The Communications Specialist is responsible for obtaining visibility for CO.LAB across Chattanooga/Hamilton County, the region and nationally. This includes the oversight of agencies and projects that support the strategic communications and PR needs for public awareness of CO.LAB: its mission, programs, brand, community support, and more. Ultimately, this position is responsible for helping to develop active outreach to national, state, and local press that support fulfillment of CO.LAB’s mission and vision and achievement of its strategic plan and business plan objectives.
The ideal candidate must be highly organized, incredibly curious and an effective collaborator. This is a high-impact role that requires a technical, creative, and analytical professional.
This person is responsible for building and maintaining relationships with relevant local, regional, business and trade publications; drafting and/or editing press releases, key messages, presentation scripts, ads, and other content, and coordinating their appropriate uses. The individual is also responsible for coaching senior leaders – onsite and regionally – on presentation and interview skills; managing media visits (print and broadcast); and pitching stories as appropriate.
● Management of ongoing external communications and coordination of related collateral projects and external PR agency support, including founder/startup success stories, sustainable mobility initiatives, rural outreach initiatives, media events, and other related activities
● Develops, executes and evaluates internal and external communications projects that builds and maintains organization awareness, program information, and a positive brand
● Executes programs and organization communications for print and digital, while also supporting social media content creation
● Manage media relations activities and relationships, including the drafting/editing of press releases, development of key messages, active media pitching, and preparation and arrangement of interviews
● Develop and execute electronic newsletter, including interfacing with the CO.LAB team to gather announcements/newsworthy items and disseminate as appropriate
● Seek opportunities for articles and speaking engagements in media/events
● Participates in updating the company’s website including ensuring that all media relations content is current and relevant
● Develops presentations, speeches, and other important messages
● Develops, executes and evaluates product launch communication plans in collaboration with the marketing team, including collateral development, digital content creation/updates and communication to internal and external audiences
● Develops, executes and evaluates regular external communications
● Conducts research and evaluation of communications programs, including surveys and in-person discussions
● Function as a positive and contributing member of the CO.LAB team
● Perform other duties as assigned / required
Qualifications and Experience
● Live and work in the greater Chattanooga area
● Bachelor's Degree in Journalism, Communications, Media, or related
● 3+ years of relevant professional experience in a media relations or communications position
● Experience pitching, drafting and placing news stories in publications
● Experience managing strategic communications initiatives
● Experience in relationship building and story placements with business and media - online, print and broadcast - and demonstrated success achieving targeted branding on business topics
● Experience managing external agencies to support communication needs for program and event management, videos, media outreach, and related initiatives
● Experience managing interviews, media visits, and presentations with external organizations
● Demonstrated writing skills related to news releases, internal messages, and leadership messages.
● Experience using newswire services and digital media distribution tools as well as Microsoft Office software such as Word, Excel, Powerpoint
● Passion for entrepreneurship and/or economic development
Physical Demands/Working Conditions
● Typical professional office environment eligible for hybrid work agreement, and ability to lift and move objects up to 40 pounds
● Sit at a desk for long periods of time
● Stand and walk for extended periods of time
● When required attend local and out of state meetings, conferences, workshops and special events
● Willingness to travel locally and overnight via plane, train or private vehicle as needed
● Ability to work irregular hours including evenings and weekends as needed
● Ability to maintain a polished professional appearance
Knowledge, Skills, Abilities and Personal Characteristics
● Team player committed to CO.LAB’s vision, mission, values and goals and passionate about supporting startups, founders and scalable businesses
● Highly organized, analytical, and creative personality with strong professional and interpersonal skills, demonstrating the ability to communicate clearly and effectively both verbal and in writing
● Excellent project management skills and ability to manage multiple projects on parallel and competing deadlines
● Collaborative mindset, and strong analysis and consultative skills
● Passion to learn new technologies quickly and efficiently, and improve operations with them
● Strong initiative, drive and positive attitude
● Ability to perform under pressure with tight deadlines
Salary will be commensurate with experience. Additionally benefits such as 401k match, cell phone stipend, professional development dollars, health, vision and dental insurance and generous paid time off are provided.
Applications should include a resume, cover letter (maximum one page) and contact details of two references. Please include at least three relevant clips of work or your portfolio/website.
Please send applications by email in PDF format to firstname.lastname@example.org, including ‘Marketing & Events Manager’ in the subject line. There is no closing date and interviews will take place on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Please note that only candidates selected for further consideration will be contacted. No agencies please.
CO.LAB provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.
This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.