Vice President, Strategic Communications and Public Affairs
Cruise Lines International Association
Location: Washington, DC, D.C.
Type: Full Time
Salary: $134,000 - $171,000
4 Year Degree
The Vice President, Strategic Communications & Public Affairs plays a key role in helping to expand and protect the positive, public profile of the cruise industry and its license to operate by monitoring issues in collaboration with the organization’s government affairs team and guiding proactive and strategic response efforts. In addition, this position is responsible for developing and directing communications strategies that help guide, demonstrate, and communicate the industry’s commitment and leadership in operating responsibly. Key areas of the role include the development and management of fully integrated internal and external communications strategies and plans that speak to and/or rally CLIA membership across the wider cruise community, collaboration with related industry associations and business groups, optimization of communications channels (owned and third-party), message and content development, media relations, reputation management, and crisis communications, as well as content, messaging, and positioning, for speeches and presentations. This position is also responsible for leading the organization’s efforts related to initiatives and events that impact or support legislative and public affairs efforts.
The Vice President, Strategic Communications & Public Affairs functions as a liaison with influencer organizations, grassroots champions, and surrogates—collaborating with and supporting CLIA’s government affairs leadership teams in their efforts with Executive and Legislative branches. In addition, the position leads the strategic efforts of our 501c3, Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation (CICF).
While the position has a primary focus on communications and public affairs initiatives in North America, the role does provide significant input and support for global efforts.
The Vice President, Strategic Communications & Public Affairs has at least one direct report and may hire and manage agencies and consultants to support the development and delivery of communications and public affairs strategies and tactics in consultation with SVP, Marketing & Strategic Communications, resources permitting.
Lead public affairs-related communications activities and strategies in collaboration with the strategic communications and government affairs leadership of the organization and its members.
Develop strategies, programs, work plans and plans of action with members, partners, influencer organizations and others consistent with the CLIA’s strategic plan.
Properly vet CLIA’s activities and programs through a strategic communications and public affairs lens.
Work collaboratively with leaders across the senior team and in CLIA regional offices to integrate communications activities with public affairs and government relations priorities.
Issues Management and Crisis Communications
Monitor and manage potential issues and provide guidance to the organization leveraging the expertise of cross-departmental teams.
Recommend research projects and prepare issue white papers as appropriate.
Support and help shape our government relations activities in North America in consultation with SVP of Global Government Affairs.
Lead the organization’s crisis readiness response plans related to issues that impact legislation issues and public affairs objectives and build scenarios to be at the ready for potential issues. Continually update the plan and make it accessible to leadership and members of a cross-department crisis readiness response team.
Direct the development, implementation, and evaluation of communications strategies and plans related to internal and external stakeholder communications, media relations, message development, executive communications, corporate social media channels, website, intranet, industry engagement, issues and crisis readiness response, content development/distribution, and public affairs and reputation-related event strategies.
Develop and direct the implementation of supporting communications plans on initiatives, organizational developments, issues, and crisis response.
Build enthusiasm, engagement, and trust among key stakeholders by establishing best-in-class communications strategies for stakeholder engagement.
Maintain effective stakeholder engagement with owned and third-party communication channels by continually enhancing content and leveraging each channel’s capabilities to reach and influence stakeholders (i.e., website, intranet, social media channels, etc.). Work collaboratively with other members of the strategic communications team and others responsible for the management of the respective channels.
Keep the CLIA Strategic Communications Committee apprised of and have appropriate input and/or approval into CLIA’s strategies and positioning on public affairs and strategic communications initiatives—providing guidance to members where appropriate.
Work closely with and develop solid working relationships with association members, partners, as well as public affairs and communications staff to share information, plan strategies, coordinate tactical execution, and prepare communications materials.
Provide stakeholder communications support for senior leadership and global executive board members, as well as executive partner, travel trade, and other departments before, during and after industry events and major initiatives.
Content Creation and Management
Manage key content on the CLIA website and intranet (the “Bridge”) related to communications initiatives and messaging.
Develop multi-media content for distribution over paid, earned, shared, and owned channels to support strategic communications and public affairs objectives.
Develop and direct executive communications (speeches and presentations) and the organization’s speakers’ bureau (to be created).
Create presentations, write speeches, and develop talking points for CLIA and association leadership to support public affairs and strategic communications initiatives.
Media Relations and Messaging
Build strong relationships with the media to secure positive media coverage and earn a greater share of voice for the cruise industry.
