As an integral part of the musical landscape in the country’s most vibrant cultural corridor, the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra (NJSO) continues to enrich lives through a passion for musical excellence and a commitment to New Jersey, its people, and its communities. The NJSO has been recognized by The Wall Street Journal as “a vital, artistically significant musical organization,” led by Music Director Xian Zhang—a “dynamic podium presence.” The New York Times has praised Zhang for her “technical abilities, musicianship, and maturity.”
The NJSO, with a current annual operating budget of $13 million and an $8 million endowment, serves as the resident orchestra of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center with additional performance series in five other outstanding venues throughout New Jersey. With over 140,000 guests attending more than 160 performances each year, and numerous partnerships with arts organizations, universities, and civic organizations, the NJSO enjoys broad support from approximately 3,000 donors and 6,000 subscribers.
The orchestra enjoys a unique collaborative culture between its more than 60 musicians, 50 trustees, and 35-member staff. Its Music Director, President & CEO, and board leadership embrace their roles as fundraisers. A dedicated and experienced administrative team, an engaged and generous board of trustees, a five-year contract with its musicians, and a comprehensive new strategic plan have positioned the NJSO for exciting growth.
At the forefront of addressing diversity, equity, and inclusion within the orchestral industry, the NJSO has built one of the most comprehensive arts education and community engagement programs in the state. The NJSO offers a large variety of programs and presentations, including Concerts for Young People, the NJSO Youth Orchestras, and the NJSO CHAMPS (Character, Achievement, and Music Project), an intensive education program inspired by the Venezuelan social change and music education program El Sistema.
The NJSO has seen significant progress in the early phases of its $50 million comprehensive campaign, having already achieved more than a third of its goal through initial leadership gifts. The campaign will culminate with its centennial celebration in 2022.
SCOPE AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Reporting to the President & CEO, the Vice President of Marketing and External Affairs (“Vice President”) will be an integral part of the NJSO’s senior management team and is responsible for all aspects of planning, implementing, and evaluating the marketing, public relations, communications, and patron services for the NJSO. The Vice President assumes responsibility for a significant portion of the annual earned income of the NJSO through subscription sales, single tickets, and group sales for the full season of self-presented works at the six partnering venues (New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, State Theatre New Jersey in New Brunswick, Count Basie Center for the Arts in Red Bank, Richardson Auditorium in Princeton, Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, and bergenPAC in Englewood). The Vice President will also work with the presenters and representatives of the various venues to create partnerships that increase ticket sales. Recognizing the shifting paradigm of classical music in the greater cultural landscape, the Vice President will be called upon to inventively drive public engagement, finding new methods of content development and delivery that will motivate and connect people to the relevance music has in their lives, and how the NJSO can play a part. The department is also responsible for the development and implementation of strategically focused marketing and communications plans designed to enhance the institution’s brand both nationally and locally and strengthen the awareness of the products, programs, development, and education/outreach opportunities offered by the NJSO to the general public.
Internally, the Vice President participates with the President & CEO, Music Director, Board of Directors, and other senior staff in charting the direction of the organization. Externally, the Vice President interacts with media and agencies as appropriate.
Specific responsibilities include the following:
Marketing, Communications, and Patron Services Strategy and Leadership:
Develop a vision for the NJSO’s marketing and sales efforts that communicates the character, ideals, and mission of the organization to a wide range of patrons, new audiences, donors, employees, and other stakeholders.
Develop, implement, and measure the success of comprehensive marketing, sales, and communications programs that achieve or exceed expected outcomes, especially the organization’s ambitious earned revenue goals. Fully utilize Paciolan (the NJSO’s Patron Service software) and ensure that the marketing efforts are aligned with the development department’s fundraising and stewardship of individual, corporate, government, and foundation donors.
Create and implement audience development marketing plans, including research on target audiences, market trends, and performing arts/non-profit trends using focus groups, surveys, and industry data.
Establish and cultivate collaborative relationships with venue partners, industry leaders, board members, media, government and city officials, key business partners, promotional partners, performing arts organizations, and community leaders.
Establish and maintain company-wide standards for written and graphic communications in printed, verbal, and electronic media.
Oversee marketing, sales, patron services, public relations and communication activities associated with the NJSO’s productions and public events:
Manage the creation of season timeline and calendars in consultation with department directors.
Manage the development and execution of comprehensive subscription campaigns, single ticket advertising, promotions, and publicity plans.
Manage all graphic design and content marketing for concerts and public events.
Establish per-concert ticket sales goals during the budgeting process; forecast sales on a regular basis.
Communicate timely reporting on weekly, monthly, and annual sales activity and trends.
Implement pricing strategies that maximize earned revenue while ensuring that the NJSO remains accessible to the widest possible audience.
Continually refresh the image of the organization and ensure that its vision and values are clearly articulated in all external and internal communications.
Ensure that the NJSO’s messaging is relevant to all of its current and desired constituents.
