Director of Marketing and Communications - Folger Shakespeare Library
Arts Consulting Group
Washington D.C., DC 20003
A hub for scholarship, performance, and the study of the early modern period, the Folger Shakespeare Library (Folger) puts Shakespeare and the period in which he lived in dialogue with a changing world. In advancing its mission, the Folger connects with 21st century audiences through programming and research inspired by a renowned collection of rare books, manuscripts, and other materials. The Folger creates lovers of Shakespeare and the humanities through programs that speak directly and powerfully to the human experience. Driving discovery and creating transformative experiences for students of all ages, the Folger is a leader in performance-based education, and more than two million teachers and students benefit from its broad variety of programs, exhibits, and events each year.
The Folger’s founders, Henry Clay and Emily Jordan Folger established the institution in 1932. The Folger is a world-class research center on Shakespeare and the early modern western world. The historic landmark building, designed in 1932 by Paul Cret, is undergoing a multiyear, $80-million-dollar renovation expanding public space, improving accessibility, and enhancing engagement for all visitors including a 12,000 square-foot New Pavilion that will feature new exhibition space and visitor amenities. The expanded Folger building promises a dramatically different relationship with new and existing audiences: teachers/educators, families, daytime visitors, members, academics researchers and scholars, general enthusiasts, and local/national/global institutional partners and funders.
The transition to a more public-facing Folger has been ongoing for several years, and new communications and marketing strategies will be implemented during the renovation, scheduled to complete in fall 2023. The Folger is currently working with branding agency Truth & Consequences to develop a communication and marketing campaign specifically aimed at reopening visitation. This campaign will transform various unit-focused efforts into cost-effective, cohesive, and results- and revenue-mindful communication strategies that engage all the Folger’s audiences, existing and new.
Located one block from the United States Capitol Building in Washington, DC, the Folger is administered by a 22-member Board of Governors led by Chair D. Jarrett Arp, under the auspices of founder Henry Clay Folger’s alma mater, Amherst College. Director Dr. Michael Witmore leads a staff of 130 employees. For the fiscal year ending July 31, 2022, the Folger reported total revenue of $19.3 million and total expenses of $19.2 million.
The Director of Communications and Marketing (DCM) will unify and lead the strategy, implementation, and evaluation of all direct sales, brand promotion, and institutional communications for the Folger. This individual will be a collaborative senior leader who will shape this new role and form a single, internal “agency” charged with serving all communications and marketing needs of the Folger, ranging from institutional communications and campaigns to specific programs across all operating units, including Programming, Collections, Institute, Education, Development, Human Resources, and Finance and Operations.
The DCM will refine and implement the opening campaign strategy, developed in partnership with Truth & Consequences agency. The campaign will inform a model for annual marketing efforts to promote the Folger’s comprehensive array of programs, attract new, more diverse and engaged audiences, and achieve revenue and attendance targets. A member of the senior leadership team and reporting to the Director, the DCM will build and lead a team that includes the Head of External Relations, the Digital Managing Editor, the Communications and Social Media Manager, and the Events Publicity and Marketing Manager.
Roles and Responsibilities
Institutional Branding, Public Relations, and Communication
Build systems, services, and a team that meets the marketing and public relations needs of the Folger with the goal of strengthening brand awareness, increasing visitor attendance and support, and emphasizing an integrated programming calendar, as well as the specific/unique needs of the operating units.
Provide comprehensive brand management and strategic leadership in partnership with senior leaders.
Establish a clear vision for how to express the mission, vision, values, impact, and brand positioning in all communications and channels.
Contribute to the Folger’s overall digital strategies involving website assets and other digital strategies.
Guide and create compelling, brand-focused stories about the work of the organization and intersecting industries represented in the Folger.
Ensure the Folger’s vision and values around diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility are incorporated in marketing and communications.
Embrace other institutional branding, public relations, and communication activities as needed.
Strategic Sales and Audience Growth
Develop a comprehensive earned income and sales strategy to drive retail, ticket sales, visitor attendance and special events.
