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Senior Director of Communications

About the Diocese of Toledo 

Established on April 15, 1910 by Pope Pius X, the Roman Catholic Diocese of Toledo encompasses 8,222 square miles in a mixture of urban and rural areas that spans 19 counties in Northwest Ohio. The diocese includes Allen, Crawford, Defiance, Erie, Fulton, Hancock, Henry, Huron, Lucas, Ottawa, Paulding, Putnam, Richland, Sandusky, Seneca, Van Wert, Williams, Wood, and Wyandot counties. The total population of the 19 counties of the diocese is 1,465,561 people 282,313 in the city of Toledo. The total Catholic population of the diocese is 319,907.
There are 123 parishes in the Diocese.
Priests: 159 Diocesan Priests (Incardinated in the Diocese of Toledo), 89 Active (Serving within the diocese), 5 Active (Serving outside the diocese), 65 Retired (Senior Status), and absent 4 Extern Priests (Those who are incardinated in other dioceses), 43 Religious Priests (32 active, 11 retired).
Deacons: 1 Transitional Deacon (Those pursuing ordination to the priesthood), 182 Permanent Deacons
Religious: 11 Men in Religious Orders or Societies of Apostolic Life, 414 Religious Women
Seminarians: 16 Diocesan Seminarians
Schools: 2 Catholic Colleges (3,816 full and part-time students), 10 Diocesan High Schools (2,580 students), 4 Private High Schools (Overseen by Religious men and women) (2,496 students), 49 Diocesan Elementary Schools (Overseen by parishes) (10,778 students), 5 Private Elementary Schools (Overseen by Religious men and women) (773 students) Teachers: 8 Full-Time Priests, 19 Women Religious, 1,141 Lay Teachers.
On October 22, 2013 Bishop Daniel E. Thomas was appointed eight Bishop of the Diocese of Toledo and leads the faithful in this Ohio community.

General Summary:  

The Senior Director of Communications is responsible for the development and implementation of internal and external communications strategies and plans. This includes outreach to the public through media relations and messaging to effectively convey and support the pastoral and administrative priorities of the Office of the Bishop of Toledo, the mission of the diocese, and the teachings of the Church.

Directs the communications strategy of the diocese in coordination with the bishop. Researches, initiates, develops, and maintains excellent relationships with traditional and online media, and responds to media inquiries in coordination with the bishop. Serves as spokesperson as directed. Researches, writes and edits various materials for distribution to the press and stakeholder groups, as well as internal correspondence to support offices and ministries of the diocese.  Works with other staff members to implement consistent messaging for initiatives across all communications platforms.
Coordinates communications planning for potential and actual crises.  Develops and maintains the diocesan web site and social media platforms to current creative standards. Serves as a consultant to parishes, schools, and diocesan affiliates regarding communications strategies.Reports to: Vicar General, Moderator of the Curia

