American Heart Association Communications Director in West Des Moines, Iowa

Communications Director

Job Locations US-IA-West Des Moines Posted Date 3 weeks ago (3 weeks ago) Requisition ID 2018-2879 Job Family Group Marketing & Communications Job Category Marketing/Communications


Are you ready to join an organization where you can make an extraordinary impact every day?

Imagine all Americans enjoying ideal cardiovascular health free of heart disease and stroke. At the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, we get to work toward that goal every day. Is it easy? No. Is it worthwhile? Absolutely.

This is satisfying and challenging work that makes a real difference in people's lives. We are where you can achieve professional growth with personal fulfillment. We are where you can connect people to making a lifesaving impact. We are where you can partner with individuals, schools, lawmakers, healthcare providers and others to ensure everyone has access to healthier lifestyle choices and proper healthcare. The American Heart Association is where you can make an extraordinary impact.


The American Heart Association (AHA) has an excellent opportunity for a Communications Director in our Midwest Affiliate office located in Des Moines, IA . The Communication Director d evelops and implements communications plans that promote American Heart Association programs, cause initiatives, products and services and fundraising activities, through traditional, non-traditional and social media throughout Iowa. Develops and implements media events. Develops media materials and other tools to inform key audiences about heart disease and stroke. Ensures branding compliance with the AHA/ASA brand and cause initiatives sub-brands. Provides communications counsel to local staff and volunteers. Assists with crisis communications and sensitive issues on an as-needed basis. Works through volunteers to maximize local communication efforts in the market. Interacts with volunteer leadership, senior management, local staff, news media, outside organizations and the general public for the purpose of enhancing the American Heart Association public image and increasing the flow of news and other information to the media. As applicable, develops, supports and implements limited cause initiatives activities in conjunction with market-level staff and volunteers.

Essential Job Duties:

  • Develop/implement communications plans that promote the AHA’s cause initiatives, programs, products, services and fundraising events to assist in reaching local objectives.

  • Write/distribute news releases and other media materials as appropriate to local media.

  • Develop relationships with local media, including relationships that reach diverse populations appropriate for the market.

  • Promote national health and science news to local media.

  • Pitch/place stories in traditional and non-traditional media.

  • Secure media participation in American Heart Association events.

  • Develop media sponsorship proposals and secure media sponsorships.

  • Work in collaboration with advocacy staff to develop and implement appropriate media advocacy strategies.

  • Develop and/or conduct awareness campaigns, such as American Heart Month and American Stroke Month.

  • Work to place PSAs locally.

  • Manage market’s social media accounts. Utilize association platforms and secure determined engagement numbers and other market objectives.

  • Responsible for overall brand management in the market, including the overall AHA/ASA brand and sub-brands.

  • Recruit, cultivate, train and manage volunteers to achieve communications and, where appropriate, cause initiatives objectives.

  • Identify, secure and provide media training for local AHA spokespersons and develop/maintain AHA/ASA spokesperson database.

  • Identify human interest stories to be used for generating media coverage.


Want to help get your resume to the top? Take a look at the experience we require:

  • Bachelor’s degree from an accredited university in communications, public relations, journalism or related field preferred. College coursework combined with related experience may be substituted for a degree. Related experience may be substituted as follows: 1 ½ years experience equates to 1 full time year of higher education.

  • Must have at least 2 years of experience in public relations communications, public relations, marketing, or journalism.This experience may also count towards satisfying this position’s educational requirement. Nonprofit experience preferred.

  • Knowledge of media and communications principles, ethics, practices and techniques, including technical requirements.

  • Exceptional skill in written and oral communications, including business writing, news writing/editing for print and broadcast, conversing by telephone and conducting presentations to large or small groups.

  • Working knowledge of news media operations and news gathering.

  • Ability to create and maintain key contacts within the media and favorably project the American Heart Association image.

  • Knowledge of community organization, program, fundraising and marketing principles, practices and techniques is preferred. Voluntary health agency experience preferred.

  • Ability to recruit, organize, train and manage volunteers. Ability to delegate and accomplish goals through volunteers.

  • Ability to understand and interpret scientific and medical information and rewrite for lay audiences is preferred.

  • Ability to travel up to 20%.

  • Access to reliable transportation and ability to maintain valid driver’s license and auto insurance.

  • Must have at least intermediate knowledge and skill with Microsoft Office 2010 or higher used for word processing, email, presentations, and spreadsheets. Advanced knowledge and skill with these programs is preferred. These skills are subject to testing.

  • Must pass background check.

Attracting talented, committed employees means offering a competitive benefits package, ongoing professional development and training, and a diverse and inclusive environment in which to work and grow. And we do.

Click on “Apply for this job online” to submit your online application or “Log back in!” if you are a returning applicant. Only those candidates deemed most qualified by the hiring manager will be contacted to interview.

At American Heart Association | American Stroke Association, diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity applies to both our workforce and the communities we serve as it relates to heart health and stroke prevention.

This position not a match with your skills? Click here to see other opportunities with the American Heart Association

Be sure to follow us on Twitter to see what it is like to work for the American Heart Association and why so many people enjoy #TheAHALife EOE Minorities/Females/Protected Veterans/Persons with Disabilities


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