Develop and execute media strategies, messages, and positioning that raise the positive profile of the cruise industry with key stakeholders and help correct the narrative when misperceptions or inaccuracies emerge; oversee and direct the writing press releases and other materials for use with traditional and new media; handle media inquiries and as serve as a key company spokesperson.
Develop pitch sheets and prepare media briefing materials to support media outreach efforts and prepare CLIA and board leadership for media opportunities.
Recommend and develop appropriate tracking, analysis, and reporting on the effectiveness of communications and public affairs activities against pre-established objectives.
Department and Staff Management
Provide leadership to staff and help build high performance teams by hiring, supervising, and mentoring team members.
Guide staff in establishing goals that support CLIA’s strategic plans and objectives, and conduct performance evaluations of direct reports based on your observations, achievement of each member’s individual goals, and feedback from others, as appropriate.
Support the relationship manager and liaison with Mercy Ships (led by Maritime Policy).
Lead CLIA’s strategic efforts with our 501c3, Cruise Industry Charitable Foundation (CICF).
Other duties may be assigned.
Required Education and Experience:
Bachelors degree in communications, marketing or business; Advanced degree preferred
12 or more years’ experience, ideally in an “in-house” leadership role within a complex (number and variety of constituents) organization (public and private sector experience preferred), or equivalent combination of education and experience.
6+ years at management level
5+ years supervisory experience
Equivalent combination of education and experience
Familiarity with the policymaking process at national and international levels; Capitol Hill experience a plus.
Maritime, cruise industry or other trade association or public affairs agency experience a plus.
The ability to take knowledge and transform it into exciting and compelling messages, and disseminate it to the right audiences through the best distribution channels.
Excellent writing/editing and verbal communication skills.
The ability to create visually compelling presentations.
Proven ability to think and lead strategically, while operating at the intersection of strategy and tactics.
Strong track record as a communications strategist and trusted strategic advisor—able to establish, develop, and implement communications strategies and plans that deliver against clear objectives and goals to support an organization’s business objectives, mission, and vision. Demonstrated experience as a relationship builder with the ability to “manage by influence.”
Highly collaborative style with a sincere commitment to work with all constituent groups (internal and external).
Experience in a customer-focused capacity; ability to navigate complex organizations and interests and achieve consensus.
High energy, maturity, and leadership with the ability to serve as a unifying force and to position communications discussions at both the strategic and tactical levels.
Self-starter, able to work independently, and entrepreneurial; enjoys creating and implementing new initiatives.
This position is based in our DC office as part of a hybrid work environment with 1-2 days in the office and 3-4 days remote. A 100% remote position will also be considered for the right candidate.
Fast paced, professional office environment with moderate noise levels.
Must be able to use a computer at a work-station for long periods of time and to accommodate potentially frequent interruptions.
Some travel is required (about 30% annually).
Please note this job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties, or responsibilities that are required of the employee for this job. Duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice.
Reasonable accommodation may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform these essential functions.
CLIA provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.
CLIA is the world's largest cruise industry trade association, providing a unified voice and leading authority of the global cruise community. On behalf of its members, affiliates, and partners, the organization supports policies and practices that foster a secure, healthy, and sustainable cruise ship environment, promoting positive travel experiences for the more than 30 million passengers who have cruised annually. The CLIA community includes the world's most prestigious ocean, river, and specialty cruise lines; a highly trained and certified travel agent community; and widespread industry stakeholders, including ports & destinations, ship development, suppliers, and business services. CLIA represents 95% of the world’s ocean-going cruise capacity, as well as 54,000 travel agents, and 15,000 of the largest travel agencies in the world.
The organization's global headquarters are in Washington, DC, with regional offices located in North and South America, Europe, Asia, and Australasia.
*CLIA is the global organization that fosters our members' success by advocating, educating and promoting the common interests of the cruise community.
*CLIA represents the ...interests of the cruise industry community.
*50+ Cruise Lines – From ocean to specialty cruise ships, CLIA lines represent more than 95 percent of global cruise capacity.
*350+ Executive Partner Members – As key suppliers and partners to the cruise lines, executive partners play a major role in the successful operation of cruising, including ports & destinations, ship development, suppliers and business services.
*13,000 Global Travel Agency and 50,000 Travel Agent Members – Our travel agency members include the largest agencies, hosts, franchises and consortia in the world.
*CLIA Cruise Lines serve nearly 30 million passengers annually.