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develops a strategic and comprehensive communication plan, with metrics, utilizing both traditional and new media, to broaden visibility of diocesan ministries, and the mission of the local Church.
  • Serves as an active, contributing member of the Bishop’s Senior Staff, providing visionary insight, advisement, policy formation, evaluation, and continually seeking out new opportunities of shared services, working collaboratively with our departments to promote holy disciples, families and vocations.
  • Develops diocesan messages, talking points, and supporting materials as needed to maintain the pastoral visibility of the bishop and promote understanding of his pastoral and administrative initiatives.
  • Develops digital communications, marketing, and public relations activities and materials including publications, media relations, and the use of digital media including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, podcasts, wikis and other social media.
  • Ensures articulation of diocesan desired image and position, safeguarding consistent communication of image and position throughout the diocese and communicates this to all constituencies, both internal and external.
  • Writes and distributes news releases for the Pastoral Center offices, parishes and schools (as needed). Responds to media inquiries for the Pastoral Center offices, parishes, and schools (as needed), as well as coordinating media interviews.
  • Maintains a high degree of professionalism and credibility with the diocesan staff, clergy, the public, and all media through knowledge, forthrightness, and truthfulness, with a high focus on building effective and positive relationships.
  • Provides public relations, digital communications and crisis management counsel to the bishop, diocesan staff, pastors, parishes, schools and diocesan agencies; which may at times require consultation with general legal counsel and human resources. 
  • Coordinates the appearance of all diocesan print and electronic materials such as letterhead, use of logo, brochures, and other print and digital media materials which may be necessary from time to time.
  • Develops an affiliate web presence plan that drives traffic to and promotes usage of the diocesan websites including ways to engage the public and media with proactive message delivery, use of appropriate logos, proclaimers and live links to local sponsors.
  • Serves as social media consultant to communications staff, diocesan staff, and volunteers for specific events/programs.
  • Facilitates traffic flow across web resources.  Prepares and maintains regular monitoring and measurement reports including local page traffic, current content audit results and best practices and ideas.
  • Meets yearly with each staff person to review their job performance and submits a written evaluation to the Human Resource Department.
  • Establish regular check points with direct reports; takes constructive timely action to remedy problems, and consistently meets quality standards and deadlines; works in a team environment and articulates the purpose and vision with staff, develop goals with them, establish objectives, and follows-up to ensure that expectations are met.
  • Works creatively with Pastoral Center staff and department heads to maximize publicity for special events, programs and major announcements from diocesan offices and agencies.
  • Provides information to the public on diocesan decisions and policies (e.g. filming in churches), and on matters of Church teaching.
  • Acts as liaison to other dioceses and national offices for media and communications matters.
  • Remains current on media issues, especially developments on religious and ethical topics.
  • Utilizes wise stewardship principles in developing and implementing an annual department budget with monthly review of office expenditures, and oversees the budget procedures of department ministries.
  • Performs other related duties as assigned by Moderator of the Curia.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities Required

  • Minimum of a Bachelor’s degree (Master’s degree preferred) in communications, journalism, digital communications or public relations with a minimum of seven years of practical work experience in communications, media relations/ audio-visual production or public relations.
  • Specific experience in church organizational and operations procedures is preferred or in a complex, multi-unit organization (preferably nonprofit) with service orientation.
  • Thorough knowledge of the methods and techniques for disseminating information to the public as well as facilitating internal communication among departments and agencies.
  • Ability to capture critical information/key points by using exceptional active listening skills and asking appropriate probing questions while documenting conversations and recommendations given.
  • Must be a practicing Roman Catholic in good standing with the Church who has the ability to respect, promote, accommodate, and not be in conflict with the mission, moral and social teachings, doctrines, and laws of the Roman Catholic faith.
  • Pursues this ministry with energy, drive and a need to produce results, especially in the face of resistance or setbacks. Must be flexible, self-confident, assertive and persuasive.
  • Demonstrated experience managing crisis communication.
  • Superior professional writing and copy-editing skills; must be able to present ideas in a cogent, understandable, and compelling manner.  Must also be able to adjust and respond accordingly on tight deadlines and in rapidly changing situations.
  • Excellent oral communications skills for speaking to and interacting with the media and other appropriate stakeholders, including public speaking.  Well-prepared and skilled in dealing with journalists from print, broadcast, or Web-based outlets.  Experience in conducting news briefings, news conferences and media interviews.
  • Skilled in strategic planning, program development, media relations, and digital communications. 
  • Must have a collaborative style; proven team builder with effective employee-relations skills.  Proven ability to lead and motivate teams through recognition, participation and delegation.  A leadership style that is approachable, engaging, as well as results and action-oriented with experience in being a “leader of leaders” with a semi-autonomous team. 
  • Proficient with information technology including Microsoft Office Suite, social media usage.  Web site contributor level should be proficient.  
  • Must have a comprehensive knowledge of major issues facing the Catholic Church in Ohio, the U.S. and the world.  Currency in Catholic-based media is a must.
  • Must be able to establish and maintain effective working relationships with diocesan offices, parishes and schools, in addition to the media.  
  •  Exercises considerable independence and judgment with a high level of confidentiality.
  • Must be able to organize and prioritize work, be proactive, take initiative, resolve complex problems, follow through, and simultaneously manage multiple priorities.
  • Must successfully pass the required BCI/FBI background & training prior to employment and every five years.

BENEFITS: This position offers comprehensive benefits and retirement plan. Details available from Human Resources.

COMPENSATION: Highly Competitive

EXPECTED TRAVEL: 20-30 %; minimal overnight travel


To Apply:

Deadline: April 30, 2017
Please email:  Patrick Lynch, Managing Director, with cover letter and resume.