Founded in 2003, StoryCorps has given people of all backgrounds and beliefs, in thousands of towns and cities in all 50 states, the chance to record interviews about their lives on our various platforms. The organization preserves the recordings in its archive at the American Folklife Center at the Library of Congress, the largest single collection of human voices ever gathered, and shares select stories with the public through StoryCorps’ podcast, NPR broadcasts, animated shorts, digital platforms, and best-selling books. These powerful human stories reflect the vast range of American experiences, wisdom and values; engender empathy and connection; and remind us how much more we have in common than what divides us.
StoryCorps is especially committed to capturing and amplifying voices least heard in the media. The StoryCorps MobileBooth, an Airstream trailer the organization has transformed into a traveling recording booth, crisscrosses the country year-round to gather the stories of people nationwide. With the 2015 TED Prize awarded to founder Dave Isay, StoryCorps launched a free mobile app that puts the StoryCorps experience entirely in the hands of users and enables anyone, anywhere to record meaningful conversations with another person and upload the audio to the Library of Congress. In 2020, StoryCorps launched StoryCorps Connect, a tool created for people separated by the pandemic to have meaningful remote conversations.
StoryCorps is a national institution that fosters a culture of listening in the United States; celebrates the dignity, power and grace that can be heard in the stories we find all around us; and helps us recognize that every life and every story matters equally. In the coming years StoryCorps hopes to touch the lives of every American family.
For more information on StoryCorps, please visit its website.
The Chief Marketing Officer (CMO) will lead StoryCorps’ marketing and branding strategy for the overall organization, its content, and its products (e.g., the StoryCorps app and StoryCorps Connect) with an emphasis on growing national awareness of our work and content. The CMO will be thrilled by the challenge of making StoryCorps a household name. Specifically, the position will oversee StoryCorps’ overall branding and messaging across all of its external communications; grow engagement and reach on social media; envision and broker high-visibility partnerships for our content–especially our animated shorts; and work with both the Development and Earned Income teams to reach donors/customers.
Reporting directly to StoryCorps CEO, Robin Sparkman, (with a dotted line to Dave Isay, StoryCorps’s Founder and President), the CMO leads the organization’s Marketing and Communications Department and leads a team of seven.
A member of the StoryCorps’ executive team, the Chief Marketing Officer will further position the StoryCorps brand as an enduring national institution that fosters a culture of listening in the United States; celebrates the dignity, power and grace that can be heard in the stories we find all around us; and helps us recognize that every life and every story matter equally. To actualize these ambitions, the CMO will:
Make StoryCorps a household name
Utilize earned, paid, and social media, as well as partnerships, existing and new distribution platforms and other tactics to significantly expand the visibility of StoryCorps beyond our current NPR audience. The CMO’s objective is to weave StoryCorps into the fabric of American life. They will amplify StoryCorps’s voice in the market by identifying, developing, executing, and refining marketing strategies that ensure that our content, programs, and services are accessible to people of all backgrounds, languages, and abilities.
Refine StoryCorps’ overall branding and marketing in all external-facing materials
Advance the brand voice inside and outside the organization; evolve the messaging and positioning of StoryCorps in a way that is strategic given the ever-changing media and nonprofit landscape. They will proactively plan for and respond to the evolving market, societal and political landscape, and technological innovations while building overall branding and marketing materials that reflect and celebrate the diversity of StoryCorps participants, communities, and listeners.
Envision and broker high-quality partnerships
Grow the audience beyond public media by developing strategic partnerships with movie theaters, airlines, streaming services, smart speaker companies, and more. The CMO will align marketing initiatives with the StoryCorps strategic plan by supporting our current programs, including the Atlanta StoryBooth and Mobile Tours, and identifying new opportunities to expand our reach.
Set marketing and branding strategy
Drive marketing strategy for StoryCorps’ digital products, such as the StoryCorps app and StoryCorps Connect. By working with key collaborators across the organization, the CMO will identify opportunities and solutions for improving overall user experience for the StoryCorps app, improve audience engagement, identify strategic social media partnerships (both organic and paid), and execute call-to-action strategies aligned with StoryCorps’ strategic plan.
Grow StoryCorps’ presence on social media with a focus on visual content
Build engagement with content and reach new, diverse audiences. They will lead the team in growing StoryCorps’ digital audience and users to expand into new markets and exceed current audience goals.
Set and monitor measures of success
Lead with a strong data and analysis orientation to drive development decisions and achieve strategic objectives, positioning StoryCorps for growth. They determine and track KPIs for audience growth, and use data to determine successes and provide strategic direction. As a member of the Executive Team, they apply high-level marketing strategy to set ambitious goals, monitor progress, and make sound, data-driven decisions to expand StoryCorps’ reach in the market.
Contribute to the overall growth of the organization
In partnership with Executive Leadership and the Board of Directors, support StoryCorps’ business strategy for contributed and earned income and identify new business lines that can drive sources of revenue. An ambassador for the organization, they develop dynamic, mutually beneficial partnerships based on understanding and respect for the needs and ideas of their teams, organizational partners, and the constellation of StoryCorps audience members and supporters.
