Director, Communications

Salary Range: 108000.00 To 144000.00 (USD) Annually

ASTM International is a globally recognized leader in the development and delivery of international voluntary consensus standards. Today, some 12,000 ASTM standards are used around the world to improve product quality, enhance safety, facilitate market access and trade, and build consumer confidence.

ASTM provides an excellent compensation and benefits package including:

• Undergraduate and Graduate Tuition Reimbursement
• Comprehensive medical, dental, vision, life and disability insurance
• Paid holidays, vacation and sick leave
• 403(b) plan with company match
• 100% company-funded defined benefits pension plan

Position Purpose

The director leads the communications team for one of world’s largest standards development organizations, ASTM International, based near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA). S/he provides strategic leadership in support of mission-driven messaging while also managing daily communications activities. Key stakeholders/audiences include: roughly 30,000 members (experts across many industries and sectors), media/journalists (mainstream and trade), academia, partners, associations, consumers, 350 employees, affiliates, and others.

ASTM International’s mission is: “Committed to serving global societal needs, ASTM International positively impacts public health and safety, consumer confidence and overall quality of life. We integrate consensus standards – developed with our international membership of volunteer technical experts – and innovative services to improve lives, helping our world work better.”

Organization Role

The director leads strategic communications activities for ASTM International, a global nonprofit founded in 1898 that develops many of the world’s most respected technical standards (e.g., specifications, test methods, guides, etc.) across dozens of industries – from consumer products to jet fuel and everything in between.

This high-level director role reports to the Vice President of Global Policy, Cooperation, and Communications. The position interacts regularly with senior/executive staff and other internal and external leaders and experts. The director’s team includes: the editor of Standardization News magazine, the public relations manager, and the digital engagement manager. The magazine editor and the PR manager each have one additional team member. The position also manages – or designates the management of – relationships with key internal collaborators (e.g., graphic artists, web/IT teams, multimedia, etc.) as well as external vendors (e.g., press release distributors, freelance writers/artists, printers, translators, multimedia, etc.).

The position requires proven judgment, foresight, planning, and decision-making surrounding announcements, campaigns, promotions, and other efforts to advance the organization’s mission and profile. On a daily basis, it requires leading a team to execute best practices in media relations, print/digital magazine content development and publication, digital content creation and engagement (social media, video, high-level web content), promotional content/materials (print and digital), branding, internal communications, and more.



Key/Representative Activities:

• Develop and lead overall messaging in support of ASTM International’s mission.
• Execute communications strategies and tactics featuring compelling, timely, and high-quality messages that tell the story of the organization – and its members and other stakeholders – and advance its role as a world-renowned standards developer and provider of related services.
• Lead/manage five professionals to execute integrated best practices across all forms of communications: public relations, media relations, print/online magazine content, video development, social media, web content, internal communications, community relations, and more.
• Provide high-level input and serve as external spokesperson on key issues, announcements, crises, etc. This includes some sensitive media relations with major regional/national/global mainstream outlets, often related to standards that aim to enhance consumer safety, health, and/or quality-of-life.
• Support communications / public affairs needs of Global Policy, Cooperation, and Communications division. Collaborate with other key units including: Technical Committee Operations, Production and Graphic Arts, President’s Office, Meetings/Conferences, Membership, Marketing, IT, Business Development and others.
• Co-lead Communications and Brand Council. (The Council is a cross-functional group that meets to ensure messaging alignment and brand adherence in all ASTM International communications.)
• Amplify corporate citizenship efforts (both volunteerism and philanthropy) on local and global levels.
• Manage budget of Communications department.


Key/Representative Activities:

• Edit/approve high volume of press releases per year from Public Relations team, ensuring clarity of technical topics as well as synergy of supporting Communications Department assets (eg., video, magazine content). Occasionally write high-profile/sensitive releases. Strategize distribution of releases with PR Manager.
• Strategize content of award-winning, flagship magazine (Standardization News) with Editor-in-Chief. Approve/edit content as necessary. Support creation, dissemination, and amplification of Chinese (print and online) and Spanish (online only) content. Write magazine content occasionally.
• Edit/approve monthly e-blast to stakeholders (eNews) as well as other e-newsletters (SmartBrief, global outreach, academia). Suggest future e-newsletter content to Digital Engagement Manager as needed. Also support internal e-newsletter.
• Prioritize and strategize execution of video projects with Digital Engagement Manager. Edit/approve final videos.
• Strategize social media / app strategy with Digital Engagement Manager, including paid, targeted promotions.
• Manage/approve most content changes to homepage and related high-level web content. Strategize updates with Digital Engagement Manager, UX/IT team, and others.
• Edit/approve Annual Report. Strategize content and rollout of Annual Report with PR Manager.
• Edit/approve other content and promotional print publications: sector overviews, brochures, infographics, posters/signage, board of directors’ booklet, etc.
• Plan, strategize, and execute executive-level communications including speeches, op-eds, columns, presentations (including Annual Business Meeting and Chairman’s Presentations), etc., in concert with president and senior executives.
• Support visual and promotional needs for conference/event booths, as coordinated by PR Manager.
• Uncover and brainstorm creative ways to amplify all of the above, including through both internal and external relationships.


Key/Representative Activities:

• Support skills and development of all Communications Department staff.
• Provide informal feedback and mentoring for team, keeping in mind diverse needs and aspirations.
• Suggest specific formal training opportunities that align with each individual’s annual performance objectives.
• Provide general teambuilding opportunities.
• Hire staff as needed. Support internship hiring.
• Continuously evaluate vendor/contract relationships (artists, writers, translators, etc.) and adjust as necessary in light of performance as well as availability of new products/services in the marketplace.
• Support/address needs for physical resources for Communications team (equipment, technology, space, etc.).

Minimum Requirements

– Bachelor’s degree in PR, strategic communications, journalism, or related field. (Master’s degree preferred)
– At least 8 years of experience in PR, media relations, strategic communications, journalism, and/or a related field, preferably for a mission-driven organization(s) (eg., nonprofit, government, academia, etc.). At least 3years in a managerial communications role is required. Some media relations management experience is required.
– Experience with online and/or print publications, including some experience with design, is desired.
– Advanced skills in Microsoft Office Suite is required. General understanding of the Adobe Creative suite is desired. Understanding of content management systems is desired.
– Some professional experience with social media and online content is required. Understanding of video development/editing is desired.
– Budgeting experience is highly desired.
– Superior interpersonal communications is expected.

Preferred Qualifications & Competencies

– This position requires a dynamic and tested communications leader with a seasoned understanding of PR and strategic communications strategies as well as proven tactical skills.
– Sound writing and editing – including the ability to quickly translate and distill complex technical information – is crucial. The position requires curiosity of a wide range of industries and topics as well as a passion for learning and implementing new communications strategies.
– Partnership and responsiveness in working with key executives, including the president, is expected. Excellent and persuasive presentation skills and a confident executive presence are necessary.
– The incumbent should foster agility, versatility, and innovation in the communications team, with an ability to identify/maximize PR opportunities, to plan for long-term communications efforts, to respond to crises, and more. A sense of urgency, a creative mind, and a passion for the organization’s mission are keys to excellence and success in this role.

This job description is not intended to provide an all-inclusive listing of related job activities. Associates may be requested by management to perform other related activities in place of or in addition to those representative activities noted in this job description.

To apply:

ASTM International is an Equal Opportunity / Affirmative Action Employer Minorities/Females/Disabled/Veterans.

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