Respond to audience expectations in alignment with arts and entertainment industry benchmarks in a competitive Washington DC market. Use quantitative and qualitative research to inform marketing strategy.
Cultivate opportunities for audience development and community connections across the local Washington DC community and the broader national constituency.
Embrace the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, Tessitura, and safeguard data integrity and privacy of subscription, ticket, and sales information and support appropriate data hygiene and records management.
Develop analytics systems to measure effectiveness of strategies and campaigns to their stated goals.
Embrace other strategic sales and audience growth responsibilities as needed.
Department Leadership and Organizational Collaboration
Create, implement, and manage strategies and timelines for marketing, public relations, publicity, design/media development, media buying, and content marketing, establishing messaging and design themes for annual campaigns that are applied across the institution.
Support development and donor relations by conveying the Folger’s overall mission, vision, values, and impact to funders and sponsors.
Oversee development of all promotional and marketing assets including, but not limited to, advertising, e-mail marketing, social media, brochures and print collateral, and events.
Provide creative direction to photographers/videographers, graphic designers, web developers, printers, and other creative partners.
Manage outside public relations partners and firms, creative agencies, sponsorship liaisons, and media outlets to promote the Folger and its programs in addition to counseling leadership on public appearances and publications.
Provide monthly reports to the Folger Director and internal clients regarding campaign performance and planning; provide overview marketing and communications assessments to the Board of Governors quarterly.
Measure success and strive to exceed the Folger’s earned revenue goals and celebrate results with the team.
Embrace other department leadership and organizational collaboration goals as necessary.
Traits and Characteristics
The Director of Communication and Marketing will be a patron- and team-centric leader that excels in strategizing, planning, organizing, and achieving goals. They will be resourceful in mobilizing human, financial, technological, and other resources to promote and advance the Folger across all operating units in support of organizational goals. They will be receptive to new ideas as a confident and strategic leader who works collaboratively to strengthen internal and external relationships with the diverse stakeholders and communities of the Folger.
Other key competencies include:
Personal Accountability – The capability to self-evaluate and answer for personal actions, decisions, and results.
Customer Focus – The capacity to anticipate, meet, and frequently exceed customer expectations while deeply considering internal stakeholder perspectives.
Planning, Organizing, and Project Management – The dexterity to develop procedures, processes, and systems for order, and action plans that ensure high-quality work is completed on time and desired outcomes are reached.
Goal Orientation – The facility to take ownership of situations, accept responsibility for actions and results, and complete tasks necessary to meet deadlines and achieve goals.
Leadership and Teamwork – The ability to articulate a vision and create a sense of purpose and direction for internal and external stakeholders, build trust by demonstrating respect and integrity, and create an environment where team members are appreciated and supported.
Compensation and Benefits
The Folger offers competitive compensation, with a salary range between $150,000 and $200,000; a benefit package that includes annual vacation, sick, and personal time; more than 10 paid holidays; employer-paid individual health, dental, and vision insurance; 403(b) with contribution match; life insurance; short- and long-term disability; flexible spending; pretax transit; educational assistance; grant-in-aid for dependents; credit union membership; care.com membership; employee assistance program, and more.
A bachelor degree is required and an advanced degree in communications, marketing, or related field is preferred. A minimum of seven years of progressive supervisory experience in marketing and public relations management is essential. Experience driving diverse income streams serving multiple audiences is essential, preferably in complex, multi-faceted environments or with a cross-section of nonprofits. The successful candidate will have superior writing and eloquent public speaking skills. They will have a demonstrated ability to develop and implement strategic integrated marketing campaigns that meet or exceed performance metrics including membership, visitor attendance, subscription/ticket sales, and merchandise/concessions sales. Experience targeting local tourism with diverse and enhanced audience engagement strategies. Developing, implementing, and evaluating an annual communications plan across discrete audiences and multiple channels that align with strategic priorities and elevate an organization’s reputation.