Director of Communications, Marketing, and Media Relations

07 May, 2023


Director of Communications, Marketing, and Media Relations

American Library Association (ALA)
Chicago, IL

Job Details


The American Library Association (ALA) is the oldest and largest library association in the world.  Founded in 1876, our mission is to share our vision of the importance of libraries, literacy, and free access to information which now also encompasses equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) through the lens of social justice.  ALA is an inclusive, flexible, work environment that values diversity, teamwork, collaboration, creativity, and entrepreneurial spirit.

In that spirit, ALA seeks a Director of its Communications, Marketing, and Media Relations Office (CMMO) to lead the Office, providing leadership, vision, planning, and implementation of strategic communications, media relations, marketing and brand management, public awareness, and social and digital media. The Director creates and executes strategies that promote ALA’s programs and services while providing leadership and guidance on communications issues. The Director manages the office and its staff, ensuring alignment of the work with the Association’s goals and mission. The Director oversees the strategic engagement of external and internal stakeholders including the media, funding agencies and sponsors, libraries and related professional groups, the general public, current and prospective collaborators, consulting marketing and public relations agencies, and ALA members and staff. The selected candidate will lead a staff of 5.5 FTE and develop, monitor, and support CMMO’s allocated budget and associated resources.


Reporting to the ALA Executive Director, the Director of Communications, Marketing, and Media Relations is responsible for:

  • Developing and implementing overall communications and marketing strategy, execution, and analysis including messaging, branding, web content, public awareness, media relations, social media, collateral, support materials, and analytics.
  • Managing strategic Association branding and marketing activities across all communication channels to secure engagement for the organization from an expanding range of audiences (including media entities, ALA members and staff, funding agencies and sponsors, libraries and related professional groups, the general public, and marketing and public relations agencies), and to enhance the visibility, influence, and reputation of ALA, its members, and libraries.
  • Leading the Communications, Marketing, and Media Relations Office and team by developing and supporting an integrated team; preparing, implementing, and tracking budgets; seeking new financial opportunities including grants, partnerships, and contractor services; and developing an integrated communications calendar that lists and synchs major member and public-facing meetings, events, and programs across ALA’s forty units.
  • Positioning ALA with members and prospective members through powerful, clear and consistent communications and marketing to support strategic goals, including member recruitment and retention, fundraising efforts, other revenue generation, and advocacy for the profession.
  • Providing guidance and oversight to Association staff to create and align key messages and statements for social media, print and digital communications, and campaigns.
  • Crafting and conveying content that engages and motivates audiences around the Association’s identity, mission, programming, and impact, and leading the Association in shaping a clear and consistent narrative, ensuring effective and updated storytelling.
  • Identifying and training passionate spokespeople to position the Association as a source of reliable data and information about libraries and library and information services including specific issues related to intellectual freedom and the right to read; equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility; and the needs of library staff and residents working and living in small and rural communities, carceral facilities, or settings that present barriers to access.
  • Managing crisis communications and handling timely press inquiries related to urgent issues or topical events.
  • Creating or managing the development of tools and protocols to facilitate consistent application of brand standards and style guides.
  • Facilitating the coordination of email marketing and promoting the use of best email marketing practices, in consultation with other ALA marketing and communications staff.
  • Developing, implementing, and leading public awareness campaigns; cultivating relationships and seeking strategic alliances with identified stakeholders and audiences to further the message and develop unique and engaging tools and programs.


This is a regular full-time position based in our Chicago office.   Most ALA staff are currently working on a hybrid schedule. We have plans to resume mostly in-person work at ALA offices when it is safe to do so.  Please note that although we have a generous telecommuting policy for our employees, we do not have any truly remote positions in states outside of our workplace sites.

ALA currently requires that employees be fully vaccinated for COVID 19 as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Proof of vaccination will be required on or before start date.

All offers of employment are contingent upon satisfactory completion of a background check and proof of your eligibility to work in the United States.

Starting salary range negotiable from 100K, based on relevant experience. ALA has an excellent benefit package that includes flexible work schedules, medical, dental, generous paid vacation, retirement annuity and a 35-hour workweek. You may also qualify for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF).

