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External Communications Manager - Smithfield Foods

Smithfield, VA • Full-Time

At Smithfield Foods, good food starts with good people. We are looking for a creative, enthusiastic, results-oriented communications professional interested in joining our growing Corporate Affairs team as our next Manager, External Communications.

This individual will report to the Senior Director of External Communications as an integral part of the Corporate Affairs team, which encompasses internal and external communications, media relations, social media, sustainability, government affairs and investor relations. While the primary responsibility of this role will be to facilitate corporate communications activities, interest in and willingness to take on projects in other areas of the team’s scope is a must.

CORE RESPONSIBILITIES:The below statements are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by people assigned to this job. They are not intended to be an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of personnel so classified. May perform other duties as assigned. 

  • Support Smithfield’s mission, vision and principles as a highly visible member of the Corporate Affairs team

  • Write, edit and distribute communications content to a broad range of external audiences

  • Draft and edit corporate materials including press releases, media statements, briefing papers, talking points, position statements, Q&A, website copy and other external-facing communications

  • Document and track media inquiries to ensure appropriate, timely response

  • Monitor media coverage and develop reports to demonstrate impact of media relations programs

  • Create and manage multiple media contacts and media lists 

  • Collaborate with various internal Smithfield departments to share information and develop and implement communications strategies

  • Assist with production of Smithfield’s annual Sustainability Impact Report

  • Manage projects with attention to detail, deadline and budget

  • Manage relationships and work of communications consultants, agencies and vendors

QUALIFICATIONS:To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals to perform the essential functions.

  • Bachelor’s degree in public relations, communications, marketing, journalism, English, or related field, and 5+ years of experience working in corporate communications, public relations or media relations

  • Outstanding writing, editing and proofreading skills, with strong attention to detail

  • Experience in media relations including managing media inquiries

  • Experience in media distribution, monitoring, measuring and reporting platforms (e.g. Cision, TVEyes)

  • Strong understanding of media analytics with ability to develop insights and strategies based on data reporting

  • Fluent in digital communications channels

  • Demonstrated knowledge of commonly used concepts, practices and models of corporate communications, public relations and media relations programs

  • Proven ability to organize, prioritize and manage multiple projects simultaneously in a fast-paced environment

  • Experience in managing agency/vendor relationships

  • Knowledge of agriculture and/or food industry strongly preferred

  • Experience in developing sustainability communications and reporting, preferred

  • Project management experience with focus on timelines, deadlines and workflow, preferred

  • Confident communicator; must have high-level verbal and written skills

  • Self-starter who is energetic and motivated, and desires to go the extra mile

  • High degrees of professionalism, decision-making ability, judgment, tact, discretion, poise, instinct and diplomacy

  • Must be highly resourceful, adaptable, detailed, deadline driven and flexible within a frequently changing environment

  • Respectful, approachable and team oriented while building strong working relationships and contributing to a positive work culture

  • Ability to work evenings and weekends and be available outside of regular business hours as needed

  • Travel: approximately 15%

  • This position may be hybrid with mix of remote and in-person work, or fully remote, depending on the right candidate.

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