Take the lead on advancing the NJSO's brand locally, nationally, and internationally.
Maximize and leverage social media to communicate and to extend the commercial potential of the NJSO and ensure positive and engaging interaction.
Manage, evaluate, and direct the efforts of consultants including telemarketing agencies, direct marketing and digital marketing services, public relations firms, creative services providers, sponsorship liaisons, research professionals, and media outlets.
Partner closely with the Vice President of Development to ensure subscription, single ticket, and group sales data is properly stored, shared, and utilized to ensure and grow long-term sustained patron support.
In cooperation with the development department, ensure that the NJSO patrons, sponsors, and funders are recognized and receive the attention and level of services warranted.
Support the efforts of development and education/community programming through messaging, media opportunities, public relations, and the use of social media.
Develop and track marketing research to facilitate executive decision making and to ensure effective allocation of resources to maximize earned revenues.
Ensure that the customer experience, online, on the phone, at the box office, and in the performance halls is at the highest level.
Support and improve the function of the box office staff that is responsible for ticket sales on site and that staffs the various venues where the NJSO self-presents.
Lead and plan the work for the Marketing, Communications and Patron Services Department. Exercise supervision and ensure effective management with provision for succession, of the department, which currently consists of 8 full-time employees.
Oversee an annual departmental revenue budget of close to $4 million and expense budget of $1.8 million.
Oversee the sales, marketing, public relations, box office, and advertising efforts at the venues where the NJSO self-presents and is presented. Work with venue partners to collaborate on pricing, house scale, and advertising and promotional efforts to drive ticket sales.
Evaluate Marketing Department staff members’ performance according the goals outlined in the NJSO’s Strategic Plan in a fair and transparent manner on a periodic basis.
Evaluate, manage, and renegotiate relationships with consulting vendors – telemarketing, direct marketing, digital marketing, public relations, advertising agencies, etc.
Recruit, train, appraise, supervise, support, develop, promote, and guide necessary qualified personnel and support talent to maintain an organization sufficient to attain objectives and to address current and future needs.
Develop and monitor budgets for the marketing, sales, public relations, and patron services departments.
Monitor and report on progress against plan for marketing, sales, and communication plan goals; develop action plans as needed.
Report progress against plan to the President & CEO, Music Director, and relevant board committees related to the achievement of goals and financial objectives, including budget forecasts.
Collaborate with the NJSO senior leadership and staff, as well as external agencies and consultants, to achieve successful outcomes.
Enable staff to take action on behalf of the organization and ensure a healthy and positive working environment.
Support the efforts and recognize the contributions of the members of the marketing committee of the board.
Provide leadership, service and motivation to all related departmental areas, relevant committees of the board and volunteer groups.
Participate in general management of organization as well as special projects and initiatives that advance the institution.
KEY SELECTION CRITERIA:
Potential candidates will have seven (7) or more years of related experience, with a career track that demonstrates increasing levels of tenure and job status from one or more of the following roles:
Marketing executive in a symphony orchestra, festival or presenting hall that features the classical repertoire.
A marketing executive from an agency or marketing service provider with a proven understanding of the nonprofit arts field and knowledge of the orchestra repertoire.
CMO of a related performing arts organization with a home subscription series such as a dance company, regional theater, ballet, or opera company.
In addition, the ideal candidate will possess the following characteristics and experience:
Demonstrated skills, knowledge and experience in the design and execution of marketing, communications, and public relations activities.
Strong creative, strategic, analytical, organizational, and sales skills.
Experience developing and managing multi-million dollar advertising and promotion budgets.
Experience using Paciolan to manage activities in ticketing, fundraising, customer relationship management, and marketing.
Substantial experience hiring, training, developing, supervising, and appraising personnel.
A desire and the energy to achieve ever-increasing quantitative sales goals.
Knowledge and creativity to use social media to amplify brand awareness to current and new audiences.
A passion for the art form of orchestral music, coupled with knowledge of and great appreciation for the classical orchestra repertoire.
A belief in the NJSO’s mission to inspire and engage its diverse community and its vision.
Proven track record of developing new audiences and customer base.
An understanding of the performing arts business including touring, working with artists, agents, and related service providers.
Excellent interpersonal, communication, presentation, and writing skills.
Bachelor’s degree is required, ideally with an advanced degree in a field related to the position.
PERSONAL / PROFESSIONAL ATTRIBUTES:
Attention to detail
A commitment to continuous improvement
Ability to manage multiple priorities in a deadline-driven environment
Impeccable personal ethics
A belief in and alignment with the NJSO’s values of access and relevance
A commitment to the marketing and communication profession
Additional Salary Information: Compensation will far exceed industry benchmarks with a benefits package that includes a generous health insurance plan, pension, parking, paid time off, and other employee benefits, as they become available. Relocation (as may be needed) will also be provided.
About New Jersey Symphony Orchestra
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