Requisition Number: 2020-08-002
City: Reston
State: VA


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Description/Job Summary

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is seeking a dynamic, experienced Senior Manager, Communications whose core responsibilities will include:

  • Corporate messaging
  • Media outreach
  • Public relations
  • Communications strategy
  • Executive communications
  • Internal communications
  • Crisis communications
  • Manage outsourced partners


  • Work closely with the Senior Director, Strategic Marketing and Communications to create, implement, and monitor communication plans, strategies and programs for AIAA, including public relations, media relations, forum-related planning, and assisting in the management of internal and external communications
  • Serve as communications advisor on enterprise wide initiatives, external programs and internal messaging
  • Collaborate with stakeholders to ensure messaging in consistent throughout Institute
  • Manage outsourced partners such as communications consultants
  • Lead forward-vision communications, including Institute report
  • Lead annual survey of AIAA members for Institute report as part of the overall communications strategy
  • Manage traditional and nontraditional media such as video messaging outreach
  • Closely collaborate with social media coordinator on content and messaging
  • Implement and monitor branding, messaging, corporate image enhancement efforts, social media strategy, and on campaigns or projects as assigned
  • Lead proactive media relations and press outreach duties, including drafting press releases, media advisories, op-eds, statements, ghost written columns, and executive correspondence. Handle media inquiries and interview requests, while building and maintaining relationships with media at the local, regional, national, and international levels
  • Manage Institute communication projects such as the annual Institute Report, Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala videos and scripts, forum-related videos, general Institute videos and other projects as assigned
  • Implement response to urgent communications and media relations matters, such as statements, press releases, member tributes, and government action
  • Lead Executive Director communications, including talking points, newsletters, video messaging, and From Dan’s Desk
  • Monitor media metrics dashboard for ROI and to build value for results of communications plans, media outreach, and related communications

Media Relations

  • Lead AIAA’s media relations programs, and explore opportunities to expand the Institute’s media profile
  • Quickly and accurately develop press releases, media advisories, statements, letters, and other written collateral and planning materials as assigned
  • Build and maintain multiple media lists for AIAA’s forums, events, and issue area outreach
  • Track and analyze metrics, using Cision software
  • Maintain an AIAA member expert database for the media and internal use
  • Serve as reporters’ and producers’ primary point of contact in the office and onsite at forums and other AIAA events
  • Proactively plan and implement media relations and outreach efforts focused on significant annual milestones and upcoming industry developments incorporating institute messaging, issuing enterprise communication, and cultivating press coverage of same. Implementation could include drafting and/or reviewing press releases, media advisories, op-eds, blog posts, and handling media inquiries and interview requests
  • Collaborate with Senior Director, Strategic Marketing and Communications and with staff and external stakeholders to recognize new/underdeveloped opportunities for media outreach and to highlight events to press


  • Proactively collaborate with the Senior Director, Strategic Marketing and Communications to manage the day-to-day operations of the Institute’s communications
  • Lead overall enterprise communications including branding outreach at the direction of the Senior Director, Strategic Marketing and Communications 
  • Support all executive communications serving as a ghost writer, coauthor or editor as assigned for speech development, formal written correspondence, op-eds, articles, talking points, etc
  • Manage distribution of communications collateral material
  • Work with Senior Director, Strategic Marketing and Communications, project managers, and other appropriate staff on protocol-related issues at AIAA Forums and events
  • Develop and manage relevant budget components for outside communications-related vendors, including soliciting multiple bids, contracting with, and managing contracted videography, and editorial/writing services
  • Fact-check all outgoing materials and correspondence to ensure accuracy

Position Dimensions:

  • Work through, interact with, and support volunteers, external media, public relations contacts, and staff while observing proper protocol
  • Work both independently and at the direction of management
  • Collaborate and communicate effectively across the staff at all levels
  • Maintain progress on multiple activities simultaneously as well as recognize the need to transition focus and adapt schedule and deliverables to address developing situations to support and cover late-breaking events
  • Measure effectiveness of communication strategies and tactics using metrics, analytics, and accomplishments, maintaining budget guidelines
  • Moderate out of town travel required (4-5 times per year) in addition to local travel to support events—including some nights and weekends (staff are currently not traveling due to COVID-19)
  • Produce all work consistent with AIAA branding and style guide
  • Ensure projects achieve the desired results and are completed in a timely manner and within budget
  • Other non-specified duties as needed

Required Skills

  • Ability to summarize diverse technical and/or economic issues into a coherent message tailored to each audience
  • Ability to build and expand relationships with external public relations and media contacts
  • Message development and storytelling
  • Project management experience
  • Experience managing third-party vendor relationships
  • Broadcast, video production and editing, or photography experience desired
  • Extremely attentive to detail and able to review deliverables for completeness, editorial accuracy, style, quality, voice, audience, and compliance with established standards
  • Outgoing and engaging personality with strong networking and interpersonal skills
  • Flexible and adaptable outlook, comfortable managing multiple projects simultaneously with minimal supervision
  • Strong service orientation and decision-making skills
  • Trustworthy with strong business integrity, able to hold sensitive information in confidence, and mindful of the Institute’s best interest and reputation

Required Experience

  • Eight or more years of media or public relations experience required. Previous experience as a reporter a plus
  • Must have extraordinary attention to detail, high standards of accuracy in writing and editing, and strict adherence to standard operating procedures and style
  • Able to write and edit in accordance with both AP Manual of Style and Chicago Manual of Style
  • Demonstrated organizational skills in a complex and dynamic work environment are essential
  • Established media contacts—preferably in the aerospace and defense industries
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Takes responsibility for actions and is accountable for deadlines and deliverables
  • Strong sense of protocol and comfortable interacting with Institute members, industry leaders, VIPs, elected officials, security teams, and volunteer leadership
  • Writing accurately under deadline, ability to analyze press coverage quickly, handle press calls and press inquiries, arrange interviews
  • Demonstrated proficiency with web and social media; Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint applications

Required Education

  • Bachelor’s degree; Majors in communications or journalism preferred, other related degrees considered
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We are an Equal Employment/Affirmative Action employer. We do not discriminate in hiring on the basis of sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, color, religious creed, national origin, physical or mental disability, protected Veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.

If you need a reasonable accommodation for any part of the employment process, please contact us by email at and let us know the nature of your request and your contact information. Requests for accommodation will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Please note that only inquiries concerning a request for reasonable accommodation will be responded to from this e-mail address.

For more information, view the EEO is the Law Poster and Pay Transparency Statement.