Communications Manager

Reston, Virginia
Sep 22, 2017
Oct 27, 2017
Full Time

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics is seeking a Communications Manager who will be responsible for:

  • Working closely with the Director of Communications to plan, implement, and monitor communication strategies and programs for AIAA including public relations, media relations, Forum-related planning, and assist in the management of internal and external communications
  • Implementation and monitoring of branding, messaging, corporate image enhancement efforts, social media strategy to consistently articulate AIAA’s purpose and promise independently and on campaigns or projects as assigned
  • Leading proactive media relations and press outreach duties, including drafting press releases, media advisories, op-eds, statements, ghost written columns, executive correspondence, and handling media inquiries and interview requests, while building and maintaining relationships with media at the local, regional, national, and international levels
  • Managing Institute communication projects such as the Annual Report, Aerospace Spotlight Awards Gala videos and scripts, Forum-related videos (like the D4U videos), general Institute videos and other projects as assigned by the Director of Communications
  • Assisting senior management with urgent communications and media relations matters, such as statements, press releases, member tributes, or government action when the Director of Communications is unavailable
  • Managing all AIAA e-newsletters




  • Collaborate with the Director of Communications to manage the day-to-day operations of the Institute’s communications
  • Manage distribution of communications collateral material
  • Work with Director of Communications, project managers, and other appropriate staff on protocol-related issues at AIAA Forums and events
  • Staff VIP and/or green rooms during Forums
  • Assist with overall enterprise communications including branding outreach at the direction of the Director of Communications
  • Support budget development and manage relevant budget components for outside vendors, including soliciting multiple bids, contracting with, and managing contracted photography, videography, and editorial/writing services
  • Maintain AIAA image and video archives and post relevant images to Flickr
  • Support all executive communications serving as a ghost writer, coauthor or editor as assigned for speech development, formal written correspondence, op-eds, articles, talking points, etc.
  • Develop, implement, and manage an ongoing and evolving strategy for AIAA
    e-newsletters. Identifying constituencies to be served, optimizing readability and use, tracking metrics, and planning accordingly
  • Fact-check all outgoing materials and correspondence to ensure accuracy
  • Collaborate with project teams in the development and implementation of communications plan, strategies, photography and videography schedules, and collateral material for the Institute’s products, services, and activities

Media Relations

  • Lead AIAA’s media relations programs, and explore opportunities to expand the Institute’s media profile
  • Quickly and accurately develop press releases, media advisories, statements, letters, and other written collateral and planning materials as assigned
  • Build and maintain multiple media lists for AIAA’s forums, events, and issue area outreach
  • Maintain an AIAA member expert database for the media and internal use
  • Serve as reporters’ and producers’ primary point of contact in the office and onsite at forums and other AIAA events
  • Proactively plan and implement media relations and outreach efforts focused on significant annual milestones and upcoming industry developments incorporating institute messaging, issuing enterprise communication, and cultivating press coverage of same. Implementation could include drafting and/or reviewing press releases, media advisories, op-eds, blog posts, and handling media inquiries and interview requests
  • Collaborate with Director of Communications and with staff and external stakeholders to recognize new/underdeveloped opportunities for media outreach and to highlight events to press


Position Dimensions:

  • Serve as the Director of Communications’ de facto deputy during planned absences and during emergency situations requiring immediate communications response
  • Work through, interact with, and support volunteers, external media, public relations contacts, and staff while observing proper protocol
  • Work both independently and at the direction of management
  • Collaborate and communicate effectively across the staff at all levels
  • Maintain progress on multiple activities simultaneously as well as recognize the need to transition focus and adapt schedule and deliverables to address developing situations to support and cover late-breaking events
  • Measure effectiveness of communication strategies and tactics using metrics, analytics, and accomplishments, maintaining budget guidelines
  • Moderate out of town travel required (4-5 times per year) in addition to local travel to support events—including some nights and weekends
  • Produce all work consistent with AIAA branding and style guide
  • Ensure projects achieve the desired results and are completed in a timely manner and within budget
  •  Other non-specified duties as needed



  • Bachelor’s degree; Majors in communications or journalism preferred, other related degrees considered
  • Four or more years of media or public relations experience required. Previous experience as a reporter a plus
  • Must have extraordinary attention to detail, high standards of accuracy in writing and editing, and strict adherence to standard operating procedures and style
  • Able to write and edit in accordance with both AP Manual of Style and Chicago Manual of Style
  • Demonstrated organizational skills in a complex and dynamic work environment are essential
  • Established media contacts—preferably in the aerospace and defense industries
  • Strong oral and written communication skills
  • Takes responsibility for actions and is accountable for deadlines and deliverables
  • Strong sense of protocol and comfortable interacting with Institute members, industry leaders, VIPs, elected officials, security teams, and volunteer leadership
  • Writing accurately under deadline, ability to analyze press coverage quickly, handle press calls and press inquiries, arrange interviews
  • Demonstrated proficiency with developing web and social media; Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint applications


Knowledge and Skills:

  • Ability to summarize diverse technical and/or economic issues into a coherent message tailored to each audience
  • Ability to build and expand relationships with external public relations and media contacts
  • Message development and storytelling
  • Project management experience
  • Experience managing third-party vendor relationships
  • Broadcast, video production and editing, or photography experience desired
  • Extremely attentive to detail and able to review deliverables for completeness, editorial accuracy, style, quality, voice, audience, and compliance with established standards
  • Outgoing and engaging personality with strong networking and interpersonal skills
  • Flexible and adaptable outlook, comfortable managing multiple projects simultaneously with minimal supervision
  • Strong service orientation and decision-making skills
  • Trustworthy with strong business integrity, able to hold sensitive information in confidence, and mindful of the Institute’s best interest and reputation.



Applicants MUST submit a resume, cover letter, and salary requirements in order to be considered for the position.  Please send to




Why Work at AIAA?

Make a real difference in the aerospace industry! Assist us in positioning aerospace for its exciting future while celebrating the industry’s pioneering accomplishments. As an AIAA employee, you will enjoy competitive compensation and benefits including:

  • 37.5-hr work week
  • 11 holidays + vacation and sick leave
  • Great location off the Dulles Toll Road near the new Reston Silver Line Metro
  • Awarded ‘Best Workplaces for Commuters’ by Fairfax County Transit Authority and the National Center for Transit Research
  • Medical, Dental, Vision insurance with low co-pays
  • 403(b) retirement savings plan with generous match
  • Group Term Life insurance
  • Long-term and short-term disability
  • Educational assistance
  • Health club and Weight Watchers subsidy


About AIAA

AIAA is the largest aerospace professional society in the world, serving an innovative, high-value workforce that helps make the world safer, more connected, more accessible, and more prosperous. We represent a profession whose great work has produced everything from the brilliant innovations that affect daily living to the major missions that fuel our collective human drive to explore and to accomplish amazing things.


American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics

12700 Sunrise Valley Drive, Suite 200

Reston, VA 20191

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