VP of Strategic Communications
New York, NY /
About Alumni Ventures
Alumni Ventures (AV) is a fast-growing, network-powered venture capital firm disrupting the VC industry. We are democratizing venture investing by allowing individuals the opportunity to invest into previously inaccessible startups.
We believe in growing and engaging with an inclusive community of teammates, investors, and entrepreneurs to challenge the status quo and build a better future. Fueled by our mission, we are growing rapidly, with over 180 employees and 20 investing teams working from locations in Boston, Chicago, New York City, Menlo Park, Austin, and a headquarters in Manchester, NH. AV is a fast-paced work environment with a dedicated approach to growth and innovation that is centered on regular change, experimentation, learning (from both failures and successes), iteration, and continuous improvement.
AV has raised over $900MM to date from thousands of investors and is the third most active VC in the world (Pitchbook 2021) with over 900 portfolio companies. We recently won several awards, including Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies 2022 (Financial Services) and Bezinga’s Most Innovative Personal Investment Company 2021. AV invests alongside well-known lead investors such as Sequoia, Kleiner Perkins and Bessemer.
About This Role
We’re seeking a highly experienced, entrepreneurial communications expert to generate greater awareness of Alumni Ventures in the startup, venture capital, and general public ecosystems. More specifically, we want this person to create greater AV brand awareness, knowledge of AV’s unique differences, positive appreciation for what AV offers and does, and interest in choosing us as a venture or investment manager partner. We have an exciting, unique story to tell and want a smart strategist/talented executor to drive the broadcast of our narrative.
The ideal candidate will be a sponge, absorbing AV’s unique business model, corporate priorities, brand identity, plus key goals and messaging. You will take that learning and, employing your strategic expertise, outline a playbook to guide our outreach and deliver on our goals. We also are seeking a passionate, hands-on operator who will then successfully plan, execute, evolve, and sustain multiple initiatives to translate our message to a wider audience. It’s expected that the VP will create coordinated game plans and employ a range of tactics and target a number of channels. The VP should also thoughtfully identify, record, and measure results, pivoting as need be to optimize results.
The VP will be part of a team already working on complementary projects. It’s expected you will collaborate and coordinate with those existing initiatives. You will also likely use some resources in the Growth Marketing and Communications departments to execute your remit, plus leverage additional external resources, such as one or more agencies.
AV is not a traditional VC, so you’ll be inventing your own playbook here to a large extent. A variety of experiences with PR, marketing, brand building, startup founders, and VCs will be useful, as will a background working with fast-moving, disruptive innovators. Deep and broad network connections in venture and media are also valuable. If you’ve run your own business at some point, or been on the ground floor with a startup, you’ll be at home here.
This position can be based in either our Menlo Park, CA or New York, NY office. You’ll report to our EVP of Brand, with frequent interactions with other members of our Executive Team.
- Strategy. Develop and implement the external communications strategy, in collaboration with the Executive Team, Growth Marketing, and Communications, in order to build and maintain a positive corporate brand to all defined stakeholders: AV team, investors, portcos, VC community, entrepreneurs, regulators, media, general public, affinity groups. Most attention should be given to entrepreneurs and VCs and to a slightly lesser extent investors.
- Messaging. Work with internal stakeholders to develop positioning and messaging that capture AV’s and our investing team’s value proposition and that resonate with key external stakeholders, targets, and media. Work with internal departments to create effective supporting collateral.
- Reputation management. Develop AV’s reputation management strategy, including brand sentiment/health. Work to enhance and protect our reputation online, including elevating the AV brand on third-party platforms and sites, monitoring and contributing to online conversations, etc. Develop and track metrics for analyzing reputation initiatives, evaluating and reporting on success and pivoting, refining, and extending to improve.
- Brand development, thought leadership, and influencer strategy. Lead executive thought leadership and influencer strategies, including C-suite personal social media strategies and participation in relevant executive councils (Forbes, WSJ, Fortune, FT). Directly assist the CEO and CIO in building their industry influence, a strategic imperative for AV’s growth. Collaborate with L&D and social media team on personal brand and influencer strategies for our 50+ investment professionals.
- Identification and utilization of proprietary data/information and internal expertise. Identify proprietary data/information and team expertise that can be molded into compelling stories, media opportunities.
- Media relations. Develop and execute AV and key leader media relations strategy, external awards strategy, media training, and other industry credentialing initiatives.
- Brand awareness. Collaborate with the paid media team on brand awareness strategies.
- Public relations. Lead the PR function, including crisis communications and associated agency relationships. Research and network to identify and execute publicity opportunities, develop story pitches, spread awareness, strengthen useful connections, etc.
- Event proposal and management. Find and/or create events, conferences, speaking opportunities to help spotlight AV’s expertise and mission.
- Network development. Build our network connections in the VC and entrepreneurial worlds, as well as our media connections.
- Team building and resource leadership. Recommend a plan and budget to build a small internal and external team (e.g., agencies) to execute. Collaborate, direct, manage, and approve that work. Also develop a plan and the muscles to regularly collaborate with complementary and service teams in house.
- Goal setting and measurement. Defines success and measures against it, with regular reporting to our team on results and recommendations.
- Program development and oversight. While you will coordinate, collaborate, and consult with multiple resources, you are the planner, manager, executor, and responsible party for success.
- Bachelor's degree in communications, marketing, or a related field
- Advanced degree in marketing, communications, or related field or equivalent work experience
- 12+ years total experience, with 5+ years of demonstrated success leading strategic marketing, PR, brand building, and reputation management for disruptive companies
- Experience working directly with C-level executives on both strategy development and strategic communications initiatives
- Extensive experience in execution/operator roles in public relations, media relations, thought leadership, brand leadership, or marketing communications
- Demonstrated experience managing executive thought leadership programs
- Experience in financial services or an adjacent regulated industry or at a high-growth, venture-backed company. Fluency in the venture investing ecosystem and the language of venture.
- Network of relationships within the US venture/entrepreneurial influencer & media ecosystem is strongly desired
- Strongly desired: startup experience, especially at at disruptive company
- Superior written and verbal communication skills, with a portfolio of writing for PR, corporate, and external publications
- Accomplished spokesperson
- Ability to coordinate efforts of various teams in order to present a coherent message and outreach strategy
- Natural networker, with high EQ and ability to effectively connect and work with variety of personalities
- Self-starter and independent manager who’s also an outstanding team player and adept at managing up
- Technically proficient, with previous experience using CRMs and project management tools ideal
- Experience with media training
- Natural team leader, able to work with in-house and external resources
- Highly collaborative, with excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to collaborate with team members and external stakeholders
- Highly entrepreneurial and organized, with unyielding attention to detail and adept multi-tasker
- Strong problem-solver and flexible thinker
- Ability to think strategically and execute efficiently and effectively
- Media and social media savvy
- Adept at setting, measuring, and drawing actionable conclusions from metrics and results
Alumni Ventures is an equal opportunity employer and our team is committed to achieving and supporting a diverse workforce through fair and equitable Talent and people management practices. We consider applicants for all positions given the needs of our business and the relevant team, and the skills, experience and competencies each candidate brings. If you are excited about the work AV is doing and believe your skills, experience and competencies can create impact for our team, our Investors and our portfolio companies, we encourage you to apply. Your candidacy will be considered based on your ability to add value, regardless of your race, color, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran or disability status.