Cars.com is seeking an experienced Communications & Public Relations Associate Manager to create compelling consumer and corporate media story lines around the automotive industry in the lifestyle, business and consumer press. This is a “hands on” position that creates professional communication materials that help guide our business narrative and position Cars.com and its spokespeople effectively in the right media outlets. The ideal candidate will serve as a point of contact for media – proactively pitching stories and developing relationships across a wide range of outlets, including print, digital and broadcast.

 

Responsibilities Include:

  • Develop and execute corporate and consumer public relations plans and strategies that will enhance the brand awareness and reputation of the company in the eyes of consumers, our partners, the industries with which we reside, and our stakeholders.
  • Build and expand relationships with key media across local, national and trade outlets.
  • Initiate/execute programs and media events that keep Cars.com, its leaders and spokespeople top of mind with the media, consumers, our partners and other company stakeholders.
  • Advise company spokespeople on key messages for media interviews.
  • Work with Data & Analytics to request, analyze and compile data to create storylines and write talking points based on trends.
  • Help build a regional communications program and conduct regular in-studio interviews in top DMAs including NYC, D.C., Chicago, Atlanta.
  • Develop well-written and strategic communications plans, messaging, briefing documents, press releases for media interviews and speaking opportunities as well as guest articles, op-eds, letters to the editor on behalf of Cars.com spokespeople.
  • Act as the in-house PR and marketing agency for Cars.com editorial team.
  • Work in tight coordination with internal communications, industry relations, social media, editorial, content developers, research teams, partner marketing, brand, product/tech and HR teams to identify news opportunities and ensure messaging, programs and campaigns are aligned.
  • Coordinate and support media interviews at key industry conferences and events.
  • Develop opportunities for speaking and other engagements for company spokespeople at conferences and events that elevate our reputation and the profile of our leaders outside the auto industry.
  • Identify and manage award submissions for the company.
  • Manage content licensing program and identify opportunities to drive revenue through content licensing.
  • Serve as website editor for Cars.com’s Press Room and manage the company’s PR e-newsletter.
  • Responsible for managing the monthly dashboard and reporting efforts.
  • Manage day-to-day relationship with PR agency.

 

Reporting Relationship:

This role will report to the Director of Corporate Communications within the overall Marketing team.

 

Required Skills

  • Experience and proven success serving as a consumer spokesperson for a large brand.
  • Built in contacts with national and regional broadcast and print/digital media, ability to build new relationships
  • Extraordinary written and verbal communications skills
  • Exceptional presentation development skills, including PowerPoint
  • Strategic thinker with excellent problem-solving and decision-making skills
  • Ability to identify and analyze complex, data-driven news stories
  • Resourcefulness, creativity, flexibility, enthusiasm and passion for excellence
  • Experience with Cision, PR Newswire and other media tools
  • Able to comfortably and authoritatively interact with senior and C-level executives
  • Strong “teamwork” orientation, ability to collaborate across many diverse groups, including internal and external audiences, sales, marketing, training, and technology
  • Must be flexible with schedule, able to respond to immediate media inquiries and crisis situations
  • Social media skills strongly preferred
  • Agency experience a plus
  • Bachelor’s degree in Marketing, Communications, Journalism, or related field.
  • Minimum 3-5 years’ experience in public relations/external communications and proven experience in creating compelling story lines and content around current trends and the news cycle
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