City of Ann Arbor
  • Downtown Development Authority
  • Ann Arbor, MI, USA
  • $75,000-$90,000
  • Salary
  • Full Time

Communications Manager

 

Pay Rate Information:

Starting Salary Range: $75,000 - $90,000, depending on experience

Benefits offered with this position include:

  • Defined benefit pension plan
  • 401a with City match
  • Optional 457 Deferred Compensation plan
  • Reciprocal Pension Credit, available for pension-qualified applicants
  • Retiree health reimbursement account
  • Very generous medical/dental/vision/pharmacy plans
  • Paid vacation, personal time, floating holiday, plus sick days. Unused vacation and sick time rolls over
  • Short-term and long-term disability, life, and AD&D insurance
  • Flexible spending accounts
  • You can earn up to $500 annually by participating in our Wellness Incentive Programs. These dollars will be deposited into a health reimbursement account (HRA), which can be used toward eligible health care expenses
  • Tuition reimbursement $2500, must be employed 1 year to be eligible
  • Employee assistance program
  • Voluntary benefits like accident coverage, critical illness, LegalShield, and Identify Theft

Mission Statement:

The mission of the DDA is to undertake public improvements that have the greatest impact in strengthening the downtown area and attracting private investment.

Role Summary:

Responsible for developing, implementing and overseeing communication plans, programs, and projects in support of downtown vibrancy and the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority, and serving as an ombudsman assisting downtown constituencies.

Essential Duties:

The DDA Communications Administrator has three primary responsibilities: sharing information about the DDA, its programs, and policies with the public and receiving community feedback;  communicating information about downtown; and serving as an ombudsman to assist with downtown constituent concerns.

 

Communications about the DDA

  • Responsible for the overall management of the DDA's communications about its purpose, activities, policies, and projects.       This includes the development and maintenance of effective short-term and long-range communication plans, and the creation and dissemination of information about the DDA using strategic and effective public communication methods.   This will include direct one-on-one communication with downtown stakeholders, as well other strategies that tell the DDA's story, highlight its impact, enhance stakeholder/citizen engagement in DA projects and programs, and strengthens its relationships with its community.      
  • Responsible to develop, manage and implement efforts to strengthen understanding in the community of parking rules and practices.  
  • Foster mutually beneficial relationships with community advocacy groups.  
  • Strengthen communication about public projects, including DDA projects, special events, and private development, including coordination with the Area Associations.
  • Use individual and group meetings, surveys, and other tools to encourage regular community input and feedback into DDA projects, programs, and policies.
  • Conduct periodic needs assessments to understand how the DDA communicates externally; identify gaps and opportunities.    
  • Oversee and support staff and interns responsible for maintaining the DDA's social media and electronic communications platforms.  
  • Provide advice and support to the DDA in its communication, including creating consistency of message and appearance.       This may include developing presentations for conferences and special events, and preparing materials for distribution, including electronic communications.  
  • Oversee the development and production of print and digital communication, including feature stories, news releases, web content, social media posts, and promotional videos.  
  • Oversee public relations by coordinating news releases and responses to press inquiries.  

 

Communications about downtown Ann Arbor

  • Responsible for the overall development and implementation of the DDA's communications strategies for downtown Ann Arbor, in particular its retail and small business components.   This includes the development and implementation of effective short-term and long-range communication plans, projects and practices which increase awareness of the many diverse aspects of and attractions within downtown with the general public and groups.
  • Successful projects will heighten awareness of downtown's assets and will often involve close coordination and cooperation with others promoting downtown, including downtown businesses, business groups, CVB, University of Michigan, SPARK, and others. This will include assembling information and production of reports, such as the DDA's annual State of the Downtown report.

 

Downtown Ombudsman

  • Work as an ombudsman to respond to concerns and complaints about public infrastructure, City and DDA services, policies and projects, right of way permits and conditions.  
  • Act as a liaison between the downtown community and those leading construction projects, both public and private, to convey questions and concerns, and to provide information to lessen impact from construction.
  • Create regular opportunities for meetings with downtown businesses to hear concerns, including regular informational group meetings.  

