Manager, Communications External
We are currently seeking a Manager, Communications External (Manager) in Toronto or Montréal to join our Business Development, Communications and Marketing team.
The Manager is responsible for articulating and managing the external communications function, including strategic media relations in support of Davies’ overall objectives. This role reinforces a culture founded on excellence and precision. Davies focuses on high-stakes matters. Our lawyers are fearless in approach and methodical in execution.
The Manager delivers proactive guidance to the firm’s Director, Communication; leadership; practices; and offices on how to strategically improve the firm’s profile in Canada, the United States and globally.
Davies has offices in three locations: Toronto, Montréal and New York. Our Montréal office represents and delivers services in Québec both to Québec-based clients and to clients that do business in Québec. This requires the production of our content in both French and English, which is a process the Manager manages for the firm’s business development and marketing communications.
The Manager will set the firm’s external communications strategy (for and in alignment with the firm’s administrative leadership and the partners; this group contributes to; guides and supports global; Canada; United States; local market; office; practice; industry; alumni and D&I strategies) raising the firm’s profile and resulting in (for example) several firm / leadership / next generation of leaders’ profile pieces each year. Plans will include milestones; methods for leadership buy-in and reporting; communications calendar; details for building key-media relationships; approaches to reaching audiences (clients, prospects, talent, referral sources, alumni); and modes of communication (earned media, article placements, announcements, presentations, association involvement, announcements, bulletins (flashes), guides, newsletters, reports, social media (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, etc.), podcasts, video, website, advertising, paid media, etc.
The Manager leads a team ready to handle day-to-day efforts, as well as crisis counseling and media / communications training and guidance for partners and firm leadership. The team proactively monitors client, practice, location and industry trends and engages with leadership and the media to identify and act upon topical profile-raising opportunities. The Manager will expand the communications team’s and key-partners’ networks of relationships with reporters and editors in the business and legal media and within targeted industry and trade organizations.
Working collaboratively with the Marketing, Business Development and Operations functions, the Manager fosters creative solutions for solidifying client relationships using external communications concepts leading to new business opportunities. Together, these functions manage and assess the firm’s market recognition programs, including managing the firm’s annual reporting to news agencies; firm / practice / lawyer rankings; and pursuit of award opportunities for individual lawyers and the firm.
The Manager will interface with the firm’s General Counsel and the Conflicts Department to approve contracts and ensure that our external communications are not at odds with any client engagements or firm position.
Part of our external communications strategy, Davies’ social media efforts are executed by several functions in the firm from recruiting to practices to lawyers and D&I. The Manager works collaboratively with those social media producers to ensure they comport with one approved strategy, which conforms with our social media policy appearing on Twitter, LinkedIn, Tiktok, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
For systems and operations, the Manager will work with our Marketing Operations utility and support the management, selection and deployment of technologies necessary for the execution of our external communications function. This includes the firm’s website, client portals, CRM / ERM, email distribution, social media applications, research systems, project management and media tracking. This team assists in assessing current software processes and collaborating with the IT Department to select vendors and organize deployments. The goal is to increase collaboration, break down silos and eliminate duplication in the department and throughout the firm.
For writing consistency and branding, the Manager ensures that our prose and visual identity are consistent throughout the firm. Requiring intra-firm departmental collaboration, training and the delivery of helpful tools, such as a writing style guide; branding style guide; and examples.
The Manager will further optimize brand awareness and the firm’s positioning so that perception among key targets and audiences aligns with reality. This includes the firm’s web presence, media, listings and directories, rankings and recognition, advertising, marketing and business development materials, publishing, client communications, social media, D&I, alumni relations and lawyer recruiting support.
For team leadership and management, the Manager manages a staff of approximately three professionals and external consultants (media, trainers, designers and editors), and looks to elevate the skills of our internal staff wherever possible, keeping the challenging work inside the firm.
Education: The position requires a Bachelor’s Degree, preferably in English, French, communications, public relations, journalism or related field. A law degree is a plus.
Experience: The position requires a minimum of five years of relevant experience with a record of achievement, increasing responsibility and management acumen. The equivalent combination of advanced degree, training and experience may be considered with a minimum of three years of professional experience relevant to the position. Law firm, legal-related, professional services or partnership-organizational experience preferred. Favoured candidates have a solid understanding of a law firm or professional services business model from financial, operational and personal perspectives. Public relations agency, journalism or government experience is a plus.
Knowledge, Skills and Capabilities:
- Proven communications and public relations experience with a background in media relations and content creation. Ability to represent the firm with honesty, integrity and professionalism, consistently acting in an ethical manner.
- Experience with crisis management and able to remain well composed and clear-thinking when responding to media attention involving sensitive topics.
- Strong interpersonal skills with a demonstrated ability to communicate clearly and effectively, both verbally and in writing in English (and ideally in French) . Proficiency to read and write in French is strongly preferred. Excellent written and verbal communication skills with demonstrated ability to persuasively articulate and present complex ideas and strategic topics to firm-wide leadership and other key stakeholders as well as external audiences.
- Gravitas / ability to influence.
- Record of developing effective relationships (either personally or by empowering the team) with contacts at top-tier global, national, local, practice and industry media outlets.
- Familiarity with legal concepts as relevant to legal public relations.
- Technological acumen of digital marketing, social media strategies and content creation best practices. Competent in operating these or similar database software and research tools: Meltwater; JD Supra; Lexology; Mondaq; LexisNexis or Westlaw; Introhive; InterAction; Tikit, etc.
- Advanced technological skills with the Microsoft suite of products (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, OneNote, SharePoint, Outlook). Working knowledge of NetDocuments, PowerBI and Sitecore are beneficial.
- Demonstrated ability to manage projects and campaigns while adapting to changing priorities. Sophisticated ability to lead others in developing and executing on initiatives and large-scale projects. A highly organized and self-directed approach to work with a track record of following through on commitments and managing multiple expectations simultaneously. Impeccable attention to detail.
- Ability to motivate others; empower people and teams; and build effective and cooperative work teams. Seasoned experience in managing teams, hiring, training, assigning work, managing performance and providing performance counseling and coaching.
- Success in recruiting, mentoring, managing and developing staff. Leadership experience and presence consistent with the firm’s commitment to excellence, innovation, diversity, shared success and corporate citizenship.
- Applied knowledge of CAN-SPAM, CASL and GDPR compliance.
Qualified candidates are invited to email their cover letter and resumé in confidence to Robyn Hayes, Human Resources Generalist, at email@example.com.
We thank you for your resumé but only those chosen for an interview will be contacted.
Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP is committed to providing a work environment that is diverse, inclusive and accessible to applicants and firm members with disabilities. If you require accommodation at any time during the recruitment process, please contact Robyn Hayes, firstname.lastname@example.org or 416.367.7910.