The Vice President’s primary responsibilities are managing client accounts and assisting in growth and development of staff as well as the overall firm. This involves expanding and securing new business, managing project portfolio that meets or exceeds projections, and participating in the internal management of the company. The Vice President will guide staff development through identifying skills needs, delegating tasks appropriately and motivating project staff to provide outstanding client service. Vice Presidents are expected to specialize in a specific business silo (i.e. training, policy, positioning), but should be proficient in all aspects of the business and be able to lead assigned accounts as needed regardless of client’s needs.
The Vice President may report directly to their team lead or to the Chief Operating Officer but may also be assigned tasks by Spitfire’s President. A Vice President is a member of the Spitfire senior staff and as such is also expected to participate in senior staff meetings, actively identify and pursue new business opportunities, contribute ideas into the overall management and well-being of the firm, serve as a mentor to junior staff and consistently identify and implement new ways to improve the quality of Spitfire’s work and job satisfaction for staff.
As with all members of the Spitfire team, Vice Presidents are expected to follow the policies described in the Spitfire handbook, attend all internal meetings, and conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times while working to instill a positive work environment at the firm.
A successful Vice President demonstrates proficiency in completing the following activities.
- Develop junior staff to the next level by ensuring assigned staff fully understand projects, providing effective feedback to staff (positive and critical), identifying and promoting growth opportunities for all junior staff
- Implement firm policies around recruiting, staffing, training and account management that result in top-notch client service as well as a positive work environment that fosters a pattern of long-term staff retention
- Promote a positive environment for staff and identify and work with firm management to address any issues that are creating barriers to an optimal work environment for all staff
- Provide feedback, advice and back up as needed to other members of senior staff team to ensure all senior staff has support needed to effectively run accounts and promote positive work environment
- Attend and actively participate in senior staff meetings, offering ideas, insights and recommendations on firm policies, staffing, client service, new business and other topics that ultimately impact the overall quality of the firm
- Effectively manage all aspects of an account team
- Manage workflow for yourself and all staff assigned to your team project team
- Consistently demonstrate ability to successfully move into problem-solving mode whenever challenges or concerns arise
- Work well with and demonstrate respect for colleagues at all levels and consistently contribute to a positive work environment for the entire staff
- Take responsibility for one internal area of management (i.e., new hire orientation, tech support, new business, office moral, etc.)
- Assist in hiring new staff that ultimately prove to be excellent, long-term hires
- Take the lead on implementing at least one internal program/procedure per quarter that improves office moral and/or contributes to staff retention
- Identify new business opportunities, participate in new business pitches and assist in drafting new business proposals
- Expand and/or renew existing accounts
- Maintain an extensive network of nonprofit and foundation connections that can be tapped for new business outreach, issue expertise, etc.
- Develop and conduct trainings, including regular Spitfire trainings such as the Smart Chart as well as niche areas of expertise, such as collaterals or policy maker relations
- Successfully run multiple accounts simultaneously, including managing work plans, client expectations, and internal staffing to ensure project is consistent with time and scope in the contract
- Show impeccable client service as demonstrated by at least one positive, unsolicited remark from a client per month as well as positive reviews from clients when firm management makes periodic check-in calls
- Develop relationships with vendors or contractors that represent a variety of fields (media, policy, design, Web, etc.) and can be used on projects as needed
- Develop relationships with other firms that are like-minded and suitable for/open to partnering with Spitfire on projects when appropriate
Communication and Process
- Assume all responsibilities for effectively leading an account team, including ensuring all administrative pieces are in place (work plan, contract, budget, projections, etc.), clients report high satisfaction, all staff clearly understand accounts and assignments, and the entire team is working in a cooperative fashion to promote great work as well as a positive internal team environment
- Write strategic communication plans and campaign strategies that demonstrate Spitfire’s creative approach, offer unique strategies tailored to the needs of the client and provide enough detail that they can be implemented by client in the event Spitfire is not contracted for implementation
- Lead proposal process for new business opportunities by adhering to Spitfire’s policies for new business approach and development
- Take a lead role in creating a new piece of Spitfire intellectual property or new Spitfire training at least once per year
- Demonstrate outstanding writing skills
- Consistently meet internal and external deadlines
Financial and Administrative
- Submit expense reimbursement forms as appropriate
- Submit accurate time sheets
- Regularly update projections and manage work to meet or exceed projected revenue targets
- Manage project budgets to maintain high client satisfaction while meeting or coming in below budget
- Find ways to save company money by improving/streamlining internal systems or procedures
- Must have a bachelor’s degree and minimum of 12 years public relations, public affairs agency, Hill or related experience
- Minimum of five years experience at a public relations or public affairs firm with some responsibility for client service and project management
- Superior writing and editing skills
- Outstanding public speaking skills
- Experience developing winning communication and campaign strategies
- Ability to manage and mentor junior staff
- Exemplary project management skills
- Working knowledge of issues related to Spitfire client interests
Although promotions are based on a variety of factors, Vice Presidents are expected to successfully demonstrate ongoing competency in each of the areas outlined above for at least two years before being considered for a promotion.
Vice Presidents are full-time, exempt employees.