Position:  Executive Communications Specialist / Speechwriter
Location:  Evanston, IL
Job Id:  513
# of Openings:  1

Job Title:           Executive Communications Specialist / Speechwriter
Area:                  Corporate Communications
Reports to:        Corporate Communications Manager 
Classification:   Exempt

Organization Overview
Rotary is 1.2 million inspired business and professional leaders, in 35,000 Rotary clubs and more than 200 geographical areas united daily across cultures and occupations addressing illiteracy, disease, hunger, poverty, and lack of clean water. The fervent idea exchange celebrates diverse perspectives and facilitates positive change. Passion and engagement abound at Rotary International. In exchange for hard work and dedication, our employees are rewarded with competitive salaries, flexible schedules, comprehensive benefits, and job enrichment. We offer all this and more. Come join us. Visit www.rotary.org to learn more.
 
Rotary’s Commitment to Diversity
One of Rotary’s values is diversity, which we define as embracing diversity in thought, culture, and perspective. As such, we welcome and encourage highly-qualified candidates with diverse experiences and backgrounds to apply.
 
General Overview
The Executive Communications Specialist oversees external and internal positioning of Rotary Senior Leaders (primarily the Rotary President and President-Elect) including message development, and writing speeches, talking points, scripts and presentations.  This position will occasionally also write speeches for other Rotary leaders, including spouses, directors, trustees, and past presidents; occasionally writes speeches for non-Rotarian spokespeople speaking at Rotary events.
 
The Executive Communications Specialist also provides oversight, strategy and guidance in the development and coordination of all speeches and messaging for key Rotary events, specifically the International Convention. This includes organizing speakers by theme, advising them or their representatives on direction and key points for their speeches, and working closely with International Meetings to ensure a cohesive program that aligns with Rotary’s key messages and brand voice.
 
Education
Bachelor’s degree or higher.
 
Prior Experience
A minimum of six years of experience in writing and editing, with an emphasis on speechwriting or audiovisual scriptwriting. Previous direct support of C-suite clients desirable. Previous work with associations or other nonprofit organizations and experience writing for an international audience highly desirable. Previous event content management experience highly desirable.
 
Knowledge and Skills
Superior writing skills and a good ear to capture the individual speaker’s voice. The ability to synthesize information quickly, adapting material from various sources into a seamless product within a very short timeframe; the ability to work independently and creatively with limited source material and minimal supervision. Excellent research skills. Flexibility, ingenuity, tact, attention to detail, a sense of humor, and ability to work well under pressure and relate well to a variety of cultures are key qualities. Prior Rotary knowledge or the ability to absorb it very quickly is needed. Ability to work with speakers who have varying levels of English language skills.
 
Primary Responsibilities
Responsible for providing a high volume of speeches and written messages for Rotary senior leaders and spouses, maintaining a clear, consistent message that is adapted to each individual’s speaking style and native culture. Responsible for event content management to ensure continuity of messaging across all speakers at Rotary’s International Convention and other events.
 
Primary Duties
  • Works with individual Rotary leaders, their assistants, other RI staff, and event organizers to determine speech needs, and sets a schedule for preparing speeches. Depending on the event, the writer may write original material, adapt stock speeches, or edit speeches prepared by others. The writer carries out research -- both within Rotary and outside -- as specifically requested by the speaker or as needed for each particular speech.
  • Provides oversight, strategy, and guidance in the development and coordination of all stage content for key Rotary events, specifically International Convention. This includes overseeing general session scripts, working directly with internal and external speakers or their representatives on their presentations, working directly with International Meetings and volunteers on relevant aspects of planning, and collaborating on/creating material (video scripts, panel discussion guides, etc.) throughout, to ensure a cohesive program that aligns with Rotary’s key messages and brand voice.
  • Provides editorial counsel and support while ensuring all messaging is elevating the brand reputation and staying on message regarding the organization’s priorities.
  • Talks with Rotary leaders on a regular basis to gain a better understanding of the message that they want to convey, absorbs their evolving speaking style, and becomes familiar with the speaker’s background and personality as resource material for humanizing and enlivening their speeches.
  • Monitors speeches given by Rotary leaders to ensure consistent and appropriate messaging, gain a better understanding of what material works for that particular speaker, and tactfully advise them on ways they can improve.
  • Assists other Rotary staff as needed to provide information and review speech drafts.
  • Solicits input for and writes monthly leadership emails, President’s Messages for The Rotarian magazine, and other messages from the president as requested.
  • Will be required to work evenings and weekends, depending on the needs and schedules of the speakers.
  • Occasional domestic and international travel required (<10%)
  • Trains and supervises freelance writers, in accordance with the organization’s policies and procedures.
  • Edits speeches prepared by staff members/freelance writers.
  • Contributes to other projects as assigned.
 
Secondary Duties
  • Write scripts for video presentations by Rotary leaders and presentations at International Assembly and International Convention plenary sessions as needed.
  • Write scripts for video presentations by Rotary leaders at events which they are unable to attend.
  • When feasible, takes on other, relatively short-term editorial assignments.
  • Oversee archive of previous speeches.
 
Supervisory Responsibility
Supervises one-two freelance writers, depending on speech needs of other senior leaders.  Carries out supervisory responsibilities in accordance with the organization's policies and applicable laws. Responsibilities include interviewing, hiring, and training employees; planning, assigning, and directing work; appraising performance; rewarding and disciplining employees; addressing complaints and resolving problems.
 
Budget Responsibility
None
 
Internal Contacts
Maintains ongoing contact with the president, president-elect, and president-nominee. Maintains ongoing contact with President’s Office to ascertain speech needs of the president, president-elect, president-nominee, and their spouses. This includes keeping track of speaking engagements on their schedules, meeting with the leaders to discuss specific speech needs, maintaining availability by phone and email according to the needs of senior leader travel schedules, and obtaining approvals of speech drafts. Maintains regular contact with International Meetings staff for event planning and content management. Maintains contact with Global Communications as necessary for non-English-speaking leaders. Maintains contact with various other staff to obtain information for speeches. Maintains ongoing contact with Corporate Communications team.
 
External Contacts
Rotary leaders and their spouses as well as Rotarians in the field who can provide information about Rotary leaders’ speaking engagements and information on pertinent club and district projects. Aides to president and president-elect. Convention Chair and Convention Committee. Works with freelance speechwriters to provide information and guidance.
 

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