Join the American Horticultural Society’s (AHS) outstanding team of professionals and find your opportunity to engage, inspire, and activate people of all walks of life to make America a nation of gardeners, a land of gardens. This full-time position will play an integral role in crafting and implementing the communications strategies that will carry the AHS into its second century.
Under the leadership of a new President and CEO and a highly energized Board, and in anticipation of its 2022 Centennial, the AHS is undertaking a significant planning initiative to inform the development of a strategic framework and identification of focus areas to guide its efforts. This will include an examination and refinement of its priorities, audiences, programs, and intended impacts.
We seek a Manager, Communications and Marketing (Manager) to enhance our current communications and outreach campaigns and to conceive and implement new platforms and media that align with the AHS’s emerging strategy; attract and engage new audiences; and embody our national mission. As part of the Communications department, the incumbent will work closely with the AHS Resource Development division (Membership and Development) and with our Programs and National Partnerships (Programs) team to develop and communicate to members and other potential audiences compelling stories about the AHS’s mission and programs and the value and benefits of horticulture.
The AHS is a national organization with approximately 20,000 members. Current national programs include the Great American Gardeners Awards, National Children & Youth Gardening Symposium, Study-Travel Tours, and a Reciprocal Admissions Program. The AHS also publishes The American Gardener Magazine six times per year as a primary member benefit. AHS offers content and resources via its website and engages audiences across various social media platforms. The Society is based at River Farm, a 25-acre garden property overlooking the Potomac River in Alexandria, VA.
Reporting to the Director, Communications, and collaborating closely with other AHS staff, the Manager helps plan and implement strategic, creative, and integrated communications and marketing campaigns to promote the AHS’s national and local education and engagement programs. Main areas of responsibility include planning and implementing communications, marketing, media relations, and other outreach activities; and managing and maintaining the currency of the Society’s ahsgardening.org website and varied social media platforms. Specifically, the Manager will:
• Help develop and execute annual communications and marketing plans to raise AHS’s visibility and credibility as a leading voice for horticulture, strengthen its brand, and promote programs via website, social media posts, e-mail, e-newsletters, and media relations.
• Develop communications strategies and key messages; coordinate creative development and timely production of external marketing and communications materials, working with internal clients and designers to develop such items as brochures, fliers, postcards, mini-websites, event signage.
• Plan and implement media relations campaigns, including developing and maintaining press lists, composing and distributing press releases, event advisories, and calendar listings, developing and pitching stories, and responding to or redirecting inbound media inquiries.
• Research and recommend online communications strategies, new tools, and technologies for engaging and growing our membership and audiences.
• In cooperation with other departments, coordinate, create, and aggregate engaging, text, video, and image content for our various social media channels, e-mail blasts, and website (www.ahsgardening.org) to engage target audiences, increase event attendance, support online giving, and raise organizational visibility.
• Monitor and maintain website functionality and update content on a regular basis. Contribute to development of website strategy and coordinate work of consultants and staff related to site development, design, and refreshment.
• Serve as liaison with other departments to plan, create, edit, and distribute mass e-mails and e-newsletters.
• Interact online with AHS members and other constituents, responding to or redirecting questions and comments.
• Monitor daily Google alerts relating to AHS and River Farm and responds to and/or promotes mentions.
• Track and renew registrations for AHS-owned website domains; recommending strategic purchase of additional domains, as needed. Monitor and analyze user data from web stats, surveys, and e-newsletter reports; provide monthly report with recommendations for improvement.
• Assist other departments with special projects such as form-building, image optimization, etc., as needed.
• Foster interdepartmental teamwork and forge constructive partnerships with other staff members to ensure timely and accurate sharing of information and efficient process management.
• Other duties as assigned by employer to further the Society’s goals and outreach activities.
Qualities, Skills and Abilities:
The ideal candidate will combine a personal passion for and knowledge of gardening, horticulture or environmental issues with demonstrated experience in communications and marketing.
• Self-starting strategic thinker, with the proven project management, organizational skills, and attention to detail required to translate strategies into successful communications campaigns.
• Outstanding oral and written communication skills that result in clear, compelling, and concise content.
• Energetic, confident, and outgoing persona with the ability to remain calm and collected in the face of multiple projects and deadlines.
• High proficiency with MSOffice suite software and comfort with using various technology and office productivity applications.
Knowledge and Experience:
• Bachelor's degree in journalism, communications, marketing, or a related field or commensurate knowledge gained through work experience.
• Minimum of three to five years of experience in strategic communications, public relations, and/or marketing.
• Professional social media experience--with a proven record for implementing and executing successful social media campaigns to foster member/client interaction and community building--strongly preferred.
• Basic HTML proficiency and experience using content management systems, including WYSIWYG, required.
• Experience with customer relationship management (CRM) or fundraising platforms such as Blackbaud NetCommunity and Raiser’s Edge is strongly desired.
• Experience producing e-newsletters.
• Familiarity with photo editing and optimization for web use.
• Experience creating and editing online videos and/or podcasts a plus.
Please email cover letter and résumé detailing your interest in the position to firstname.lastname@example.org. Include two brief writing samples (such as a press release, published article, social media campaign, or communications plan.) The deadline for applications is Friday, November 9, 2018. Salary range for the position is $48,000 - $55,000, commensurate with experience. In addition, this position offers a competitive benefits package including, but not limited to, health, dental, vision, life and disability insurances, paid vacation, holidays, sick leave, and participation in the company’s 403(b) retirement plan with employer match.
The AHS is an equal opportunity employer with a policy of inclusiveness and nondiscrimination. We are committed to providing a workplace that is free of discrimination of all types, and do not condone abusive, offensive, or harassing behavior. The AHS is a drug-free workplace. ADA/EOE.