Communications Director

Wisconsin Institute of CPAs (WICPA)

Founded in 1905, the Wisconsin Institute of Certified Public Accountants (WICPA) is the premier professional association for Wisconsin accounting and business professionals. With more than 7,000 members in public accounting, business and industry, government, nonprofit and education, the WICPA serves the diverse needs of members by enhancing professional competency; promoting the value of members and the profession; advocating on behalf of the profession; and building community among members.

Position Details

Communications Director
Southeast Wisconsin
Waukesha, WI

The Communications Director is responsible for planning, developing and implementing the WICPA’s communication strategy and public relations activities and overseeing the organization’s communication channels. The Director ensures that communications activities promote, enhance and protect the brand identity and reputation of the organization, the CPA profession, and related industries and professional affiliates.

The Communications Director will create and implement a strategic communications plan for the WICPA that supports the organization’s mission and vision. Responsible for publications, media relations (including social media), website featured news, activity in the members-only online community, member communications and general reputation management. The Director will report to the President & CEO and be responsible for supporting all teams within the organization as well as the board of directors. The Public Relations Manager will report to the Communications Director.


  • Develops and implements strategic communications plan to generate positive public awareness of the WICPA and its members and to strengthen the CPA brand identity across multiple platforms.
  • Outlines goals, campaigns and projects which includes defined audiences, success criteria, outreach plan, an editorial calendar, story ideas and pitches.
  • Manages the production and content of printed and electronic publications, including On Balance, the general membership’s bi-monthly magazine; CPA2b, a semi-annual magazine targeting college accounting students and educators; The Bottom Line, annual catalog of continuing professional development courses and relevant feature articles; and Thank You, an annual publication designed to acknowledge member participation and voluntary contributions. Writes and edits content.
  • Oversees assigned digital communications including educator e-news and Frequency, a monthly new email to members.
  • Participates in editing and production tasks, including proofreading and review copy in layout, checking for accuracy and confirming that all requested changes have been made correctly, fact checking, writing captions, headlines, subheads and pull quotes, copyediting and proofreading and consulting with graphic designer on layout of content.
  • Keeps up to date on the pulse of the CPA profession, public accounting industry, and the state and national business environment to ensure the WICPA is communicating interesting, relevant and timely news to its members and the public.
  • Serves as the primary point person for all PR and media related matters including pitching, drafting, editing and disseminating press materials, and organizing interviews and media-related site visits while building and maintaining strong media relationships across the state.
  • Oversees management of all social media accounts, including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Works with PR Manager to deploy social media posting, monitoring and response strategies to manage the WICPA’s brand, promote the CPA profession and Wisconsin business community, and strategically insert appropriate messages into relevant conversations online.
  • Establishes procedures to measure, track and evaluate results.
  • Ensures fresh content is added daily to social media, member communities and website featured news.
  • Works closely with the President & CEO to provide strategic communications, including advocacy.
  • Collaborates with President & CEO, Marketing Director, PR Manager and other WICPA staff as well as consultants and board members to refine and strengthen the organization’s messaging and overall branding.
  • Collaboratively works with the Marketing Director to ensure messaging and branding is consistent across departments, with a specific understanding of the differences and similarities between communications and marketing.
  • Supervises, evaluates and holds accountable the performance and professionalism of the Public Relations Manager.
  • Oversees daily operations of communications department and budget.
  • Contributes to general communications writing, proofreading and editing of content, as needed, across all communication channels.
  • Utilize full capabilities of Meltwater, media relations and social media software.
  • Plans and leads editorial planning committee.
  • Develops, coordinates and monitors crisis communication plan and implementation.
  • Identifies opportunities and priority issues for raising awareness of WICPA mission and purpose. Works with leadership team and staff to recognize internal and external communications opportunities and solutions and define and execute appropriate strategies to support them.
  • Willingly takes on writing and editing projects as needed.

Education & Experience:

  • Bachelor's degree (or higher) in public relations, journalism, professional communications and/or marketing
  • Minimum of eight years’ experience in the communications, journalism or marketing/communications field with progressive advancement into management and leadership positions
  • Experience working with news media and connecting reporters with interview sources
  • Extensive demonstrated successful writing and editing experience with a variety of print and online communications media, journalistic style and marketing
  • Proven computer skills and internet proficiency
  • Experienced manager capable of effectively providing guidance, coaching and critical feedback both verbally and through performance reviews

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills Excellent interpersonal skills, including flexibility, sense of humor and the ability to communicate professionally and diplomatically with a wide variety of stakeholders with diverse backgrounds
  • A specific understanding of the differences and similarities between communications and marketing
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with autonomy and to be a member of a highly collaborative team
  • Strong personal planning, motivation and time management skills with ability to operate in high organized fashion
  • Ability to multitask
  • Skilled in the application of AP/journalistic Style and an understanding of when and when not to apply it
  • Strong work ethic, attention to detail, and commitment to excellence
  • Willingness to develop deep knowledge and understanding of the WICPA and the professions and industries it represents and supports

Competitive compensation package including:

  • Medical, Dental, Vision and Life insurance
  • 401(k) plan plus generous employer contribution
  • Paid vacation, holiday, and personal time
  • 8 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. office hours depending on program schedules (with elective Friday afternoons off in summer)
  • Professional development opportunities

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