Senior Director of Communications
Milwaukee, WI 
Posted 21 days ago
Job Description

Milwaukee Art Museum Job Description

Position Title:  Senior Director of Communications
Job: Full Time, Exempt
Supervisor: Deputy Director and Chief Experience Officer

The Milwaukee Art Museum is seeking a Senior Director of Communications to join the team and lead the strategy and creation of all internal and external communications for the organization.  Reporting to the Deputy Director and as a member of the Senior Leadership Team, this position will establish strategies and key messages that elevate the Museum’s role and impact in Milwaukee and nationally. The Senior Director of Communications will lead all press and PR efforts as well as key messaging for donor and executive communications in coordination with the Deputy Director and the Donna and Donald Baumgartner Director of the Museum.

As this role is central to effective communications inside the Museum and across our community, the Senior Director of Communications will be an effective collaborator with colleagues in Education, Development, Marketing, and in the Director’s Office to clearly articulate the impact and excitement of the Museum’s work to a wide variety of audiences. Supervising the Senior Editor and working with teams across the Museum, the ideal Senior Director of Communications will be an effective leader and a valued thought partner to staff across the organization. The Senior Director of Communications will ensure that the Museum’s values of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion are integrated into the culture and daily work of their team and through the Museum’s communications for internal and external audiences.

Essential Requirements
  • Bachelor's degree
  • A minimum of 5 years of experience in a senior communications role
  • Must have excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Extensive experience writing, pitching, and communicating with media in proactive and reactive communications situations
  • Must bring a successful track record of developing and implementing effective communications strategies for a wide range of diverse audiences
  • Must have experience in crisis management communications
  • Highly organized with great attention to detail
  • Must thrive in a high-paced environment and possess the ability to manage multiple projects simultaneously.
  • The ideal candidate has exceptional interpersonal skills with the ability to work effectively with others and maintain sincere long-term relationships with diverse stakeholders
  • Background in Art History is a plus
  • Previous museum or cultural institution experience preferred

License or Certification Requirements 
Must have a valid driver’s license.

Essential Job Functions
  • Aligns staff and activities of the Communications Team with the Museum’s Mission and Strategic Direction. Ensures that the values of diversity, equity, accessibility, and inclusion are reflected in the experiences of both staff and guests of the Museum.
  • Creates an inclusive team culture that allows for diverse perspectives to be included in the planning and execution of projects. Ensures mutual respect and clear communication among the team and mentors staff in their professional growth.
  • Develops and maintains the Museum’s key messages and communications strategies, ensuring these are reinforced through all internal and external communications.
  • Serves as primary media contact for all press events and serve as Museum spokesperson when necessary
  • Supervises the Senior Editor and ensures that tone and message are aligned with the Museum’s key messages for all written communications.
  • Works across departments to gather content and details about Museum exhibitions, initiatives, and programming to develop consistent core messages for use by peers in development, education, marketing and in the Director’s Office.
  • Coordinates with colleagues in development, marketing, and the Director’s office to ensure that announcement content and timing are coordinated and aligned with key messages.
  • Develops and maintains an ongoing strategic communications timeline, to include deadlines for material development and dates for media announcements and partner communications.
  • Works with the Director’s office and development team in the creation of strategic communications pieces for the Museum’s key donors, high-level members, and trustees.
  • Supports the Director and Deputy Director in the creation of remarks, official email communications as needed, public comments, and speeches ensuring a consistent application of key messages in an appropriate voice for the specific audience.
  • Writes press releases, media alerts, and other material for exhibitions and Museum programs
  • Build, improve, and maintain a centralized, indexed database of PR contacts
  • Maintain the Press Room on and ensure that institutional press kit materials (backgrounder, leadership bios etc.) are current and reflect key institutional messaging.
  • Plan and execute press previews for relevant exhibitions and events. Pitch local, national, and international media on exhibitions, events, programs of the Museum.
  • Build the profile of Museum leadership and curators through proactive relationship building and story placement, including.
  • Create briefing documents and/or conduct interview preparation for staff prior to their engagement with media
  • Lead strategy regarding Museum reputation management and crisis communications as needed in direct collaboration with the Director and Senior Leadership Team and including the development of talking points, PDQs, statements and strategy re: social media
  • Coordinate with the Museum’s national PR firm on materials, messaging, strategy, and outreach

Physical Requirements
Must be able to
  • Work on a computer
  • Speak publicly and on camera
  • Stand for long periods of time
  • Lift boxes of printed material, up to 25lbs
  • Speak on the telephone
  • Navigate building and Museum Campus

Excellent interpersonal skills, systematic, proactive, meticulous, patient, self-starter and works well under pressure. Manages time efficiently, analyzes and solves problems independently and, as necessary, collaboratively. Ability to be flexible and embrace changes within this position due to the organization’s priorities. Ability to work with a wide variety of people to achieve the goals of the Museum.

DEAI Statement
The Milwaukee Art Museum is an equal opportunity employer. The Museum recruits, employs, trains, compensates, and promotes regardless of race, religion, color, national origin, disability, age, veteran status, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, and other protected status as required by applicable law.

We are committed to recruiting, developing, compensating, and retaining professional staff that reflect our community. We aspire to be a diverse workplace where talented people want to come, stay, and do their best work. 

We stand committed to the work ahead, informed by our community, which we will support with our best thinking, our deepest empathy, and the courage to embody the convictions shared in our Strategic Direction.

The above statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this job.  They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all qualifications, responsibilities, duties and skills required.

Milwaukee Art Museum is an EOE/M/W/Vets/Disability Employer.


Job Summary
Start Date
Employment Term and Type
Regular, Full Time
Salary and Benefits
Competitive salary
The Milwaukee Art Museum offers a competitive compensation package including Health and Dental benefits, Vision Plan, Flex/Dependent Spending Account, Health Spending Account, Group Term Life and Voluntary Life Insurance, Short Term Disability, Cancer Protection Assurance, Accident Only Insurance, Hospital Confinement Indemnity Insurance, Critical Care Protection, Long Term Disability, Retirement Plan, Vacation and Holidays, Parking Discount, Museum Membership and Museum Discounts.
Required Education
Bachelor's Degree
Required Experience
5 to 6 years
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