Public Relations Director

Organic Valley

If a company is going to make a difference in today’s world, it’s going to have to think differently. At Organic Valley, our philosophy and decisions are based on the health and welfare of people, animals and the earth. We’re a mission-driven cooperative, owned by family farmers, and we’ve been leaders in organic agriculture from the very beginning.

Position Details

Public Relations Director
Southwest Wisconsin
La Farge, WI

Are you passionate about telling the stories of the people, organizations and movements that are changing the world? Organic Valley was founded by seven farmers in rural Wisconsin with the audacious idea that we could make food in a way that’s healthier for the people that eat it and the farmers that produce it. Thirty years later we’ve grown to 2,000 farms across the US and over $1 billion in revenue annually. But we’re still independent, and our mission and roots in rural Southwestern Wisconsin remain unchanged. Good storytelling has been essential to our mission and remains critical to our success today. We’re looking for someone who has built expertise and a strong career in communications and media relations to join our team and bring our public relations work to the next level.

The Public Relations Director will lead the development of public relations strategies for CROPP Cooperative and its brands in support of our organization’s mission and business goals. This role manages the internal public relations team and external agencies/contractors, overseeing day-to-day media relations activities. The PR Director is uniquely positioned to bring the story of the Organic Valley brand and our cooperative’s mission to life in national media and thought leadership channels. This person will be expected and empowered to continue our tradition of being bold and innovative in how we tell the stories of Organic Valley, our farmers and the good food movement.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Lead the creation of public relations strategy and oversee the development of media relations and thought leadership content for the co-op and its brands.
  • Establish and cultivate meaningful relationships with national, local & trade media.
  • Engage with the Marketing, Farmer Affairs, Cooperative Affairs and other key departments to ensure consistent external communications across channels.
  • Establish and lead crisis communications/rapid response processes.
  • Identify and prepare appropriate spokespeople for external communication and serve as a spokesperson when appropriate.
  • Communicate performance expectations by evaluating performance, providing timely feedback, training and coaching, and recommending personnel actions for assigned staff.
  • Handle confidential information with discretion and ensure all public relations activity abides by applicable laws and guidelines (FTC, FCC, etc.) and is within the bounds of the CROPP privacy policy.

Additional Duties and Responsibilities

  • Establish KPIs to measure progress towards goals and report on PR activities to key internal audiences.
  • Identify, establish contracts with, and oversee the work of third-party vendors, contractors and agencies.
  • Manage and monitor public relations budget.
  • Oversee the development and dissemination of talking points, press releases/kits, media advisories and briefing documents.
  • Develop actionable insights for the executive team from key PR outreach and activities to inform business strategy and decisions.
  • Stay abreast of competitive landscape and public relations & media relations best practices and keep appropriate internal stakeholders updated.
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor.
  • Bachelor’s Degree
  • 10+ years of public relations or communications experience; brand-side/B2C experience preferred
  • 5 years of progressive people management experience
  • Passion for the mission of Organic Valley required
  • Professional and/or personal experience with organic food, farming, sustainability and cooperative business models highly preferred
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • Comprehensive understanding of digital thought leadership channels like LinkedIn and Twitter
  • Innovative thinker with a proven track record of leading teams to evolve and react quickly within the changing media landscape
  • Demonstrated analytical and conceptual problem-solving ability
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite, media monitoring & analytics tools, web-based workflow tools and social media platforms
  • Able to travel up to 20% of the time

Learn more about working at Organic Valley and employee benefits here:

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