Vice President, External Corporate Communications & Public Relations

Job Location: ​Parsippany​

Company description

Ferrero is a family-owned company with a truly progressive and global outlook and iconic brands such as Nutella®, Tic Tac®, Ferrero Rocher®, Raffaello®, Kinder Bueno® and Kinder Surprise®. As the love for our brands continues to grow, so too does our global reach. Represented in more than 50 countries, with products sold in more than 170, the Ferrero Group is loved by generations around the world. The secret to our global success? 38,767  dedicated employees who celebrate care and quality to craft a business, careers and brands we are proud of. Join us, and you could be one of them.

Diversity Statement

Ferrero is committed to building a diverse and inclusive culture in which all employees feel welcomed and appreciated and have the same opportunities. We believe all of our people are equally talented in their own way. In nurturing the curiosity and natural abilities of our employees, we provide them, generation after generation, the means to succeed personally and professionally, enabling them to craft their journey at Ferrero. The diversity of our talents is what makes our work environment multicultural, innovative and highly rewarding.

 

Ferrero N.A. provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics.

About the Role:

The VP of Corporate Communications & Public Relations for Ferrero USA is responsible for external communications that reinforce the company’s strategic objectives and drive understanding of the company’s purpose, values, strategy, and progress with a wide range of stakeholders, including media, NGOs, customers, business partners, policy makers consumers, and communities. The VP of Corporate Communications & Public Relations will also design and execute a Ferrero North America corporate narrative strategy to introduce Ferrero to key North American audiences, grow awareness and improve key stakeholders’ familiarity and favorability over time.

Another critical aspect of driving Ferrero’s reputation in the U.S. is elevating the public relations programs and social media activities for the company’s iconic brands to further position Ferrero as a leader in the North America confectionery and sweet packaged foods industries.

Reporting to the SVP of Institutional Affairs and Corporate Communications, the VP of Corporate Communications and Public Relations serves two roles:

1.    As Ferrero U.S.A.’s lead external communications strategist, the VP of CC/PR is responsible for protecting, promoting, and enhancing Ferrero’s corporate brand and reputation externally, including issues management, crisis communications, media relations, executive visibility, and corporate brand building. The candidate is expected to drive North America "NAM" strategic alignment around the company’s mission/purpose, values and corporate strategy, ensuring Ferrero NAM reinforces and aligns with Ferrero Group’s global positioning. This role advises and supports the NAM leadership on developing and executing executive communications externally through a variety of channels, including owned and earned media, key public speaking platforms and partners closely with the NAM Internal Communications team to support a unified communications plan across North America.
2.    Provides marketing communications strategic counsel and public relations program guidance for Ferrero’s brands to ensure best in class PR programs that generate media attention and increase our brands’ cultural relevance by engaging consumers online and offline. Ferrero brands have executed award-winning and industry leading PR programs and this recognition positions Ferrero as a leading CPG marketer. Ferrero NAM has grown from a portfolio of 5 brands in 2018 to 17 brands in 2022. This role requires deep experience managing a complex IAT structure with multiple agency partners.

The CC/PR lead manages a team of 2 direct reports: the Director of Corporate Communications and PR and Social Media Manager. This role manages the relationship between the senior Ferrero brand leads and multiple PR and social media agencies. This position works in collaboration with Internal Communications to ensure alignment and consistency between external and internal messaging and content across all channels. 
 
This role brings more than 20 years of progressive executive experience in all aspects of corporate communications (executive communications, public relations, sustainability communications, reputation management, stakeholder engagement, event planning, etc.). This individual should also have a proven track record leading a regional and/or country communications function within a multinational matrixed organization. Experience with globally headquartered companies with US or North American offices is preferred.
 

Main Responsibilities:

⦁    Manages a team of 2 direct reports: Director of Corporate Communications and PR and Social Media Manager
⦁    Manages the relationship between the senior Ferrero brand leads and multiple PR and social media agencies.
⦁    Works in collaboration with Internal Communications to ensure alignment and consistency between external and internal messaging and content.
⦁    Implements strategic development and execution of NAM corporate narrative across all channels to advance and enhance Ferrero’s corporate reputation.
⦁    Implements multi-tiered communication strategies for key thematic areas, including digital, consumer-centricity and innovation, by working closely with senior leaders and their teams to surface and land these stories in U.S. media.
⦁    Leads a team that is focused on driving external earned media and working in collaboration with other teams to drive social media, and owned coverage of these stories.
⦁    Oversees all aspects of external event management (e.g. ribbon cuttings, ground breakings) and communications and media components of trade shows (e.g. SSE, NACS, etc.)
⦁    Serves as SME for Public Relations and Media Relations by working in an agile and collaborative way, sharing media relations and social media resources/counsel to elevate all brand outputs.
⦁    Manages owned communications assets and related KPI measurements and reporting (website, corporate social media channels)
⦁    Represents Ferrero before external audiences, trade associations and on industry panels.
⦁    Advances and enhances Ferrero’s brands’ relevance through earned media and organic social media.
⦁    Mitigates risk/crisis through effective media relations and proven crisis management techniques and manages Region crisis management in accordance with Ferrero Group’s Crisis Management Policy
⦁    Serves as a resource to Ferrero Group on global proactive earned media relations.
⦁    Develops communications strategies and supporting press materials and executes media events and engagements.
⦁    Nurtures deep relationships with U.S. media and strong understanding of convergence of on and offline media and reporters, proactively develops and leverages media relations on behalf of Ferrero USA
⦁    Provides strategic advice and communications counsel to Ferrero NAM board leaders.
⦁    Evaluates and recommends opportunities including speaking for public audiences that drives top-tier media relations.
⦁    Leads strategies to manage reputation risk by handling sensitive or negative media inquiries in the areas of responsibility.
⦁    Travels to various Ferrero offices throughout North America to meet with various leaders and brand teams.
 

Who we are looking for:

  • 20+ years relevant experience in an External Communications role
  • B.S. in Journalism, English or equivalent discipline. Master’s degree a plus.
  • Experience in the Consumer Packaged Goods Industry required
  • Extensive experience of External Communications, with world-class experience and deep relationships with journalists in top tier U.S. publications
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills with ability to story-mine and focus on top tier media across broadcast, print and online
  • Proven leader in times of crisis, with ability to stay calm and manage under stress
  • Skilled collaborator and integrator with a growth mindset
  • Interest in and sensitivity to integrated, end to end, communications planning, covering the spectrum from Internal to Owned to Social to Earned media
  • Experienced consumer brand public relations expert, knowledgeable of how to leverage consumer and cultural trends to create brand relevance and social engagement
  • Effective at deploying resources in an agile way to support key priorities even outside of official scope of work.
  • Highly responsive but focused, with ability to maintain effective decision making while working under periods of intense pressure.
  • Proven results in successful media relations that ladders up to reputation improvement, change in perception and supports business growth
  • Forward-looking, broad thinker who delivers in the near-term while keeping an eye on trends and opportunities in the future.
  • Experience in managing agencies and working in the matrix.
  • A best-in-class understanding of the earned media and its relationship with Owned, and Social Media.
  • Knowledge of/affinity with reputation research, sophisticated messaging, and experience in driving data-driven planning.

How to be successful in the role and at Ferrero:

Consumers, quality and care are at the heart of everything we do. So, to be successful at Ferrero, you’ll need to be just as consumer and product centric as we are - dedicated to crafting brilliant results for consumers around the world.