Director of Marketing and Communications

28 Dec, 2021


Director of Marketing and Communications

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, Inc.
Norwalk, CT

The Maritime Aquarium at Norwalk, Inc. (TMA or the Aquarium) seeks a Director of Marketing and Communications to play a central role in the overall success of the Aquarium, with the responsibility of promoting the awareness and elevating the profile of the Aquarium, bringing attention to its mission, exhibits, programs, and activities, and thereby serving to fulfill the Aquarium’s ambitious goals and vision.



The mission of The Maritime Aquarium is to inspire people of all ages to appreciate and protect the Long Island Sound ecosystem and the global environment through living exhibits, marine science and environmental education. For more than 33 years, the Aquarium has played a significant role in shaping the landscape of Norwalk and the region. The second largest family attraction in Connecticut, and 50 miles from New York City, the Aquarium historically hosts nearly 500,000 guests annually. Its primary exhibits take guests on a voyage from the shallow salt marshes and estuaries to the depths of the Long Island Sound and the ocean beyond, culminating with habitats for sharks and harbor seals. Altogether, the Aquarium is home to nearly 7,000 animals and over 360 species in 75 exhibits. A new 4D Theater offers a unique sensory film experience for guests. Its education programs introduce approximately 80,000 students, campers and scouts to marine and STEM education. The Aquarium is recognized as a top aquarium in the nation, and is accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums. It is an active participant in the local and regional community. The strength of the Aquarium is its 60 full-time staff, and part-time and seasonal staff, in addition to nearly 300 volunteers, which contribute 28,000 hours annually. While the pandemic challenged the Aquarium in profound ways, the team’s resilience and creativity led to new ways to connect with the community, and renewed optimism for the future.



The Director of Marketing and Communications plays a central role in the overall success of the Aquarium, with the responsibility of promoting the awareness and elevating the profile of the Aquarium, bringing attention to its mission, exhibits, programs, and activities, and thereby serving to fulfill the Aquarium’s ambitious goals and vision. The Director manages a comprehensive portfolio including, but not limited to: paid, owned, and earned media across all channels (e.g. social, radio, print, TV, etc.) public relations, outreach and internal communications. The Director of Marketing and Communications currently supervises a staff of two, manages various consultants and vendor relationships, and is expected to work cross-functionally within the Aquarium.


Marketing, Communications, and Public Relations

·      Create, implement, and measure the success of a comprehensive marketing and communications program that will enhance the Aquarium’s image and position within the marketplace and the general public.

·      Oversee internal and external communications and all Aquarium marketing and communications activities, such as:

o  Coordinating proactive and reactive media opportunities for the Aquarium and responding appropriately to media inquiries. Act as a primary representative with the media.

o  Leading on paid media campaigns, ensuring regular contact with the Aquarium’s media consultant/buyers.

o  Directing social media efforts across platforms including: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Flickr, TikTok, and others as appropriate.

o  Maintaining the Aquarium’s external website, continually improving performance. Establishing an internal website.

o  Collaborating with content providers and creative team on messaging and content to ensure integrated communications.

o  Overseeing press release communications.

·      Strategize with other departments to drive attendance, raise funds, increase participation in education and conservation programs, and recruit staff and volunteers.

·      Cultivate and manage relationships with all celebrity talent and social influencers.

·      Support the Aquarium’s policy strategy and activities, locally and nationally.

·      Partner with, and provide support to, other departments on marketing and communications. Provide media training and other support as needed.

·      Direct audience/consumer research, market and competitive analysis to identify opportunities and maximize impact.

·      Lead marketing events and other campaigns to strengthen public relations and serve as a community leader.

·      Manage brand awareness and usage internally and externally, with development and implementation of appropriate brand guidelines.

Planning and Budgeting

·      Develop annual marketing and communications plan and budget; establish multi-year strategies; set targets; report progress.

·      Track performance, report progress regularly to senior leadership, and adjust planning based on learnings.

·      Develop, implement, and monitor the policies and procedures necessary for the smooth operations of the marketing and communications function.

·      Keep informed of developments in the fields of marketing and communications, local, national and international biodiversity and climatological events, not-for-profit management and governance, and programmatic activity of the Aquarium and use this information to help the Aquarium operate with initiative and innovation.


·      Maintain a climate that attracts, retains and motivates top quality personnel, both paid and volunteer.

·      Ensure effective management within the marketing and communications team, across the philanthropy and engagement team, and more broadly, senior leaders.

·      Support/lead special projects as requested.


Work Experience

·      Minimum of 8-10 years relevant and progressive marketing and communications experience, including 3-5 years of management experience.

·      Bachelor’s degree or equivalent in Marketing or related field. Master’s degree a plus.

·      Experience in a non-profit organization preferred.

·      Proven track record in the implementation and management of successful marketing and communications programs and initiatives across paid, owned, earned media channels.

Knowledge and Skills

·      Commitment to the Aquarium’s mission, with an appreciation for the important role that the Aquarium plays in conservation, education and the life of a vibrant community.

·      Commitment to equity and social justice, and strong alignment with our organizational values.

·      An attitude of creativity, innovation, confidence and entrepreneurship, with an ability to inspire and motivate both audiences and staff.

·      Strong leadership ability with proven management skills in leading and developing a staff, and working within a highly motivated team.

·      Strong interpersonal skills.

·      Excellent written and verbal communication skills.

·      Continuous improvement / problem solving mindset and way of working

·      Strong attention to detail

·      Willingness to work evenings, weekends and holidays as needed.

·      This job description is not designed to cover or contain a comprehensive listing of activities, duties or responsibilities.

How to Apply

Please send a cover letter, CV and salary requirements to Danielle Tranzillo  with Director of Marketing and Communications in the subject line of your email. Preference will be given to applications received before January 30, but the position will remain open until filled.  No phone calls please.

The Maritime Aquarium is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity. All individuals, regardless of personal characteristics, are encouraged to apply.

Job posted: 2021-12-28