Sr. Principal Public Affairs Lead

20 Mar, 2020


Sr. Principal Public Affairs Lead

Atlanta, GA

This position is dedicated to protecting and enhancing Chick-fil-A’s reputation in the external marketplace, working to understand key domestic and global issues and trends, build relationships with stakeholders, and make policy recommendations to benefit Chick-fil-A. Leveraging Chick-fil-A’s core strengths, the successful candidate will work to positively position the brand by collaborating to proactively tell the Chick-fil-A story across all channels, while also managing any reputation-related issues or crises as they arise, at both the brand and restaurant level. This role will do these things domestically and internationally as the business continues.

This role is a pivotal one that requires skills in strategic thinking, cross-functional partnership and coalition-building, external stakeholder engagement, and the willingness to get his/her hands dirty with tactical implementation and follow-through. The successful candidate will have experience with both proactive and reactive communications, rapid response instincts, and a track record for thoughtful, creative and successful implementation of proactive and reactive initiatives.

Additionally, this role is responsible for identifying and analyzing reputation risk impacting the business as it expands into global markets, including leading the development of communication and stakeholder engagement strategies designed to protect and enhance the brand as it expands into high-risk markets, both domestically and globally. Based on the business’ priorities, the person in this role will play a key role advising business leaders as they make key decisions as well as coordinating with other key internal stakeholders to create a global external affairs strategy as well as custom, localized market plans for external engagement to secure positive positioning of the brand. This role will also be responsible for leading all message positioning and communication strategies across a broad range of issues and stakeholders.

This role requires someone who can easily and seamlessly integrate and collaborate across various departments to move the needle, including: Government Affairs, Community Affairs, Supply Chain, Menu Strategy and Development, Real Estate, Operator Recruiting and Selection, Sustainability and Legal.


  • Monitor and understand key issues and trends in the external environment impacting Chick-fil-A’s reputation – including conducting primary research – working to anticipate and proactively address any key issues or opportunities that may arise
  • Responsible for developing and executing an external communications strategy to build and sustain Chick-fil-A’s reputation as a leading global brand, including issues identification, messaging positioning and influencing international business strategies to ensure entry success.
  • Recommend and influence Chick-fil-A policy updates to protect the company’s reputation
  • Identify opportunities to positively and proactively position Chick-fil-A, and collaborate with internal partners to clarify messaging and integrate into communication strategies across all channels
  • Protect Chick-fil-A’s reputation through issue management and crisis communications
  • As appropriate, serve as a key company contact and spokesperson for external stakeholders and NGOs to represent Chick-fil-A’s general positions and interests.
  • Serve as an accessible, accurate and trusted adviser to senior company leaders, restaurant Operators and corporate staff, offering strategic guidance, messaging training, policy recommendations and communications consulting on all matters impacting the company’s reputation, based on experience and insights from consumer research

Minimum Qualifications

  • It is important that the successful candidate has significant experience in Public Affairs/Public Policy or relevant field.
  • He/she must additionally have excellent written and spoken English language skills.
  • The ideal candidate will possess the following skills & competencies:
    • Business Acumen/Strategic Perspective – understands business and the strategic role of Public Affairs in assessing and analyzing challenges and opportunities in line with business objectives.
    • Intellectual Ability & Problem-Solving – intelligent and agile; comfortable with concepts and complexity; able to think independently and make sound, reasoned judgements and solve problems within a large organization.
    • Relationship Management – understands the importance of building & sustaining relationships internally and externally.
    • Communication – excellent oral, written and overall communications skills; can credibly adopt a broad range of communication styles; sensitive to specific audiences in tone as well as content.
    • Accountability & Ambiguity – self-starter with strong sense of initiative, focused on results; ability to manage multiple projects, at times in ambiguous or undefined circumstances.
    • Team-Orientation – a strong team-minded approach with ability to lead teams and effectively manage projects.
    • Composure – Comfortable working in a fast-paced and deadline-driven environment; strong work ethic and personal integrity; calm under pressure.

Preferred Qualifications

  • 10+ years Public Affairs experience with a leading “issues-rich” consumer brand.
  • Familiarity with the foodservice sector and related issues.

Minimum Years Of Experience


Travel Requirements


Required Level Of Education

Bachelor’s Degree

Preferred Level Of Education

Bachelors Degree

Learn more here

Job posted: 2020-03-20