Internal Communications Manager

Ford Foundation | New York, New York

Background

The FORD FOUNDATION is an independent, nonprofit grant-making organization. For more than 80 years it has worked with visionary people on the front-lines of social change worldwide, guided by its mission to strengthen democratic values, reduce poverty and injustice, promote international cooperation, and advance human achievement. With headquarters in New York, the foundation has ten regional offices in Latin America, Africa, the Middle East, and Asia.

Job Summary

The Ford Foundation's Office of Communications seeks a motivated, creative, and resourceful Internal Communications Manager (ICM) who will play a leading role in advancing the institution’s internal communications agenda. They will help to create a more interconnected, collaborative and transparent organizational culture.  He/she/they will be a people person with a keen editorial eye and well-honed organizational and time-management skills with the ability to bring new ideas to the table.

He/she/they has responsibility for maintaining and growing Ford’s robust internal communications platform, Fordify, which is housed in the OC (Office of Communications). This position takes the lead in developing the content, look, feel and tone of Fordify and driving staff adoption of the tool. He/she/they will have a keen understanding of where Fordify sits within the array of other internal communications tools the foundation uses to conducts its business and will help advise on best practice for those tools.  He/she/they will be responsible for ensuring the usefulness and value-add of the site - actively learning about the information needs of Ford employees in the US and regional offices and driving the creation of content to meet them. The role involves active and ongoing engagement with foundation staff at all levels and the ICM must serve as a champion for Fordify with flair, humor and sensitivity. He/she/they will be expected to work with foundation leadership to harness their support and participation on the site and to make sure internal communications strategies and initiatives are aligned. 

The Internal Communications Manager convenes an editorial advisory board made up of representatives from IT, Information Management, Human Resources, Office of Communications, Program teams and the regional offices.  The board will meet regularly to give direction to the ICM and consider ongoing policy, strategy and development of the platform. The ICM engages with a team of content providers from each of the major offices and departments of the foundation who will be versed in the operation of the platform, have a role in content creation and who will serve as ambassadors for its use. The ICM, in conjunction with the Head of Digital, will work closely with outside vendors providing intranet-related services. He/she/they will oversee the development of metrics and evaluation for the site and be responsible for ensuring the findings play into future strategy and content development.

Reporting to the Head of Digital, the ICM will also play a role in the maintenance of the public site fordfoundation.org ensuring that staff bios and photographs are up to date and leading specific projects. The ideal candidate will be deeply knowledgeable about web usability and content strategy. They will also have excellent communication skills, superior writing and content production skills and have a basic understanding of digital audio/video techniques and equipment.

Responsibilities

Internal Communications (70%)

  • Development and implementation of internal communications strategy
  • Development of new and innovative modes of engagement for staff on Fordify and other venues
  • Create content designed to add value and increase engagement on Fordify and other venues
  • Gather and produce content and collateral, writing copy as well as supervising this work by others
  • Liaise with Ford Foundation colleagues in US and regional offices to gather content and monitor needs
  • Manage an ongoing program of structured and ad hoc Fordify training for users
  • Project plan, coordinate and oversee internal meetings, keeping stakeholders up-to-date
  • Lead internal communications projects from inception to completion (for example, projects to update regional content)
  • Keep management informed of intranet-related projects to enable timely decision making on resources

External Website (fordfoundation.org)related work (20%)

The ICM will be responsible for specific projects and tasks on the fordfoundation.org including:

  • Owning the bio and staff photography processes for the public site
  • Playing a support role, where necessary, for projects handled by other members of the Office of Communications team and serving as a liaison with content providers within the foundation

Evaluation and reporting (10%)

  • Lead a measurement program that enables improvement of employee engagement on Fordify and other venues
  • Work with consultants to develop and implement the evaluation strategy
  • Dissimenate key intranet data as needed

Qualifications

  • BA/BS plus at least 5 years of demonstrated experience in web usability and content strategy or equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Exceptional communications skills – strong active listening skills, excellent verbal and written skills, strong public presentation skills
  • Able to write in a compelling and engaging way
  • A flair for developing and repurposing content
  • Familiarity with social media tools
  • Exceptional project management skills
  • Must be able to work collaboratively in a fast-paced dynamic environment and model the Office of Communication’s culture of professionalism, collaboration and accountability
  • The candidate should be organized, motivated, creative, and able to bring new ideas to the table

PREFERRED QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Superior writing and content production skills
  • Strong understanding and familiarity with web information architecture and simple html
  • Basic understanding of digital audio and video techniques and equipment

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • The position is mostly sedentary and requires sitting or standing at a desk.

Alignment to Culture and Values

  • Commitment to the Foundation’s mission and core values of equity, openness, collaboration, trust, accountability and urgency
  • Personal qualities of humility, capacity for self-reflection, and a sense of humor
  • Discretion and ability to handle confidential issues
  • Action-orientated and entrepreneurial self-starter who can work well independently and in teams

Benefits

  • Tuition Reimbursement
  • 30 consecutive days after one year of work
  • Office closed the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day
  • Medical and dental benefits for employee and immediate family on first day of work
  • Professional development initiatives for growth
  • Retirement benefits
  • Parental leave (maternal and paternal) during new child’s first year (born into family or adopted)

Salary:  Salary is based on experience and on the Foundation’s commitment to internal equity.  A generous benefits package is provided. 

Equal employment opportunity and having a diverse staff are fundamental principles at The Ford Foundation, where employment and promotional opportunities are based upon individual capabilities and qualifications without regard to race, color, religion, gender, pregnancy, sexual orientation/affectional preference, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status or any other protected characteristic as established under law.  

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Organization: Foundations