American Water External Affairs Specialist in Voorhees, New Jersey

Founded in 1886, American Water is the largest and most geographically diverse publicly traded U.S. water and wastewater utility company. With headquarters in Voorhees, N.J., the company employs 7,200 dedicated professionals who provide regulated and market-based drinking water, wastewater and other related services to an estimated 15 million people in 46 states and Ontario, Canada. To learn more about American Water and additional career opportunities, visit www.amwater.com.

Primary Role

The primary role of this position is to provide communications support - creating and implementing an external regionalized program in which the individual will propose, coordinate, lead and participate in educational/community events and opportunities in support of the success of the corporate business plan and operating objectives. In addition, this position will also play a key role in internal communication by creating strategies to promote the identified external events and organize employee volunteer/engagement opportunities.

The primary areas of responsibility include community relations/outreach, public relations and media outreach. This individual is charged with researching and evaluating opportunities for community initiatives and outreach programs, determining which events align with our business strategy and collaborate with third parties on matters related to education events and community partnerships. Utilize printed material and promotional items for community events which are within policy and/or practices for Brand Standards. Involvement in short-term and long-term strategic planning related to educational and community outreach. Responsible for proposing, prioritizing and implementing outreach plans based on community feedback and business needs, working in conjunction with Communications and External Affairs as well as maintaining a strategic approach to elevating high profile/high exposure opportunities to appropriate internal management.

The External Affairs Specialist is a critical corporate and local communications resource maximizing the company's communications effectiveness, flexibility and responsiveness within the communities we serve. The External Affairs Specialist is an active and vital component of an integrated communications team operating through a matrix management model that is responsible for functional excellence reaching all audiences with a full array of internal and external communications messages, tactics and activities. This role is responsible for identifying, developing, nurturing and sustaining strong and enduring community relationships.

This function ensures that American Water is aligned with key community leaders, groups and organizations so that American Water continues to be well regarded as a "good corporate citizen". The position will ensure that the company is effectively aligned and positioned to develop and sustain key relationships with community leaders as well as elected and appointed officials.

Key Accountabilities

  • Responsible for development, collection and distribution of materials and presentations to be used in outreach programs as well as presenting before small and large groups within the community (e.g., schools, community organizations)

  • Initiates and participates in photography related to events for customer facing outlets (e.g., internet, media, newsletters)

  • Manages project plans for community and employee engagement events to include working with vendors, community partners, and employees

  • Responsibility includes coordinating activities, ensuring that all are carefully planned and appropriately communicated

  • Meets with local and elected officials and attends community group meetings

  • Identifies employee volunteer opportunities. Communicates and coordinates the scheduling volunteers to work various community events

  • Assists in the proactive development of communications materials/tactics that produce cost, time and resource efficiencies and consistent messaging

  • Sustains key relationships with community leaders, media, and elected/appointed officials. Manages important communications objectives to these target constituencies

  • Maintains knowledge of community resources and contacts; understands the attitudes and concerns of the community and establishes and maintains cooperative and effective relationships

  • Assists in implementing communications strategies, tactics and activities to ensure ongoing, consistent and targeted communications

  • Works with Communications and External Affairs Raise and enhance the company's reputation as a good corporate citizen through strong networking skills, effective communications and leveraging key community initiatives

  • Assists in implementing comprehensive strategic communications plans including community relations/events, local/appointed government relations and sponsorship/memberships in a proactive manner

  • Assists in creating and implementing proactive, coordinated and aligned media relations, public relations and community relations plans. Assists in monitoring internal/external business developments, as well as identifies connections between business activities and industry trends that may pose a threat or benefit to the company’s reputation.

  • Works closely with Communications and External Affairs to ensure that materials are inventoried, and appropriately distributed in alignment with the focus and purpose of community events and meetings.

  • Assists in establishing and maintaining relationships with key media educates the media on community issues Plans and manages community events to build community awareness of American Water and positions the company for corporate citizenship and brand-building opportunities.

Knowledge / Skills

  • Has a general knowledge of community relations and strategic communications

  • Possesses strong written and verbal communication skills while maintaining a confident public presence

  • Is knowledgeable of community-based organizations and other grassroots initiatives. Knowledgeable about key community players

  • Previous working experience with companies, nonprofit organizations, schools, and public officials in the Camden, NJ community a plus

  • Demonstrated ability to multi-task and produce quality materials while achieving results and meeting deadlines

  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize and re-prioritize quickly.

  • Has excellent and efficient working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite, social media platforms, search engine navigation

  • Has ability to plan and execute community events

Competencies

Functional / Technical Skills

Learning on the Fly

Organizational Agility

Problem Solving

Time Management

Experience / Education

  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, public relations, English, advertising or related field preferred, or demonstrated experience commensurate with the requirements of the position.

  • Two to five years of experience in community outreach, public relations, and media relations in a fast-paced corporate and/or agency environment.

Travel Requirements

40% - Within the Camden, NJ area. Candidate must have and maintain a valid driver’s license.

Physical Requirements

  • This position involves: working in both indoor and outdoor environments; physical activity including the setting up tents for water stations, water coolers, load-in and load-out van for event set up and break down.

  • Position could possibly include weekend and evening hours at times to set up, work and tear down events, and present to community organizations.

  • Join American Water...We Keep Life Flowing*™

  • American Water is firmly committed to Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO) and prohibits employment discrimination for employees and applicants* based on his or her age, race, color, pregnancy, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, religion, marital status, citizenship, or because he or she is an individual with a disability, protected veteran or other status protected by federal, state, and local laws.