The Vice President, Communications, is responsible for directing the Aerospace Industries Association’s (AIA) advocacy and communications programs and activities, establishing the association as the premier association of the aerospace industry and its president & CEO as the industry's spokesperson.
This Vice President reports directly to the President and CEO and is responsible for developing and implementing a comprehensive communications strategy to support the association’s policy, industry advocacy, and membership goals. It provides brand leadership resulting in the positioning of AIA as the premier organization in the U.S. representing the aerospace and defense industry.
The position will provide input, leadership, guidance, and direction for all communications activities of the association, ensuring AIA’s and the industry’s message swiftly and effectively reaches diverse domestic and international audiences (government and regulators, Congress, industry and opinion leaders, member companies, and the general public) through major media outlets as well as trade press and digital media.
AIA is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace, committed to equal employment opportunity regardless of race, color, ancestry, religion, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, age, citizenship, marital status, disability, gender identity/expression or Veteran status. Consistent with our AIA’s commitment to be an Equal Opportunity Employer, we strongly believe that diversity contributes to a broader collective perspective that will consistently lead to a better organization and better results. We are working hard to increase the diversity of our team wherever we can and we actively encourage everyone to consider becoming a part of it.
Core Duties and Responsibilities:
This role will work with AIA’s senior leadership team to ensure that all communications efforts align with AIA’s mission, strategic plan, and overall objectives. In addition, the position will:
Liaise with staff to identify potential media issues and develop effective strategies to promote and/or respond. Advise the president and professional staff on all communications matters; inform media about industry issues and developments; and provide direction and input for publication and related outreach efforts.
In close coordination with the Strategy & Integration and Legislative Affairs divisions, develop and implement industry-wide campaigns as needed to advance aerospace and defense objectives. This could include: message development communications, white papers, reports, toolkits, grassroots activity, advertising, and earned media.
Oversee the development of all organizational communications including news releases, statements, op-eds, social media, letters to the editor, and other materials.
Identify and develop speaking opportunities and other platforms for the president and senior staff that support the association’s policy and advocacy objectives. Oversee and delegate the development and production of all communication materials, articles, op-eds, letters to the editor, blogs and newsletter columns for the president's by-line.
Develop and maintain an active network of public affairs contacts within the industry, federal agencies, the administration, international organizations, and other important sources. Work with other associations to identify common issues that are appropriate for concerted actions. Keep highly informed of industry developments through wide reading and contacts with industry and government officials.
Develop and maintain a strong program of internal communications to AIA members both Full and Associate. Support the needs of AIA staff communications as well.
Serve as staff liaison to the Communications Council, its executive committee, the Washington Public Relations Committee, and ad hoc project groups. Inform council members of fast-breaking developments and develop industry positions. Host informative local breakfast or luncheon meetings for the committee. Proactively develop communications plans for developing issues that may/will become important to our members, including crisis communications management.
Provide direction and input for the association’s web page and blog as a front-line communications medium.
Develop a cohesive narrative to present AIA's strategic priorities.
Refine and implement an effective communications strategy to support AIA’s strategic plan. This includes developing and expanding media and marketing and brand strategies.
Serve as primary media spokesperson for the association.
Plan, initiate and conduct media activities to ensure positive working relationships with national, regional, and local news media representatives and provide receptive outlets for news and information generated by the association.
Lead, manage, and mentor team of communications professionals.
Develop new and innovative strategies to raise public awareness and effectively communicate the issues important to the aerospace and defense industry to the general public.
Develop, oversee and manage an annual budget for the communication function.
Staff of 5: Assistant Vice President of Communication, Director of Communication, Creative Director, Senior Writer/Editor, and (a shared) Administrative Assistant.
Demonstrated experience as an executive in a company or association, with specific established expertise in communications;
A minimum of five years’ in a senior management role in government, an association, aerospace-related corporation; or a public relations organization;
Experience in the primary/senior communications role for more than three years;
Direct experience working and/or pitching stories to media outlets, specific reporters, communication teams, etc.;
Demonstrated experience and success in the use of technology as a management tool;
Ability to effectively communicate the vision, programs and value of membership in AIA to maintain and increase membership including reaching and/or expanding into new or untapped markets;
Experience in developing and managing departmental budgets;
Superb interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work collegially with others and with the highest standards of integrity;
First-rate personal, political, analytical and organizational skills;
Ability to quickly get up to speed on complex technical and regulatory issues;
Excellent communicator with great interpersonal and presentation skills, both for policy experts and the layperson;
Ability to work independently as well as a team player in a multi-task work environment while producing the highest caliber work product in a timely manner;
Self starter with a sense of humor and the ability to thrive in a fast moving and sometimes high pressure environment.
Three (3) References [Name, Title, Contact information]
List of Publications indicating authorship and/or oversight
Additional Salary Information: Salary commensurate with experience.
About Aerospace Industries Association
The Aerospace Industries Association, founded in 1919 only a few years after the birth of flight, is the premier trade association representing the nation's major aerospace and defense manufacturers.
Based in Arlington, Va., AIA is led by a Board of Governors that meets twice a year and consists of senior representatives (generally chief executive officers) of member companies, and an Executive Committee that meets more frequently. A hallmark of AIA is that it receives its policy guidance from the direct involvement of CEO-level officers of the country's major aerospace companies. The government frequently seeks advice from AIA on issues, and AIA provides a forum for government and industry representatives to exchange views and resolve problems on non-competitive matters related to the aerospace industry.
Today, more than 100 major aerospace and defense companies are members of the association, embodying every high-technology manufacturing segment of the U.S. aerospace and defense industry from commercial aviation and avionics, to manned and unmanned defense systems, to space technologies and satellite communications.
In addition, the association has more than 175 associat...e member companies, all of which are leading aerospace and defense suppliers.
Marion C. Blakey is the association's chief executive officer and president. The association concentrates on issues covering civil aviation, space and national security. The National Security Division includes a number of functional areas including defense budget and policy; workforce, industrial base, international affairs, technical operations, and the Team America Rocketry Challenge, a contest for middle and high school students. Acquisition Policy is the focal point for many initiatives associated with federal government acquisition reform activities. Acquisition Policy functional areas also include coordination of industry environmental and safety matters and activities for the supply chain through the Supplier Management Council.
AIA member company representatives sit on various councils and committees in these areas and, supported by AIA staff, formulate industry positions on specific issues for approval by the Executive Committee and the Board of Governors.
In addition the association has offices for Administration, Communications, Legislative Affairs, and Membership Services. Legislative Affairs coordinates legislative advocacy activities on AIA's issues and Membership Services coordinates AIA's relationship with current and prospective members. Communications is the focal point for news media contacts and publishes a monthly newsletter and quarterly Executive Report on the full range of issues handled by the association. Communications also houses the Aerospace Research Center, which publishes a statistical yearbook, Facts & Figures.