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Employment Opportunity: Director of Communications

By June 2, 2023June 28th, 2023Blog

Director of Communications: Riverlife (Pittsburgh, PA)

Download a printable PDF of the full employment opportunity.

About Riverlife:

Since 1999, Riverlife has worked to create, activate, and celebrate Pittsburgh’s riverfronts. A nonprofit leader in building a community vision for Pittsburgh’s riverfronts, Riverlife has overseen a $150 million investment in the city’s waterfront transformation, catalyzing $5 billion in related economic development, arts and culture, and ecological sustainability on or adjacent to the city’s riverbanks. Riverlife centers its work on the belief that the riverfronts belong to everyone, and world-class riverfront experiences can be created for all using community-driven, equitable development and high-quality, regenerative design. Riverlife is an equal opportunity employer, committed to hiring and supporting a diverse workforce. Qualified individuals who bring diverse perspectives and represent marginalized communities are especially encouraged to apply. Learn more at

Job Description & Candidate Profile:

The Director of Communications is responsible for creating and maintaining a positive public identity for the organization, working to cultivate and broaden Riverlife’s public reach and audience by elevating impact and influence. This position reports to the President and CEO, and is a key member of the organization’s leadership team. The ideal candidate will serve as:

  • A brand maven with demonstrated ability to build brand consistency and equity, who will build upon Riverlife’s strong reputation and brand presence to develop a strong constituent base
  • An in-house communications expert, who will understand and serve the marketing and communications needs of the organization, the projects and development teams, and the CEO
  • A community-minded marketer who can balance a strong creative side with the need for data-driven marketing and communications strategies
  • A team player who will bring the perfect blend of DIY problem-solving and collaborative solution building
  • A strong project manager who will develop systems to shepherd all outbound communications from concept to completion on time and under budget

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Key responsibilities, qualifications and how to apply

Key Responsibilities:


  • Oversee organizational strategy and implementation of all marketing, branding, visibility, and messaging for the organization
    • Oversee creation of content and distribution of all outbound communications including marketing collateral, website and social media content, email newsletter, presentations, talking points, annual reports, direct mail, and print advertising
    • Work closely with the Projects team to develop and implement successful communication strategies, content, and collateral for Riverlife projects from design to construction to ongoing operations
    • Work closely with the Development team to develop and implement successful communication strategies, content, and collateral for donor engagement, including print and digital campaign materials, appeals, fundraising and cultivation event collateral, etc.
  • Oversee public relations/media relations activities to promote Riverlife initiatives
    • Maintain Riverlife’s media protocol and monitor the organization’s reputation in the media and on social media
    • Maintain steady press coverage and relationships with key media; coordinates and drafts press releases, news conferences, editorial boards and interviews/statements on behalf of the President and the Board of Directors
    • Promote Riverlife locally, nationally, and internationally as leaders in the field of waterfront development, sustainability, activation, accessibility and equity
    • Address and manage potential areas of communications vulnerability
  • Develop advocacy strategy and campaigns to advance Riverlife initiatives in coordination with the CEO
  • Convene the Riverlife Communications Committee, serving as staff liaison and preparing meeting agendas, materials, and minutes
  • Coordinate other communications activities as needed


  • Grow and maintain Riverlife’s brand reputation and foster brand equity to develop and grow audiences and communicate across stakeholder groups
  • Grow the organization’s online presence by managing Riverlife’s social media strategy, content creation, audience engagement, and brand consistency
  • Manage budgets for paid promoted posts and related campaigns
  • Identify and track metrics and benchmarks for social performance
  • Research and stay current on best and evolving social media practices and trends

Outreach & Promotions

  • Oversee planning and execution of awareness building campaigns and events, such as upcoming 25th anniversary programming, and annual events such as Pittsburgh Riverwalk and Chalk Fest and marketing and communications needs for Riverlife’s signature event, Party at the Pier
  • Analyze and implement opportunities for additional promotional campaigns, programming and events, and oversee all marketing, communications, and logistics
  • Represent Riverlife at partner and community events and programming activities

Administration and Operations

  • Develop and implement systems and processes for Communications and Marketing functions across the organization, including managing templates, calendars, deadlines, budgets, and consultant and vendor contracts
  • Direct the communications department, including developing and managing the departmental budget, goals, and workplan, and supervising staff and interns
  • Participate as a member of the leadership team in key planning efforts for the organization
  • Attend required staff, committee and board meetings; assist with the taking of minutes, preparing of reports, and setting of agendas
  • Maintain organizational records, files, and databases
  • Assist other staff members with day-to-day office administration
  • Other related duties as assigned

Background, Experience & Abilities:

  • Demonstrated passion for Riverlife’s mission
  • 5 or more years of measured success in marketing, communications, public relations, and project management
  • Deep knowledge of social media platforms and industry trends
  • Prior experience with event planning and management a plus
  • Highly effective verbal and written communication skills, and the ability to write for different audiences
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and the ability to establish and maintain relationships with a broad and diverse constituency
  • Strong project management and organizational skills with a keen attention to detail
  • Demonstrated analytic, conceptual, planning and implementation skills
  • Ability to manage multiple projects and disciplines simultaneously
  • Positive and professional attitude; strong work ethic
  • Ability to work independently and collaboratively in a small, non-profit environment
  • Flexibility to attend meetings and work events on evenings and weekends as needed, and to travel occasionally for work-related meetings, trainings and conferences
  • Required technical proficiencies: Google suite, Microsoft Office, email marketing platforms, CRM databases, website content management systems, project management tools, and basic design skills
  • Experience with the following software and tools a plus: WordPress, Campaign Monitor, Salesforce, Adobe Creative Suite, Canva, SmartSheet

Salary & Benefits:
This is a full-time exempt position and reports to the President and CEO. Riverlife seeks to be an employer of choice, and offers the following salary &  benefits:

  • $88,998-$95,680 annual salary range
  • 21 days PTO per year + weeklong offices closures in July and December
  • 13 paid holidays, including 3 floating holidays
  • Medical, dental, and vision insurance for employee and family
  • Retirement savings plan with an employer match
  • Short- and long-term disability coverage
  • Life insurance
  • Professional Development funds
  • Flexible hybrid work environment


How to apply:

This position closed for applications at 5pm on June 28, 2023.