 

Essential Duties:

 

The DDA Communications Administrator has three primary responsibilities: sharing information about the DDA, its programs, and policies with the public and receiving community feedback;  communicating information about downtown; and serving as an ombudsman to assist with downtown constituent concerns.

 

Communications about the DDA

  • Responsible for the overall management of the DDA's communications about its purpose, activities, policies, and projects.       This includes the development and maintenance of effective short-term and long-range communication plans, and the creation and dissemination of information about the DDA using strategic and effective public communication methods.   This will include direct one-on-one communication with downtown stakeholders, as well other strategies that tell the DDA's story, highlight its impact, enhance stakeholder/citizen engagement in DA projects and programs, and strengthens its relationships with its community.      
  • Responsible to develop, manage and implement efforts to strengthen understanding in the community of parking rules and practices.  
  • Foster mutually beneficial relationships with community advocacy groups.  
  • Strengthen communication about public projects, including DDA projects, special events, and private development, including coordination with the Area Associations.
  • Use individual and group meetings, surveys, and other tools to encourage regular community input and feedback into DDA projects, programs, and policies.    
  • Conduct periodic needs assessments to understand how the DDA communicates externally; identify gaps and opportunities.    
  • Oversee and support staff and interns responsible for maintaining the DDA's social media and electronic communications platforms.  
  • Provide advice and support to the DDA in its communication, including creating consistency of message and appearance.       This may include developing presentations for conferences and special events, and preparing materials for distribution, including electronic communications.  
  • Oversee the development and production of print and digital communication, including feature stories, news releases, web content, social media posts, and promotional videos.  
  • Oversee public relations by coordinating news releases and responses to press inquiries.  

 

Communications about downtown Ann Arbor

  • Responsible for the overall development and implementation of the DDA's communications strategies for downtown Ann Arbor, in particular its retail and small business components.   This includes the development and implementation of effective short-term and long-range communication plans, projects and practices which increase awareness of the many diverse aspects of and attractions within downtown with the general public and groups.
  • Successful projects will heighten awareness of downtown's assets and will often involve close coordination and cooperation with others promoting downtown, including downtown businesses, business groups, CVB, University of Michigan, SPARK, and others. This will include assembling information and production of reports, such as the DDA's annual State of the Downtown report.

 

Downtown Ombudsman

  • Work as an ombudsman to respond to concerns and complaints about public infrastructure, City and DDA services, policies and projects, right of way permits and conditions.  
  • Act as a liaison between the downtown community and those leading construction projects, both public and private, to convey questions and concerns, and to provide information to lessen impact from construction.
  • Create regular opportunities for meetings with downtown businesses to hear concerns, including regular informational group meetings.  
  • Serve as a DDA staff liaison to various downtown event and committee meetings, city policy meetings, and other meetings that may affect downtown businesses.  
  • Establish and maintain effective relationships with representatives of civic, corporate, educational, and other governmental organizations.  
  • Communicate actions under consideration by or actions taken by City Council, such as new or revised city policies and ordinances that may impact businesses, residents, agencies, and others.  

 

Related Work

  • Prepare and administer the portion of the DDA budget relating to communications-related expenditures, including website update, market analyses, and print.
  • Write and produce press releases, flyers, brochures, power point presentations and other written communication tools as needed. This will include creation of a library of photo images of downtown buildings and streetscapes for use with communication projects.
  • Draft responses for use by the Executive Director to Administrative and City Council information requests regarding communication-related matters.  
  • Compile technical and statistical information for use with reports. Analyze trends and changes. This will include overseeing the work to assemble the annual State of the Downtown report.
  • Work with and support the Downtown Area Associations in their efforts, including their communications with their members, promotions, and special events.  
  • Perform other related work as assigned

 

Knowledge of:

