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Associate Director, Communications

The Michael J. Fox Foundation

New York, New York

Date Posted: 9/21/2022

Position Summary:

The Associate Director, Communications is a challenging and versatile opportunity responsible for strategizing, writing, editing, and directing production of content and communications plans that convey the objectives and promise of MJFF’s scientific programs, patient advocacy and research engagement initiatives to speed a cure for Parkinson’s disease.

This is a rich and dynamic role for a skilled writer and editor, with sound knowledge of the creation of event programming from conceptualization to execution.  Reporting to the Director of Communications, this position will be responsible for generating persuasive, relatable and engaging content programming to drive results across robust mission-critical CTAs. This is a role for a proactive, creative, and unflappable communications professional who works well individually and as part of a team in a fast-paced, high-volume environment with multiple priorities and deadlines.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

On a day-to-day basis, the Associate Director, Communications will work with internal colleagues in Communications, Marketing, Development, Research Alliances and the C-Suite, as well as external advisors, research and patient KOLs, to manage a high volume of deadline-driven content pieces in the form of webinars, event programs/agendas, talking points, remarks, blogs, emails and other content as required to educate and engage the Foundation’s robust audiences of patients, families and supporters.

Responsibilities include:

  • Participate as part of a core team — including marketers, writers, video producers, etc. — to strategically plan content programming on a six-month to quarterly basis, ensuring that the content promotes the Foundation’s scientific agenda and varied CTAs to audiences of prospective donors, people, and families with Parkinson’s and other lay audiences.
  • Collaborate with Marketing and Communications on the development of a range of content to support marketing plans focused on audience growth, engagement, and conversions to various calls to action.
  • Consult with research and development teams and other subject matter experts to source content ideas and KOLs.
  • Primary responsibility for the conceptualization (i.e., monthly topic selection, panelist selection and outreach, talking point development, etc.) and execution (i.e., panelist management, audience Q&A management, etc.) of our monthly Third Thursdays Webinars.
    • Content topics, panelists and speakers should be sourced with a lens to equity, diversity, and inclusion, with the goal of making MJFF’s resources relatable, practical, and engaging for the broadest possible audience of people and families impacted by PD.
  • Write, edit, and conceptualize content including event programming (including for our Parkinson’s IQ + You event series), remarks, keynotes, talking points, blogs, social media postings, web content, newsletter articles and other collateral as needed.
  • Write/edit fresh and engaging email and blog content — community and donor profiles, general Parkinson’s news, research updates, grassroots policy activations, event recaps, etc.
  • Write for, as needed, and keep related fundraising and research engagement webpages fresh, accurate and up to date.
  • Contribute to/copyedit press releases, educational guides, white papers, and other materials as required by the overall marketing/communications program.

Finalist candidates will be asked to contribute a writing assessment.

The Michael J. Fox Foundation is known for its optimistic, problem-solving approach to Parkinson’s drug discovery/development, and has established a clear organizational voice — a tone of excellence (high-quality journalistic inquiry that is authoritative but never arrogant), simplicity (while avoiding oversimplification of technical material), directness (speaking plainly and never sugar-coating) and authenticity (never overpromising, never biased). All members of the Communications team are expected to work proactively to understand and absorb this voice and quickly incorporate it in their professional writing.

Qualifications and Skills:

The successful candidate must bring the following skills and experience:

  • College degree and a minimum of 7+ years relevant communications experience, preferably in health care, patient advocacy or life sciences settings
  • Proven ability to think strategically, distill complex messages and craft persuasive, clearly written material is a must (please be prepared to share a portfolio of your best samples)
  • Experience using webinars and events for the cultivation of community and to drive conversion
  • Comfort and proficiency working across multiple digital platforms
  • Fastidious attention to detail and relatable, yet persuasive writing
  • Top-notch project management, including proactive and collaborative development of work plans and timelines
  • Good news judgment
  • Ability to produce high-quality work quickly and under pressure, working cross-functionally and with urgency across different stakeholders
  • Comfort in a data-driven, analytical environment
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Teams, Word, Excel, and PowerPoint

Additionally, the ideal candidate will possess the following personal attributes:

  • Experience or knowledge of ON24, social platforms, CRM systems (Salesforce), CMS (Drupal) and project management platforms (Asana)
  • Commitment to excellence; willingness to go above and beyond
  • Roll-up-your-sleeves, get-it-done attitude
  • Strong analytical skills and well-developed business acumen
  • Wide-ranging intellectual curiosity: innate ability to think creatively and champion innovative concepts into action plans and output
  • High energy and positive outlook; eagerness to take on an ambitious pace and high production volume
  • Comfort in a rapid-growth and change-oriented setting
  • Sense of humor and ability to remain calm and professional under pressure

How to Apply:  

Interested candidates should submit a resume and thoughtful cover letter describing their specific qualifications and interest in the position. Applicants who best match the position’s needs will be contacted.

About Us:

The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research (MJFF) was founded in 2000 with one clear objective: accelerating meaningful therapeutic advances and, ultimately, a cure for Parkinson’s disease (PD). The Foundation applies extraordinary scientific, business and media assets to this singular focus—thus creating a unique and dynamic organization. Since inception, MJFF has quickly grown into the largest nonprofit funder of Parkinson’s disease research, having funded over $1 billion in research projects in both academic and industry labs worldwide.

Core to our philosophy is how we think of our capital and its risk profile relative to other stakeholders in the drug development pipeline. We work aggressively to de-risk various therapeutic strategies and tools in the hopes of building a robust pipeline of new treatments for patients. In order to achieve our mission of finding a cure for PD it is critical that we engage with, and bring together, members of the PD community including researchers, physicians, health professionals and most important, people with Parkinson’s and their families.

We believe that to find a cure for PD as quickly as possible, our capital needs to push research forward today—we therefore deliberately hold no endowment or excessive reserves. We instead seek to deploy funds raised as quickly and wisely as possible. MJFF raises over $200 million annually. Today, the Foundation has approximately 186 full-time employees. We offer a collegial and collaborative environment where optimistic problem-solvers and entrepreneurial, resourceful individuals can thrive and make a tangible difference for millions of people living with Parkinson’s disease.

Vaccine Statement:

At The Michael J. Fox Foundation (MJFF), the health and safety of our team and our community is a priority. MJFF has made the decision to require all staff receive the COVID-19 vaccine as a condition of employment. Successful applicants for this position must be fully vaccinated by date of hire and proof of vaccine is required. Full vaccination is defined as two weeks after both doses of two-dose vaccine or two weeks after a single-dose vaccine has been administered. Anyone unable to be vaccinated, because of medical or religious reasons, can request a reasonable accommodation for consideration.

MJFF is an equal opportunity employer. We strongly encourage applications from individuals who will contribute to our efforts to build and support a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce. Diversity may refer to characteristics including, but not limited to, race, religion, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic circumstance, geographic background, ability and disability, political ideology, and age.

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