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Senior Director, Corporate Reputation

At Northwestern Mutual, we are strong, innovative and growing. We invest in our people. We care and make a positive difference.

We are seeking a Senior Director - Corporate Reputation that will define communications strategies for issues that have significant corporate/brand impact to Northwestern Mutual. Reporting to the Vice President – Strategic Communications & PR, in this role you will have the opportunity to do the following:

  • Develop recommendations to protect and craft the company’s reputation (for both internal and external audiences).
  • Build, implement, and maintain crisis communications effectiveness, including plans and standards in line with or exceeding industry best practices. Partner with others within communications and the business to identify, structure, develop, exercise and maintain crisis communication management teams and plans for both safety and business incidents. Work closely with business continuity teams throughout the organization.
  • Serves as the lead strategic communication counsel for reputational issues working closely with corporate offices such as Law, Government Relations, Enterprise Risk, Risk Selection Strategy, and Information Security among others by proactively developing communication strategy and results.
  • Develops proactive and reactive messaging/responses/materials for multi-audience communication efforts/channels within short notice timeframes. Demonstrates strong scenario planning and possible outcomes for decision-making process.
  • Craft compelling media pitches/responses to lead and respond to external media inquiries as key company spokesperson across campuses on various topics related to our industry and business.
  • Builds relationships with key media. Lead proactive media relations strategies for Milwaukee-area media in partnership with other members of the PR team.
  • Counsels senior leaders for media and speaking opportunities (opportunistic and issues-related). This includes supervising media/blog stories and associated audience response/engagement to ensure senior management is counseled appropriately
  • Engages with external PR agency partner(s) as necessary for additional counsel/partnership on key issues.

Bring Your Best! What this role needs:

  • Bachelor's degree in communications, journalism, public relations, marketing or a related field is required; an advanced degree would be preferred.
  • A minimum of 15 years of progressive experience in professional corporate communications or public relations.
  • Experience with issues management/crisis communications with the ability to working with sensitive information. Brings validated experience operating within a complex organization that requires interacting with and influencing a range of partners.
  • Sound problem identification, judgement, resolution and decision-making skills often in ambiguous situations.
  • Proven track record to build positive, collaborative relationships at all levels of the enterprise and across a diverse set of functions. Able to develop positive relationships and influence multiple stakeholders in order to gain alignment on key issues will be critical for success.
  • The ability to grasp the dynamics of an issue, creatively think through possible approaches and articulate the way in which a situation can be explained and contextualized for various audiences.
  • Ability to effectively work with national and local reporters, serving as a corporate spokesperson.
  • Strong resilience, ability to lead through ambiguity, and persistence to move ahead regardless of barriers.
  • You are skilled at implementing messages to target audiences using a full range of communication channels.
  • You have outstanding skills in communications strategy, planning and execution, problem-solving, and writing.


This job is not covered by the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Required Certifications:

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We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law.


We’re excited about the potential people bring to Northwestern Mutual. You can grow your career here while enjoying first-class perks, benefits, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.