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Southern Company Director, External Communications in Atlanta, Georgia

Director, External Communications


Directs the company’s overall external communications strategy as well as for key issues and special projects. Manages the team responsible for external communications for Southern Company Gas brand and our Georgia and Tennessee markets. Provides crisis and issues management expertise to the enterprise. Oversees and executes a variety of complex communications programs that advance and protect the company’s reputation and thought leadership. Works in a strategic capacity as a business partner with executives and other internal functional areas to implement communications solutions. Fosters the development of functional expertise in media relations, public relations, and customer communications to effectively support the enterprise.

Functional Expertise:

  • Continually research, explore and recommend new and enhanced communications engagement platforms and strategies to improve the company’s communications engagement with external stakeholders

  • Oversee and provide guidance on external media strategy and engagement

  • Oversee and provide guidance on customer facing materials and communications

  • Serve on Incident Support Team and serve as Communications Lead during a crisis as designated

  • Oversee and provide guidance on public relations facing materials, issues etc.

  • Manage External Communications expenses to budget

  • Oversee and provide guidance on digital communications strategy and engagement including customer e-newsletters, social media and websites for the Southern Company Gas and its subsidiaries

  • Other duties as assigned

Business Acumen:

  • Lead role in developing the Corporate PR and Messaging Plan (earned/paid/shared/owned)

  • Responsible for designing comprehensive crisis communication plans and overseeing implementation

  • Responsible for working collaboratively with other functional areas to construct and define escalation policies and procedures to Corporate Communications for incidents of all kinds

  • Develop media strategy and related communications plans to support activity across functional areas at the Southern Company Gas level, and support subsidiaries in the development of same for individual business units to provide consistency with corporate strategy.

  • Oversee and advise development and implementation of annual thought leadership plans for each business


  • Responsible for enhancing productivity of direct reports through selection, training, motivation and performance coaching

  • Lead regular staff meetings and one-on-one meetings with each direct report

  • Establish media training sessions and refresher courses for company spokespeople

  • Communicate recommendations and strategies to executive and senior leadership team

  • Role modeling honesty, respect, organizational values and fairness towards all

Driving Results:

  • Establish goals and objectives for the External Communication team

  • Implement or drive process improvements

  • Monitor progress against metrics/deliverables; hold self & others accountable for results

  • Develop and track success metrics that align with corporate goals and those of the individual business units

Education, Certifications/Licenses:


  • Bachelor’s or Master’s Degree in Public Relations, Communications, Marketing or equivalent combination of education and experience


  • Advanced degree or APR (Accredited in Public Relations) or ABC (Accredited Business Communicator) certification; Active role in industry organization such as PRSA or IABC.

Related Work Experience:


  • Minimum 5 years of progressive communications management experience


  • Core PR, Media Relations, Marketing Communications, Community Relations, Crisis Communications

Specific Skills & Knowledge:


  • Proficient use of Microsoft Office tools including Word, PowerPoint, Excel


  • Experience with Social Media Platforms and other external facing communications technologies

  • Exceptional interpersonal skills

  • Exceptional written and verbal skills

  • Exceptional presentation skills

  • Ability to hold self and others accountable for performance

Working Conditions/Physical Requirements:

  • Intermediate Traveler (15-40% travel): The incumbent will be required to travel on occasion. Trips may require air travel and/or overnight stay away from home for one or more nights.

  • The incumbent works in an office environment.

  • Work hours may frequently extend beyond traditional business hours in order to meet media deadlines, provide support in a crisis situation or attend events on company’s behalf.

Disclaimer: This information describes the general nature and level of work performed by employees in this job. The description is not designed to be a comprehensive inventory of duties, responsibilities and qualifications required in the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to qualified disabled individuals for performance of essential duties and responsibilities.

Southern Company Gas provides for the energy needs of millions of U.S. households and businesses. As the largest natural gas-only distribution company in the United States, with more than 150 years of history behind us, we're working to ensure that Americans have access to an abundant, safely delivered supply of natural gas for decades to come. We offer our customers a wide range of energy services under one umbrella: seven regulated utilities as well as non-regulated businesses that offer retail, wholesale and storage services.

Southern Company (NYSE: SO) is America's premier energy company, with 46,000 megawatts of generating capacity and 1,500 billion cubic feet of combined natural gas consumption and throughput volume serving 9 million customers through its subsidiaries. The company provides clean, safe, reliable and affordable energy through electric operating companies in four states, natural gas distribution companies in seven states, a competitive generation company serving wholesale customers across America and a nationally recognized provider of customized energy solutions, as well as fiber optics and wireless communications. Southern Company brands are known for excellent customer service, high reliability and affordable prices that are below the national average. Through an industry-leading commitment to innovation, Southern Company and its subsidiaries are inventing America's energy future by developing the full portfolio of energy resources, including carbon-free nuclear, 21st century coal, natural gas, renewables and energy efficiency, and creating new products and services for the benefit of customers. Southern Company has been named by the U.S. Department of Defense and G.I. Jobs magazine as a top military employer, recognized among the Top 50 Companies for Diversity by DiversityInc, listed by Black Enterprise magazine as one of the 40 Best Companies for Diversity and designated a Top Employer for Hispanics by Hispanic Network. The company has earned a National Award of Nuclear Science and History from the National Atomic Museum Foundation for its leadership and commitment to nuclear development and is continually ranked among the top energy companies in Fortune's annual World's Most Admired Electric and Gas Utility rankings. Visit our website at

Southern Company is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.

Job Field: Communications & External Affairs

Job Type: Standard

Primary Location: Georgia-Metro Atlanta-Atlanta

Operating Company: Southern Company Gas

Job Type: Standard

Travel (Up to...): Yes, 25 % of the Time

Work Location(s):

AGLR Corporate Office - 10 Peachtree Place NE (10AtlantaCODE)

10 Peachtree Place NE

Atlanta, 30309

Req ID: GAS2002130

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