Lead and Resource
Lead the marketing team with integrity and credibility to build and nurture high-performing, diverse teams that represent the cultures, languages, religions, politics, etc. of the people we serve, where everyone feels empowered, included, and cared for. Foster a culture of shared success and accountability by serving as a coach, mentor, and team player who motivates team members with energy and passion, ensuring clear expectations and accountability. Influencing up, down, and across teams, they model StoryCorps’ core values of Diversity, Accessibility, Justice, Collaboration, Excellence, and Optimism. As a commensurate team collaborator, they proactively identify opportunities to support the CEO, the President, and StoryCorps functions as needed.
Successful candidates will possess the following attributes and competencies:
Passion for the Mission
Deeply mission-driven, the next CMO possesses a strong belief that storytelling builds a shared humanity, breaking down barriers between people and passing wisdom from one generation to the next. The CMO understands that building authentic connections between everyday people is more urgent than ever before and that seeing the world from a different perspective is the first step toward creating a society that can build a better future together. The CMO views this role as a vehicle to expand StoryCorps’ reach and contributing to a just society, representative of a diverse spectrum of voices and experiences.
Innovative Brand Stewardship
An experienced leader, the CMO offers a nuanced understanding of how to build deep channel partnerships and strategies to increase StoryCorps’ reach. The CMO compels and inspires a broad audience of internal and external partners, participants, and listeners, building brand recognition that is broad in scope. A creative thinker and natural storyteller, the CMO is results-oriented and possesses a track record of executing creative ideas to develop, diversify, and promote programs and offerings that deepen current relationships and cultivate new audiences.
Strategic Marketing Expertise
A big-picture thinker, the CMO uses marketing analytics to evaluate, measure, monitor, and refine their marketing initiatives. They value a unified marketing and content strategy and drive a holistic, audience-centered approach to leverage content and storytelling to incite engagement, influence the broader media landscape, and leverage best practices and new trends to move decision-makers across all levels of their organization. Innovative, curious, and driven by a high level of strategic thinking, they have a track record of translating and advancing core initiatives across a broad spectrum of media channels. As a leader, they stay current on new technologies and distribution methods and can translate emerging needs across a wide range of key collaborators.
Adaptable and responsive, the next CMO aligns strategic goals and priorities with their marketing strategy. They adapt and respond to the changing business needs by effectively managing organizational and marketing priorities, setting measurable goals and objectives, and holding themselves and others accountable for delivering key growth outcomes. A seasoned leader, they have led their teams to meet and exceed robust growth goals around corporate partnerships and audience engagement (particularly social followings), while partnering with key collaborators to grow and diversify revenue streams.
Leadership Through Influence
Collaborative by design, the CMO will build effective, productive relationships internally and with a spectrum of external constituencies. They understand the strength in a collective voice, harnessing the power of strategic partnerships, influencers, creative and content partners, and their teams. They lean into challenges and serve as an ally and ambassador to amplify their presence in the market. They cultivate a diverse, thriving workplace characterized by strong teamwork and mutual respect.
We celebrate the myriad of professional experiences that allow us to foster a thriving workplace. While no one candidate will possess every quality outlined for this position, strong candidates will bring many of the following professional qualifications, skills, and personal attributes:
- Minimum 10 years of experience as a senior leader at a national nonprofit in a marketing and branding role
- Inspiring and experienced leader, team-builder, and people manager; able to serve as a mentor and role model of excellence for staff, and to ensure a culture of inclusion, innovation, collaboration, and accountability
- Superior communication skills (written, verbal, and presentation); ability to communicate complex concepts to individuals at all levels in the organization
- Strong analytical skills and technical acumen
- Passionate about StoryCorps’ mission and thrives in a diverse working environment
- Experience in a nonprofit organizational environment (especially in the arts/culture/media) with an annual budget in excess of $15 million (strongly preferred)
- Advanced Degree (MBA)
Compensation & Benefits
StoryCorps offers a competitive salary commensurate with experience along with health
insurance–excellent medical, dental, and vision plans–and flexible spending accounts. StoryCorps also offers:
- 403(b) Retirement Savings Plan and employer match
- Employee Assistance Plan (free counseling, financial, and legal advice)
- $200 per year toward out-of-pocket mental health expenses
- Pre-tax transit benefits
- Generous paid time off (more than nine weeks per year of vacation, sick leave, personal days, Summer Fridays, and holidays, including a day off in honor of oral historian Studs Terkel’s birthday)
- Our headquarters are in Fort Greene, Brooklyn—near almost every subway line and the LIRR at Atlantic Avenue/Barclays Center, and a short walk to the Brooklyn Academy of Music, Fort Greene Park, and local shops and restaurants.
Molly Brennan and Malissa Brennan of Koya Partners have been exclusively retained for this search. To express your interest in this role please submit your materials here or email Molly and Malissa directly at [email protected]. All inquiries and discussions will be considered strictly confidential.
For more information about Koya Partners, visit www.koyapartners.com.
StoryCorps seeks to hire staff who reflect the diversity of the communities we serve. All positions at StoryCorps are filled without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, disability, HIV/AIDS status, veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law. All are encouraged to apply.