Executive Director, Public Affairs
Strategically plan, oversee and execute advocacy communications in support of BCBSA's legislative and regulatory policy agenda, by providing senior-level strategic counsel, supervisory oversight and direct execution of deadline-driven public affairs initiatives, consistent with protecting and enhancing the BCBS brand and demonstrating BCBS leadership in healthcare. Advise OPR and BCBSA leaders on all external, beltway-focused advocacy communications. Ensure alignment of communications across targeted audiences of public officials and policy thought leaders in Washington and in the states, and relevant third-parties. Coordinate communications and activities regarding public policy and advocacy agenda among BCBS plans and within BCBSA.
Operate in a highly collaborative partnership with the Public Relations team, the Research team and the Brand team.
Develop and execute a comprehensive, integrated public affairs program to raise BCBSA's visibility and its recognition as a health policy thought leader with key audiences, including federal and state policymakers; health policy thought leaders and influencers; and health policy news media. Enhance and amplify BCBSA's advocacy voice and online presence through upgrading the existing Blue Advocacy website, with a corresponding elevation of BCBSA leaders' social media presence, consistent with protecting and enhancing the BCBS brand.
Oversee issues management, policy communications strategy, message research and development on critical health policy issues to advance the BCBSA advocacy agenda. Supervise and coordinate public affairs messaging across the BCBS Plans, advise member companies on issues management and public affairs best practices.
Supervise the writing and editing of deliverables for use in all channels aimed at relevant public affairs stakeholders. Supervise policy and advocacy communications to BCBS Plan executives and other internal stakeholders.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Provide strategic counsel, forward-looking insight and effective issue management of external communications to advance the BCBS System's regulatory and legislative agenda, while strengthening and protecting the BCBS brands.
- Advise and support SVP, Office of Policy and Representation and other senior OPR leaders with messaging counsel, reputation management and other communications support. Support reporting of results and presentations to HPAC and other board-level committees and audiences.
- Seek a variety of venues to demonstrate thought leadership and influence within the DC environment, with the goal of reaching a range of relevant public policy and political influencer audiences.
- Supervise development of advocacy communication deliverables and provide direct writing and editing support for materials including press statements and releases; talking points for varied audiences; op-eds and opinion pieces; and content for digital platforms. Ensure that all public affairs communications are aligned to appropriately support BCBS System policy and advocacy goals and are done in coordination with PR and Brand teams.
- Provide strategic counsel, effective messaging and direct public affairs support to BCBS Plan communicators to enable Plans in successfully navigating the challenging public affairs environment. In coordination with the Public Relations team, the Research team and the Brand team, coordinate message research and develop effective communication tools and resources to assist BCBS Plans in speaking with public officials and health policy media.
- Collaborate cross-functionally with BCBSA Strategic Communications, Brand Strategy and with public relations agencies, to ensure alignment of all external communications activities in accordance with best practices.
- Supervise, support and assist individual team members in meeting all strategic and tactical requirements, with the goal of ensuring quality and providing appropriate development opportunities for junior team members.
- Minimum 15 years of progressively senior roles in shaping complex communications efforts in a fast-paced environment; Journalism, political and/or campaign experience can be applied.
- Direct experience in advocacy communications and media relations, including experience as an on-the-record spokesperson; experience in using digital platforms for advocacy and thought leadership; experience in enhancing an organization's profile and reputation in today's public affairs environment.
- Significant reputation and issue-management experience, with an emphasis on providing counsel to senior-level organization leaders and managing multiple stakeholders and audiences.
- Proven ability to utilize all communications channels—including earned media, paid and social media, to achieve advocacy communication goals and objectives.
- Experience managing teams and leading projects with multiple stakeholders.
- Demonstrated knowledge of healthcare policy, federal and state political landscapes and healthcare industry business issues.
- Direct experience in journalism; established network of national, business and beltway media contacts
- Experience with a trade association, on Capitol Hill, political campaigns or other environment requiring deadline-driven issue management and messaging strategies
- Outstanding written and verbal communication skills and demonstrated ability to craft compelling, executive-level talking points, messages, press releases, op-eds and other materials.
- Ability to write and edit for digital communication platforms; knowledge of social media and its role in amplifying communications to achieve advocacy goals
- Ability to work under pressure, with demonstrated success in working under tight deadlines.
- Effective relationship-building skills and ability to work in a collaborative environment