Closing Date:  Consideration of candidates will begin June 1, 2023 and continue until the position is filled.


Apply online including a current resume and cover letter outlining the strategic value that you will bring to ALA, drawing upon your experience messaging organization values and mission, establishing relationships with media outlets, developing strategic marketing plans and handling public relations issues.


Send the required information to:

American Library Association

Human Resources Department

Ref:  dirCMMO


The American Library Association is an equal opportunity employer: Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran



Required Education and Experience

  • Bachelor’s degree; master’s degree a plus, but not required.
  • Five to ten years of supervisory experience leading communications, marketing, media or public relations in an association, higher education, corporate, large library, or large non-profit setting with demonstrated success; and
  •  Minimum of ten years of relevant experience in communications, marketing, media, or public relations.


Knowledge Required:

  • Expert level managerial skills and leadership experience to provide strong team building and management with the ability to supervise professional staff’s performance, evaluate training needs, and provide technical guidance when necessary.
  • Comprehensive knowledge of the principles, practices, and procedures of media, public, and community relations; excellent oral, written and presentation skills.
  • Ability to effectively organize and prioritize work, streamline processes, eliminate redundancies, and manage time effectively.
  • Excellent writer, storyteller, and presenter with advanced media management skills.
  • Strategic thinker and planner able to create an integrated approach that aligns communications and marketing goals across ALA’s website, member and staff messaging, and various platforms.
  • Innovative and visionary communicator regarding the use and leveraging of social media: Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and emergent platforms.
  • Expert in project management, managing complex plans, projects, budgets, and deadlines that require coordination across multiple stakeholders.
  • Demonstrated expert abilities to consistently present high-quality, relevant, and compelling content (such as press releases, blog posts, website features, scripts, op-eds, technical summaries, videos, podcasts, social media, and infographics).
  • Media relations expertise to help ALA increase its visibility and shape an impactful national narrative about libraries and information services especially in a pandemic/ post-pandemic climate.
  • Demonstrated experience in effectively managing crisis communications, especially with regard to print, digital, and social media.
  • Working knowledge of current marketing (especially email marketing) best practices.


Desired Experience

  • Demonstrated management experience, with a clear track record of leadership accomplishments.
  • Expert level work and relevant experience in communications within an agency, corporation, foundation, or nonprofit organization.
  • Proven ability to establish and maintain effective, collaborative working relationships with other staff and member leaders and to inspire others to support and advance ALA’s mission, core values and strategic goals.
  • Proven success in building and cultivating key relationships and meeting strategic goals.
  • Strong track record of placing stories in major media outlets.
  • Demonstrated abilities in developing strategic communication plans and in translating strategy into strong and compelling messages for a range of audiences.
  • Proven ability to be creative in identifying and executing media opportunities as well as managing (creating and analyzing) successful social media campaigns.
  • Demonstrated success in marketing (including data-driven email marketing effectiveness) and brand management.
  • Strong project management, collaborative, analytical, and organizational skills especially when working across diffuse teams and managing competing priorities.
  • Strong presence and credibility and demonstrated abilities in crisis communication.
  • Demonstrated ability to work well under pressure, to meet deadlines while making sound decisions, and to accommodate shifting priorities.
  • Proficiency in office productivity software, content management systems, association management systems, email marketing services, and social media platforms.

Equal Opportunity Employer/Protected Veterans/Individuals with Disabilities

The contractor will not discharge or in any other manner discriminate against employees or applicants because they have inquired about, discussed, or disclosed their own pay or the pay of another employee or applicant. However, employees who have access to the compensation information of other employees or applicants as a part of their essential job functions cannot disclose the pay of other employees or applicants to individuals who do not otherwise have access to compensation information, unless the disclosure is (a) in response to a formal complaint or charge, (b) in furtherance of an investigation, proceeding, hearing, or action, including an investigation conducted by the employer, or (c) consistent with the contractor’s legal duty to furnish information. 41 CFR 60-1.35(c)

Job posted: 2023-05-07