Another Source

Senior Communications Manager

ID 10012
Job Locations
Seattle Aquarium

At a glance

Are you ready to make an impact? The Seattle Aquarium is recruiting a Senior Communications Manager to join their team in Seattle, WA! In this role, you will deliver critical storytelling that improves organizational sustainability and supports significant growth in fundraising. You will be instrumental in helping the Aquarium evolve as a conservation institution and in helping its efforts to become a more diverse organization. Learn more and apply today!

Description: What you'll be doing

Another Source’s client, the Seattle Aquarium, is recruiting a senior communications manager to join their team in Seattle.  You will be instrumental in helping the Aquarium evolve as a conservation institution and in helping its efforts to become a more diverse organization.


Here’s a little about the Seattle Aquarium and the position they are recruiting for:


The Seattle Aquarium’s mission is Inspiring Conservation of Our Marine Environment. It is one of Washington state’s leading environmental education and stewardship institutions and the region’s respected green gathering place for discussion and dissemination of information about the ocean and marine conservation. Accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), it’s the eighth-largest aquarium in the U.S. by attendance and among the top five paid visitor attractions in the Puget Sound region. Since its opening in 1977, the Aquarium has hosted more than 25 million visitors and provided marine conservation education to nearly two million schoolchildren.

The Seattle Aquarium acknowledges and honors our location in the traditional territories of the Coast Salish people, who have stewarded these lands and waters since time immemorial and continue to do so today. Guided by our mission and values, we are committed to advancing a strong foundation for long-lasting and mutually beneficial partnerships with Coast Salish and Urban Native peoples as well as other Indigenous communities so we can conserve our one world ocean.

As an organization striving to be inclusive of all people, we are making ourselves more aware of how racism has affected the lived experience of Black and Indigenous people, and People of Color, and in what ways we are playing a role in those experiences. We view diversity as a strength and recognize that we can only achieve our mission by including the skills and varied perspectives of all people. We understand that environmental burdens and benefits are not equitably distributed and that we have a responsibility to foster inclusive conversations about our marine environment. We strive to create a welcoming and equitable culture as we work together to fulfill the Aquarium’s mission.

The Seattle Aquarium hosts over 800,000 visitors each year—and that’s just the beginning of its community impact. The Aquarium works to advance awareness of and action for ocean health by increasing access for students, marginalized populations and cultural groups through specialized programs and events such as Beach Naturalists, Community Science, Open House and more.


Looking forward:

To increase that impact even further, the Aquarium has developed a master plan to nearly double in size by opening a new exhibit building, the Ocean Pavilion, which will include a huge, 350,000-gallon tropical reef with over 100 species of fish.


The plan integrates a broad spectrum of assets and expectations: record-setting attendance, membership and fundraising growth, an energized board of directors, and strong management. As Seattle continues to redefine its relationship with the waterfront by replacing the viaduct with an underground tunnel and creating a 20-acre park along the waterfront, the Seattle Aquarium will become the focal point of this vibrant and revitalized area.


The position:

As a member of the marketing and communications (MarCom) team, you will deliver critical storytelling that improves organizational sustainability and supports significant growth in fundraising, both of which will allow us to inspire more people to act on behalf of the ocean, a mission especially critical to our times. Working under the direction of the director of marketing and communications, you will identify, integrate and align priority educational and action-oriented messages across our communications to the public, the board, our donors and our partners to advance the Aquarium’s mission. You will drive the development of the Aquarium’s first organization-wide communications message platform, integrating priorities and themes from all departments that will be carried out through appropriate communication channels. This need is especially important now, as the Aquarium expands its conservation efforts and community programs and completes a $160-million comprehensive capital campaign for the new Ocean Pavilion. You will be responsible for managing two direct reports with possible additional direct reports at the discretion of the director of marketing and communications.


Primary responsibilities:

