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Director of Marketing & Communications

Job Location

Seattle, WA


Type of Job




Published By

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Published Date

Nov 1, 2023

About the job

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Land Acknowledgement

Waterfront Park is situated on the land of the Coast Salish peoples, who have resided here since time immemorial and continue to thrive. With respect and humility, we acknowledge the history of the waterfront, the dispossession of land from the Coast Salish people, and, most importantly, the strength and resilience of Native people and their culture through this history and to the present.

Position Summary

Reporting to the CEO and working closely with directors across departments, Friends is seeking an innovative Director of Marketing and Communications. Friends is at an exciting time leading toward Waterfront Park’s opening and beyond, and the Director of Marketing and Communications will lead critical efforts to elevate Friends as a trusted, inspiring regional brand that will reach and engage diverse audiences to be investors and caretakers of this new public space.

The Director of Marketing and Communications will lead efforts in elevating marketing, communications and public relations, and digital engagement strategies to advance Friends brand awareness, commitment, and loyalty. They will be an experienced connector who leverages data and understands how audiences engage across multi-channel approaches. The Director will partner closely with the CEO. They will be a core member of Friends’ senior leadership team to strengthen Friends’ reach and brand in Seattle, advance the Campaign for Waterfront Park, annual fundraising, events, and beyond. This position will have direct reports on the Marketing and Communications team.

Partnership and collaboration are core to everything Friends does. The Director of Marketing and Communications will be always thinking about the shared and integrated stories of the larger whole of this place. They will support and amplify the voices and stories of communities in the creation of Waterfront Park.

About Friends of Waterfront Seattle

Friends of Waterfront Seattle (Friends) is a 501c3 non-profit.  Through a public-private partnership with the City of Seattle, Friends is leading operations, fundraising, programming, public safety investments, and long-term stewardship of Waterfront Park now and for generations to come. This model of a nonprofit managing and ensuring the success of a park is common across major U.S. cities, including Friends of the Highline and Brooklyn Bridge Parks Conservancy in New York, Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy in San Francisco, and Friends of the Underline in Miami.

Nearly 15 years in the making, Waterfront Park project represents a grand community vision for reimagining Seattle’s waterfront in the footprint of the old viaduct, a 1950’s infrastructure; creating a new kind of civic and cultural space.  Seattle is a city known for innovation and Waterfront Park represents that spirit – it is so much more than simply a park. Waterfront Park is creating 20-acres of green space, inviting locals and visitors to reconnect with the water, the mountains, and each other. It will run from Belltown to Pioneer Square, and has a large urban footprint for programming, activation, and other park uses. Opening in 2025, Waterfront Park will serve as a fresh cultural anchor for downtown, offering free public programming co-curated with communities from across the region.

Friends’ vision goes far beyond the park’s 20 acres. Alongside the City of Seattle, we envision a common space that is truly safe and welcoming to everyone; a space that is centered in equity. Friends has an opportunity and an inherent responsibility to disrupt patterns of exclusion and serve as a model for public spaces in Seattle and around the country. We have already made progress by working to establish strong community ties and trust and delivering BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) community led programs at Pier 62, the first piece of the park to open to the public.

Equity Commitment

Friends recognizes and acknowledges historic and existing systemic racism embedded in our city. We are committed to becoming an anti-racist organization by prioritizing racial equity within the organization and in the public spaces we operate.


External Communications

  • Create and execute a new integrated strategic communications plan across the organization as a lead up park opening and beyond.
  • Serve as the organizational spokesperson. Support the CEO and other key staff for media engagements.
  • Lead efforts to articulate the fundamental vision of Waterfront Park and Friends and communicate it to Friends’ stakeholders and the larger community.
  • Identify and target priority audiences and ensure the alignment of communications efforts designed for and directed towards key stakeholders.
  • Develop, manage, and track metrics to measure effectiveness of all publicity, advertising, social media, campaign, and media relations strategies/ efforts across the organization.
  • Advance, manage, and support all CEO external speaking opportunities, presentations, and other events. Prepare talking points, presentations, and other materials in concert with relevant departments. Seek out strategic opportunities for targeted audiences across the city and region.
  • Lead and staff the Board Marketing Communications Committee alongside the CEO to help guide and oversee high-level marketing and communications strategies.
  • Build and cultivate relationships externally with partner organizations and coordinate internally with other departments to promote Friends its goals and programs.

Brand Management, Marketing, and Storytelling

  • Develop and implement comprehensive marketing plan and strategy on an annual basis, including key goals, measurable objectives and application of data and analysis.
  • Deepen and expand the organization’s brand and build meaningful relationships between Friends and its diverse audiences, partners, supporters, and future donors.
  • Create and implement overall branding strategy for the organization, both internally and externally, including messaging, values proposition, promotion, organizational identity, advertising materials, strategic partnerships, special events, etc.
  • Develop an internal and external communication plan (including the use of Friends’s name, visuals, logo, and messaging) with the key stakeholders, departments, and the CEO.
  • Create and maintain new brand design and guide, messaging, visual and editorial style guides and enforce them throughout the organization, the board, and volunteers. Ensure visual and editorial integrity of Friends and the Waterfront Park brand in all public-facing communication.