  • Extensive connections within downtown Ann Arbor, including businesses, business groups, residents, public agencies, University of Michigan, and more.
  • Familiarity with modern best practices designing and implementing effective communications strategies, including interpersonal, small group, and media.  
  • Familiarity with City departments, functions, permitting processes and staff
  • Knowledge of outstanding customer service principles and practices
  • Extensive knowledge of City of Ann Arbor personnel, services and department functions, in addition to city policies and permitting  
  • Extensive knowledge about Ann Arbor public parking facilities and practices
  • Awareness of the concerns and challenges of small independent businesses, as well as their unique selling points.

 

Skills and Demonstrated Ability to: (position requirement at entry)

 

  • Experience developing and implementing strategic communications or marketing plans and initiatives.
  • Exceptional writing skills
  • Identify target audiences and devising campaigns that engage, inform and motivate.
  • Facilitate public meetings and small group meetings
  • Communicate clearly and concisely in both verbal and written communications
  • Actively listen and receive information from the public, both in ordinary settings and during times when there may be conflict
  • Organize information and data in effective and compelling written, verbal and graphic presentations
  • Work well with and communicate tactfully and positively with public, policy makers and media
  • Effectively manage others including coordinating the work of professional consultants, staff and interns
  • Identify problems and work to develop and implement creative and timely solutions
  • Strong organizational skills and the ability to coordinate and prioritize multiple duties including management of complex projects and events
  • Independently perform research, evaluate alternatives and make sound recommendations using strategic thinking and analysis
  • Adapt and adjust behavior and work methods rapidly in response to new information, changing conditions, and unexpected situations requiring attention and resolution
  • Be very detail-oriented, accomplishment driven, and able to establish goals and work independently
  • Excellent team mate to support the successful and effective performance of other DDA staff.
  • Excellent collaboration skills and proven ability to communicate and work effectively with diverse constituents and colleagues.
  • Experience delivering communications in a variety of forms.
  • Experience creating customer input/evaluation tools, including customer surveys
  • Demonstrate ability to effectively lead teams or projects to successful outcomes.
  • Experience selecting and overseeing project consultants and budgeting

Training and Experience:

Required

  • Bachelor's Degree in Communications, Planning, English, Public Administration, or a related field.
  • Seven (7) years increasingly responsible professional and management experience in which communication with the public and media were essential responsibilities
  • Experience developing and implementing strategic communications or marketing initiatives

Preferred

  • Master's degree in Communications, Planning, English, Public Administration or a related field.
  • Experience working for a downtown organization, business organization, or governmental agency in a leadership role.
  • Extensive connections with downtown Ann Arbor businesses, area media, non-profit leaders, neighborhood group leaders, and representatives of area agencies.
  • Experience with social media tools, applications, and features
  • Familiarity with the work and culture of the Ann Arbor Downtown Development Authority.
  • Supervisory experience

Physical Requirements:

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential duties of this job.    Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential duties.

Positions in this class typically require: reaching, lifting, pushing, pulling, grasping, talking, hearing, seeing and repetitive motions.

Move and lift light objects less than 20 pounds such as mail, files and supplies. Operating office equipment requiring continuous or repetitive hand/arm movements. The ability to remain in a sitting position for extended periods of time.

Sedentary Work: Exerting up to 20 pounds of force occasionally and/or a negligible amount of force frequently or constantly to lift, carry, push, pull or otherwise move objects. Sedentary work involves sitting most of the time.

EEO:  We are proud of our diverse workforce and our commitment to equal opportunity.  We do not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived age, arrest record, color, disability, educational association, familial status, family responsibilities, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, height, HIV status, marital status, national origin, political beliefs, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, source of income, veteran status, victim of domestic violence or stalking, or weight in any aspect of our hiring or employment process. The City of Ann Arbor has earned a perfect score on the Human Rights Campaign Foundation's Municipal Equality Index (MEI), which assesses lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer equality in more than 500 cities across the nation.

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