  • Significantly contribute to the development, implementation and execution of the Seattle Aquarium’s communications strategy with particular focus on its long-term vision, current One Ocean, One Future expansion campaign and overall master plan.
  • Manage two direct reports: both digital marketing managers, and possibly others at the discretion of the director of marketing and communications. With guidance from human resources, effectively manage, mentor, train and evaluate staff, ensuring they are high-performing and aligned with S.A.L.I.S.H. and DEI values of the Aquarium. Includes hiring, onboarding, scheduling, training, mentoring, annual performance reviews and goal setting.
  • Develop and maintain a communications calendar that enables a steady cadence for proactive storytelling to multiple audiences.
  • Lead project management for philanthropy- and expansion-related projects, adhering to internal processes of due dates, brand alignment and approvals. Includes writing copy, leading video projects and managing other strategic communications.
  • Support the MarCom team and collaborate with the senior copywriter to ensure communication materials align with branding and appropriately represent the vision and mission of the Seattle Aquarium.
  • Represent the MarCom team while collaborating with the One Ocean, One Future campaign manager, campaign leadership and fundraising consultants to create and implement the public phase of the campaign for the Ocean Pavilion.
  • Craft messaging, ensuring alignment with brand and overall Aquarium messaging framework, secure buy-in from stakeholders, and leverage that to write elegant, embraceable, empathetic narratives and stories that compel donor participation.
  • Define and coordinate delivery of assets produced by the MarCom team for the campaign in a fast-paced environment, often with inflexible deadlines.
  • Collaborate with the senior copywriter to provide fundraising, expansion and other copywriting to support various communications needs in concert with our approval process, branding, voice and style guidelines.
  • Develop the organization-wide messaging framework and deliver messaging guidance and/or training as needed to ensure all internal staff, board members, volunteers and partners understand and can deliver core Aquarium messages to external audiences.
  • Assist with writing speeches and key talking points for board and staff members to deliver to internal and external audiences and prepare related presentation materials.
  • Support executive team to develop effective communication procedures and policies for various situations or crises and serve as part of crisis communications team for the organization.
  • Collaborate with public relations director on stories, press releases and op-ed pieces. Submit potential stories for review. Assist in writing press releases as necessary.
  • Collaborate with web and social media team to create and amplify appropriate Aquarium messaging, including philanthropy and expansion content.
  • Help project manage the development of communications content for mission-related events in coordination with philanthropy, PR and MarCom departments.
  • Build relationships with Seattle Aquarium’s strategic partners and select vendors to help manage communications strategy.
  • Measure and report impact of communications and digital marketing efforts.

Additional responsibilities:

  • Work with MarCom team to seek out Aquarium staff (experts) and program accomplishments (evidence of impact) to include in storytelling. Coordinate with MarCom, evaluation, philanthropy and PR departments to develop and maintain a story bank based on Aquarium accomplishments and impacts.
  • Assist digital marketing manager with website content management and creation.
  • Additional writing assignments could include research, education, programming impact within the building and community, animal expertise, engaging program descriptions, conservation/mission stories, and identifying issues that resonate for donor engagement. These stories will expand the accessible bank of categorized content to be used by the philanthropy, expansion project, MarCom, exhibits, PR, education and executive teams.
  • Serve as a backup for the senior copywriter.

Knowledge, skills and abilities:

  • Sophisticated copywriting style for influencing donors and leaders with a proven ability to translate complex information.
  • Proven, successful management experience.
  • Ability to formulate a clear, compelling point of view on complicated issues and create a concise and well-written narrative.
  • Knowledge of local market demographics and media.
  • Excellent verbal and presentation skills.
  • Ability to work with a wide variety of people. Must thrive in an extremely collaborative environment.
  • Curious and eager to learn.
  • Positive, customer-service attitude.
  • Ability to enthusiastically and accurately project a positive image of Seattle Aquarium through our communications.
  • Ability to think strategically and embrace diverse perspectives. Comfortable moving between strategies and tactics.
  • Highly organized and detail-oriented to create, track and process multiple projects.
  • Excellent planning skills and experience in building and running communications calendars.
  • Ability to work with competing deadlines in a fast-paced environment.
  • Understanding of fundraising methodologies, a plus.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office products.

Education and experience:

·        Bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations, marketing or related field, or equivalent practical experience.

  • Seven or more years of experience in media, government, private or nonprofit environment, with a focus on writing and/or editorial responsibilities.


Salary and benefits:   

This is an exempt role. The targeted salary range for this role is $90,000–$110,000 per year dependent on experience. Includes the Seattle Aquarium’s comprehensive benefits package: medical, vision, dental (subsidized dependent coverage also available), HRA, FSA, life insurance, long-term disability, subsidized transit (ORCA) pass, Aquarium Family Plus membership and generous paid time off.   


The Seattle Aquarium is a progressive, equal opportunity employer that values a diverse workforce. One of our core values is fostering an inclusive community and we want our staff to reflect our community. We encourage diverse candidates to apply, including but not limited to Black, Indigenous and People of Color applicants. Application review will begin immediately.   


Note: Candidate must pass a background check upon job offer to be eligible for this position.   

The Seattle Aquarium has partnered with Another Source, an external recruiting firm, to assist in the hiring process for this position. Another Source works with their clients, on a retained project basis, to maximize the breadth of the recruiting process. 



We anticipate the following recruiting schedule for those candidates who are selected for consideration. The following dates are preliminary and subject to change. We will work with candidates to set interviews that work for all involved. If hired, relocation assistance is not available.      

  • Application deadline:  November 5 
  • Priority given to applications received by October 20   
  • First round interview: complete by November 12
  • Second round interviews: complete by November 19  
  • Start date:  December 1 (ideally)   


Another Source works with their clients, on a retained project basis, to maximize the recruiting process.


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