International Paper Advocacy Manager in WASHINGTON DC PUBLIC AFFAIRS, District Of Columbia

What if you were given the opportunity and responsibility to make a difference? It is time to embrace your Infinite Possibilities. This is your opportunity to be part of International Paper, a Fortune 500 company and global leader in paper and packaging products. IP is known for our commitment to the environment and to cutting-edge technology. We have spent more than 100 years creating new ideas, and we are looking for people who can collaborate to help us build on our history, while creating future success. We are committed to attracting, preparing, promoting and supporting our teams. At International Paper, you control your destiny. We offer benefits, challenges, global opportunities and total rewards. When we say Infinite Possibilities, we mean it.

Purpose:

This position is critical to the company’s efforts to favorably impact public policy issues of importance and to enhance our reputation with policymakers and government stakeholders. This position reports to the Political Affairs Manager and supports the issue advocacy needs of both the federal and state government relations teams. The responsibilities include developing and executing a cohesive issue advocacy and messaging strategy for federal and state public policy issues; managing regular interactions with internal and external stakeholders as it relates to federal and state public policy advocacy messaging; coordinating Government Relations key messages to align with enterprise branding; and collaborating with trade associations, coalitions and constituent legislators on company news and awards to enhance our reputation.

Key Accountabilities:

  • Develop and Implement Advocacy Messaging: Develop and implement a strategic advocacy messaging plan in support of Government Relations priority public policy issues in coordination with federal and state government relations teams. Create collateral material and content to better tell the International Paper story as it relates to the advocacy strategy to include position papers, talking points, presentations, digital content, video and social media.

  • Manage Internal Issue Advocacy Education: Manage regular Government Relations reporting to key internal stakeholders and employees to include IP Today newsletter and bimonthly Hotline newsletter. Maintain Government Relations websites (internal IP Net, external site, IP VOTES employee grassroots site) to support advocacy messaging to employees and external stakeholders. Support grassroots education and mobilization campaigns and employee get-out-the-vote initiatives. Expand advocacy outreach and engagement with employees and early in career groups to support federal and state government relations public policy goals.

  • Enhance Internal Corporate Communications Alignment: Serve as the primary liaison to Corporate Communications, Corporate Marketing and Social Media teams to align and augment federal and state government relations advocacy strategy with corporate enterprise key messages.

  • Foster Relationships with Key External Stakeholders to Strengthen Advocacy Messaging: Coordinate with trade association and business coalition communications and public relations teams (American Forest & Paper Association, Business Roundtable, National Association of Manufacturers, BIPAC) to maintain consistency between company and stakeholder advocacy messaging. Develop and grow relationships with constituent legislator communications teams in support of issue advocacy strategy. Identify opportunities with external stakeholders to promote International Paper’s reputation and advance public policy priorities.

Key Challenges:

External Challenges:

  • Overcoming the public’s misunderstanding about the sustainability of the forest products industry and the innovative business practices within the manufacturing sector.

  • Ensuring that International Paper’s federal and state advocacy messages cut through the clutter. Individual must help define and develop proactive strategy for external audiences and help to modernize our messages to gain more attention.

  • Technology is continuously reshaping the way policymakers receive and process information from outside constituent groups. Federal and state legislators are placing more weight on social media, making the digital connection an important part of an effective advocacy strategy. The position will need to develop and execute a comprehensive digital strategy to help advance key federal and state public policy initiatives.

  • The U.S. political climate is very challenging which has a direct impact on employee attitudes about public policy and engaging with government officials. Motivating and mobilizing employees for political engagement requires a more innovative and personal approach to garner trust.

Internal Challenges:

  • Multiple competing priorities due to business diversity within the company that can result in conflicting messages. Aligning messages across the enterprise is critical and the position requires the ability to keep our messages current, relevant and easy to comprehend to maintain employee interest in policy issues.

  • Technical limitations inside of the company make it difficult to share digital content, specifically video, to a broad employee base. This conflicts with how people receive and interact with content in their personal lives. There is a need for innovation and creativity to educate employees and grow employee engagement in the public policy process.

Challenges of the work itself:

  • The diverse work product and schedules of the federal and state government relations teams require an individual who is comfortable in a fast-paced, challenging environment. Organizational agility is essential to working with many team members on multiple federal and state public policy issues that are engaged simultaneously. Flexibility is critical as schedules are subject to frequent change and deadlines are short and often unpredictable.

Scope:

Position has management responsibilities for government relations advocacy messaging strategy development and execution in support of advancing federal and state public policy priority issues with both internal and external stakeholders. This position will work closely with both the federal and state government relations teams to help execute a strategic advocacy messaging plan that increases support for key public policy issues and enhances the company’s reputation. Individual is responsible for coordinating with federal and state government relations teams to create effective communications and tools to raise employee awareness about public policy issues.

Knowledge and Experience:

  • Bachelor's degree plus 5-7 years of related work experience with a strong understanding of specified functional area, or Master's degree with a minimum 2 years of related work experience

  • Substantial prior experience in a government relations office, legislative office or political campaign is required

  • Strong written and oral communication skills

  • Demonstrated technical savvy, strong digital skills and social media experience

  • Ability to prioritize multiple projects and work under intense deadline pressure with positive attitude

  • Ability to work in a team environment, coordinating input from multiple parties

  • Project management

  • Organizational agility

  • Drive for results

  • Strong interpersonal skills

  • Action Oriented

  • Creativity

International Paper is an Equal Opportunity Employer - Minorities/Females/Individuals with Disabilities/Veterans.

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