New Opportunity: Senior Director of Corporate Communications at NW Natural


About the Company

At NW Natural, we like to say, “We grew up here.” We’ve been an energy supplier and community leader since 1859. Some of our neighbors know us through our philanthropy and volunteer programs and innovative approaches to carbon reduction.

Our customers know us because of the clean, safe, efficient, and low-cost energy we provide. We are a service-oriented utility, with a “Best in the West” customer satisfaction ranking.

If you share our core values – integrity, safety, service ethic, caring and environmental stewardship – we invite you to apply to NW Natural.

About the Role

NW Natural offers a Senior Director of Corporate Communications opportunity to interested applicants. Reporting to the Senior Vice President of Operations and Chief Marketing Officer, this position will be responsible for overseeing the company’s external, internal and executive communications to key stakeholders such as the general public, news media, customers, shareholders, regulators and employees. This person will lead a strategic, collaborative and team-focused department, and forge strong inner-company, cross-departmental relationships. The following is a summary of the position specifics.

The Day-to-Day

This position will oversee the following areas:

External Communications:

  • Work directly with senior executives to convey the company’s key environmental, safety and business objectives across all channels.
  • Knowledge of the Company’s strategic plan, Low Carbon Pathway, as well as company policies, procedures, and practices and federal, state, and local governmental laws and regulations.
  • Stay current with industry trends and regulatory developments to ensure external environmental factors are considered in all communications recommendations and decisions.
  • Oversee team of Public Information Officers to execute on the following:
    • Help ensure that fair, balanced and accurate information about NW Natural is reported by the news media.
    • Develop responses to media inquiries and strategies for proactively communicating the company’s messages externally.
    • Oversee company’s crisis management and play leading role in ensuring its effective execution when needed.
  • Manage team to create a variety of external materials, including press releases, presentations, talking points, website copy, and other public facing materials.
  • Manage communications and research consultants and external partners and memberships on a variety of projects and topics as needed.
  • Responsible for departmental budget and project budgets.

Internal Communications:

  • Develop and oversee implementation of company’s internal communications plan, including various written publications, the Intranet site, digital signage and special events.
  • Support internal communications manager to make sure all internal stakeholder needs are met through effective employee communications.

Executive Communications:

  • Provide counsel to officers on communications strategy for the news media, customers, employees and shareholders.
  • Provide leadership and execution on key executive presentations to major stakeholder audiences externally and internally.

Qualifications & Requirements

  • 10 to 15 years of experience in communications, including extensive media relations and professional writing experience.
  • Experience in a professional/corporate communications environment.
  • A demonstrated ability to manage crisis communications.
  • Experience working closely with finance and/or investor relations teams.
  • Knowledge of news media strongly preferred.
  • Knowledge of Incident Command Team structure strongly preferred.
  • Leadership and teamwork skills to provide input into policy decisions, and to mobilize resources to produce desired business results.
  • Knowledge of utility industry preferred, but not required.
  • Previous experience with managing staff and budgets required.
  • Communication and interpersonal skills to manage and motivate employees, use oral and written communication to communicate objectives and action plans.
  • Project management experience with demonstrated success preferred.
  • Requires strong writing, speaking, proofreading skills and keen attention to detail.
  • Pager duty required (2 weekends every quarter)
  • Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Journalism, English or related field required, Master’s degree is a plus.

Interested in learning more?

180one is a retained search firm and has been engaged by NW Natural to manage this search. If interested in learning more about the opportunity, please contact Lisa Heffernan at 180one.

Head on over to our Placements/Opportunities page to see what else we’ve been working on!