Director - Consumer Public Relations

United Airlines

There’s never been a more exciting time to join United Airlines. We’re on a path towards becoming the best airline in the history of aviation. Our shared purpose – Connecting People, Uniting the World – is about more than getting people from one place to another. It also means that as a global company that operates in hundreds of locations around the world with millions of customers and tens of thousands of employees, we have a unique responsibility to uplift and provide opportunities in the places where we work, live and fly, and we can only do that with a truly diverse and inclusive workforce. And we’re growing – in the years ahead, we’ll hire tens of thousands of people across every area of the airline. Our careers include a competitive benefits package aimed at keeping you happy, healthy, and well-traveled. From employee-run "Business Resource Group" communities to world-class benefits like parental leave, 401k, and privileges like space available travel, United is truly a one-of-a-kind place to work. Are you ready to travel the world?

Position Details

Director - Consumer Public Relations
Chicago Illinois
Chicago, IL

Our Corporate Communications team brings our uniquely United story to life with the public, our customers, and employees, across the world. From internal communications and newsletters to public and media relations campaigns, and social media strategy, we’re sharing our story with the world in a way that’s clear, consistent, and inspiring. Get your pen ready and help us continue to write our next chapter.

Key Responsibilities:

Reporting to the Managing Director of Consumer Public Relations, the Director of Consumer Public Relations will lead a newly formed team focused on protecting and promoting United’s reputation within the media for several of United’s most visible departments including Network Planning, Technology, Customer Experience and Marketing/Loyalty.

This individual will encourage and guide a team of 4-5 communications professionals who work to build an emotional connection with United’s customers through consistent positive media coverage in outlets who don’t typically cover the airline industry. They will both set the strategy and dig in to help the team implement, providing day-to-day guidance, coaching and direction to build their skills, effectively prioritize projects, and achieve the department’s larger objectives.

  • Proven experience developing and implementing effective media relations campaigns for well-recognized consumer brands, ideally in the travel, CPG, transportation, retail, luxury lifestyle and/or technology spaces 
  • Deep personal network of consumer media relationships and a keen sense of how to craft a pitch that today’s busy reporters will take notice of 
  • Demonstrate a high level of executive presence providing counsel to C-level executives and acting as a company spokesperson 
  • Key liaison between the Corporate Communications function and executive leadership 
  • Create innovative ways that help the company effectively launch new products, routes, technologies, and partnerships 
  • Develop and implement consumer media strategies, tactics, and measurement benchmarks in close partnership with the areas of business they support 
  • Champion relationships with reporters through consistent, active pitching and networking. 
  • Stay attuned to news trends and constantly look for opportunities for United to engage 
  • Write and effectively edit communications plans, speeches, press releases, talking points, web copy, etc. 
  • Lead team performancesetting a high bar, helping prioritize the work, and delivering feedback in a timely manner 
  • Leading by example and putting the team in positions to succeed and shine in the eyes of their internal clients and fellow team members

United values diverse experiences, perspectives, and we encourage everyone who meets the minimum qualifications to apply. While having the “desired” qualifications make for a stronger candidate, we encourage applicants who may not feel they check ALL those boxes! We are always looking for individuals who will bring something new to the table!

What’s needed to succeed (Minimum Qualifications):

  • Bachelor's degree required 
  • 12+ years of hands-on consumer-focused communications experience, ideally in-house with a Fortune 100 company and/or well-known consumer brand 
  • 8+ years’ experience managing diverse, matrixed teams and agency partners 
  • Significant experience developing consumer-focused, earned media-based communications campaigns for highly matrixed global organizations 
  • A passion for people leadership, with significant experience inspiring, developing and mentoring diverse teams of both experienced and emerging communications professionals 
  • A keen sense for what makes a compelling news story, with demonstrated ability to mine for proactive story ideas to manage negative coverage 
  • Build consensus across disparate teams and effectively manage projects from idea to execution 
  • Significant writing and editing experience with ability to break down sophisticated topics into clear, concise, and compelling narratives 
  • An inquisitive self-starter with a long track record of seeking and seizing opportunities to generate positive news coverage 
  • Comfortable with ambiguity and uncertainty; able to adapt quickly, stay focused and lead others through sophisticated situations 
  • Ability to act as a poised and effective spokesperson for the United brand 
  • Provide media training and guidance to senior executives and more junior communications professionals 
  • Must be legally authorized to work in the United States for any employer without sponsorship 
  • Successful completion of interview required to meet job qualification 
  • Reliable, punctual attendance is an essential function of the position 
  • This role follows a hybrid scheduling model 
  • What will help you propel from the pack

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Aviation and/or travel industry experience helpful but not required

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