executives and CEO on key strategic issues and opportunities. 
  • Tracks, analyzes, reports and recommends actions to company leadership on emerging trends and issues of consequence to the company’s reputation and brand. Addresses or elevates issues as necessary and garners appropriate support for action plans and responses.
  • Ensures that the company’s crisis communication process and protocols are adequate, consistent and regularly tested. Ensures divisional alignment, appropriate oversight and integration with Risk Management and necessary policy, technology and resource support.
  • Evolves communication strategies and develops the team’s competency to ensure REI is well positioned to address traditional and emerging communication channels, methods and media. 
  • Provides strong team leadership for staff in the performance of their duties, including the development and articulation of clear strategies and goals, leadership development within the group’s staff and on-going counsel and coaching.
  • Drives operational efficiencies in all areas of responsibility to maximize the team’s contribution to REI’s goals.

Bring your passion and expertise

  • 12+ years of experience in corporate communications, public relations/public affairs with at 7+ years supervising other professionals.
  • Exceptional media relations skills with proven experience of positive results from working with national-level press.
  • Demonstrated track record of employing exceptional judgment in decision-making and all working relationships.
  • Demonstrates strong emotional intelligence in interactions, negotiations, and communications.
  • Demonstrated record of success in development, alignment, and deployment of business and communications strategy. Proven ability to develop short and long-term implementations.
  • Ability to work well under the pressure of deadlines, unpredictability and on multiple priorities.
  • Experience with budget development, management, and resource allocation
  • Proven experience in counseling and influencing senior executives
  • Exceptional analytical skills, proven experience as problem solver and excellent negotiator
  • Expertise in both traditional and emerging media and communications; technology savvy and demonstrated practical experience working with new media and internet communications.
  • Communications experience in large, multi-store retail or service organization.
  • College degree or equivalent professional experience in the field.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills; group presentation skills required
  • Proven leadership and supervisory abilities in a complex organization and proven experience as a people manager with skills in leadership development, mentoring and supporting exceptional employee performance
  • Builds capacity of individuals and teams through effective employee development, involvement, communication, and supervision efforts.
  • Creates a strong, mutually supportive work spirit and culture where people can do their best.
  • Establishes trust and inspires others.
  • Makes effective organization and people decisions in a manner consistent with REI's values and ethics.
  • Delivers on commitments and holds others to same.
  • Champions the organization and advocates solutions in the overall Company's best interest.
  • Uses business knowledge, innovative thinking, and sound judgment in the solution of problems or the pursuit of business opportunities.
  • Consolidates information from various sources including feedback from others to reach sound decisions.
  • Considers the ultimate impact of decisions and actions on internal and external customers/stakeholders/members
  • Fosters change in company direction.
  • Effectively plans and executes changes.

At REI we offer an enviable work environment that has been recognized on the "100 Best Companies to Work For" list since the award's inception – 22 years in a row! Sure, we work hard, but it’s balanced with time off to play—a strategy that works for us as we continue to grow and thrive. Want to enjoy a workplace where you can be yourself, be heard and be respected while having a job that challenges you? This is the place.

With more than 150 retail locations (and growing), REI offers unique competitive benefits to its more than 13,000 employees, including healthcare, gear and apparel discounts, free equipment rentals and challenge grants to help employees reach personal outdoor goals, generous retirement plan contributions, public transit subsidy, adoptions assistance, paid sabbaticals, and more.

REI is an Equal Opportunity Employer

ARTICLE 23-A, Section 753

§753. Factors to be considered concerning a previous criminal conviction; presumption.

1. In making a determination pursuant to section seven hundred fifty-two of this chapter, the public agency or private employer shall consider the following factors:

(a) The public policy of this state, as expressed in this act, to encourage the licensure and employment of persons previously convicted of one or more criminal offenses.

(b) The specific duties and responsibilities necessarily related to the license or employment sought or held by the person.

(c) The bearing, if any, the criminal offense or offenses for which the person was previously convicted will have on his fitness or ability to perform one or more such duties or responsibilities.

(d) The time which has elapsed since the occurrence of the criminal offense or offenses.

(e) The age of the person at the time of occurrence of the criminal offense or offenses.

(f) The seriousness of the offense or offenses.

(g) Any information produced by the person, or produced on his behalf, in regard to his rehabilitation and good conduct.

(h) The legitimate interest of the public agency or private employer in protecting property, and the safety and welfare of specific individuals or the general public.

2. In making a determination pursuant to section seven hundred fifty-two of this chapter, the public agency or private employer shall also give consideration to a certificate of relief from disabilities or a certificate of good conduct issued to the applicant, which certificate shall create a presumption of rehabilitation in regard to the offense or offenses specified therein.