Internal Communications & Team Building

  • Partner with CEO and senior leadership to develop comprehensive internal communications protocols and core messaging for staff, board, and volunteers.
  • Advise and support CEO and senior leadership on communication best practices—especially in sensitive communications.
  • Support CEO and leadership team in consistent communication of the mission, vision, and values to increase awareness, consistency, and engagement of staff and volunteers.
  • Clearly communicate expectations to the Marketing and Communications team, conducting and documenting regular check-ins that include positive and constructive feedback.
  • Lead and manage the Marketing, Communications teams with functions user experience, advertising, community engagement, public relations, brand marketing, social marketing, graphic design, and video production.

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

  • Center and embed the Friends’ diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) values and goals into every aspect of the role.
  • Contribute to an inclusive workplace culture; adhere to and help evolve Friends’ Community Agreements.
  • Propel a culture of inclusion while collaborating cross departmentally within Friends.
  • Engage in regular conversations about anti-racism and equity through all-staff meetings, lunch-and-learns, and trainings.
  • Bring an anti-racist lens into communications and marketing work, especially policies, procedures, and storytelling.
  • Advocate for and lead Marketing and Communications strategies that seek to amplify voices from BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and disabled communities.

Minimum Qualifications

  • At least 5 years of leadership experience in creating and executing strategic communications, brand marketing, press engagement, and multi-channel digital engagement including web, social, and email.
  • A minimum of 3 years of people-management experience and a strong desire to foster a culture of inclusion as a leader of a team.
  • Cultural competency with underrepresented communities, including Black, Indigenous, Latine, disabled, and/or LGBTQ+ communities, and the ability to bring this lens to conversations about anti-racism, anti-oppression and embedding equity in all aspects of work
  • Experience developing and communicating the fundamental vision of an organization and implementing it into comprehensive long and short-term strategic plans, including concepts, programs, timelines, and budgets.
  • Experience creating and executing creative campaigns, including developing marketing plans to strengthening brand awareness, using email communications, and database segmentation lists.
  • A strategic thinker, a data-driven ability to evaluate effectiveness to improve engagement and conversions.
  • Detail-oriented, with strong project management skills, with the ability to handle multiple deadlines on a variety of projects simultaneously.
  • Experience building and managing relationships with a diverse portfolio of external partners (media, community, business partners, etc.).
  • Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and effectively as a member of a leadership team.
  • Ability to thrive in an environment that requires nimbleness, working through ambiguity, and responding to fast-paced, evolving opportunities.

Desired Qualifications

  • Additional years of experience within strategic Marketing and Communications roles
  • Experience with fundraising communications
  • Ability to consult with senior staff, board, businesses, and other volunteers to lead, direct, and guide larger communications and marketing efforts across the organizations
  • Understanding of digital advertising including SEO/SEM, Display, Retargeting, Social, YouTube.
  • Experience with the following platforms: Salesforce, Bynder, Asana, Wordpress, Google Analytics

Other Requirements

  • This position is contingent on passing a criminal background check.

Working Conditions

  • This position is a hybrid role with at least 60% of the work being in-person at our office on the waterfront and in the community. The hybrid nature of this position, and the required days in person are subject to change based on the needs of the organization.
  • While typical office hours are Monday-Friday, 9-5, Friends is an event-based, seasonal organization. During peak event season (roughly May-September) and other special events, many employees work a higher percentage of their time in-person including some evenings and weekends.
  • Office employees are invited to staff some events during the summer season.
  • Exempt employees are asked to work a flexible schedule as determined by volume of work; however, the organization works hard to ensure proper work-life balance and to prevent burnout.
  • About the office space:
  • Our office is on the second floor. There is elevator access at the front entrance.
  • Most separate rooms and offices have braille labels.
  • The office building contains a parent’s room, a wellness room, a kitchen, as well as several quiet meeting rooms.

The physical requirements of this role listed below are representative of those that may need to be met by an employee in this role:

  • Operating a computer and other office equipment.
  • Ability to work in an open office format with a fluctuating noise level – Friends' office is located on the waterfront. Music and ferry horns can often be heard from the office. However, noise cancelling headphones and other accommodations are provided. Noise levels are low to moderate in the office.

Compensation and Benefits

The annual salary for this role will be between $130,000 to $170,000.

Relocation assistance available.

Benefits include employer paid medical, dental, life, and vision insurance, paid time off, WA PFML and additional supplement, ORCA card, and a 3% retirement account match.

How to Apply

Please upload a cover letter that answers the following:

  1. What attracts you to this role and Friends of Waterfront Seattle?
  2. How do you define strategic communications and why is it important for an organization?
  3. Can you share an example of when you created an integrated strategic communications plan at an organization, specifically how you developed the process, implemented, and evaluated the impact?
  4. Friends is committed to prioritizing racial equity internally and within the public spaces we operate. Describe your journey to understanding anti-racism and anti-oppression. How might you embed those values into this role at Friends? How do you live these values in your day-to-day life and habits?

Upload portfolio to application that includes at least one written press release sample. Please indicate your involvement in the work you upload, and how it is related to a marketing and communications strategy that you led.

Friends is committed to improving hiring practices to be more inclusive and anti-ableist. We have reviewed the job requirements and only include physical abilities when completely necessary. During the interview process, we email the panel questions ahead of time. We are also able to provide captioning and/or interpretation (e.g., ASL) if requested. If you need specific assistance and/or accommodation during the application or recruiting process, please let us know by emailing our People & Culture team at

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