Chief Marketing & Communications Officer

Date Posted: Feb 03, 2020
Application Deadline: Mar 16, 2020
Start Date: Feb 03, 2020

Salary From: 100K To 100K+
Province: Ontario
Region: Metro Toronto Area
City: Toronto
Employee Benefits: Health, Other (e.g. flex time, comp tickets, etc.)
Check Additional Info section for more Employee Benefits
Organization's Field/Discipline: Doesn't apply
Job's focus: Creative & Administrative
Job Type: Full-time
Career Level: Executive/board member

Organization Description

Royal Ontario Museum
Opened in 1914, the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is a globally renowned institution celebrated for its multidisciplinary collections, ground-breaking research and iconic architecture. Spanning art, culture, and nature from around the world and across the ages, the Museum’s comprehensive collection, coupled with its exceptional exhibitions and programs that speak to diverse audiences, has made the ROM a leading cultural destination for local, national and international visitors.
Welcoming more than 1.3 million people annually, the ROM is the most attended museum in Canada and ranks among the top 10 cultural institutions in North America. And as a globally recognized field research institute, home to more than 13 million artworks, cultural objects and natural history specimens featured in over 40 galleries and exhibitions spaces, the ROM is also one of the few truly multidisciplinary museums in the world.

Our mission is to transform lives by helping people to understand the past, make sense of the present and come together to shape a shared future. To do this, we build and share our global collections, create knowledge, inspire learning, encourage gathering and spark exchange on topics that matter to people and communities.
Evolving for the 21st Century
Looking to the future, our vision is to become a distinctly 21st century museum, one that will be globally known for expanding the boundaries of knowledge, innovation in presenting that knowledge, and public relevance within the intersecting worlds of art, culture, and nature.
To realize this vision, we are embarking on a new strategic direction that builds on our strengths and capabilities while evolving in step with a rapidly changing world. As part of this transformation, we are becoming a more outward facing institution.
At the local level we are focused on playing a central role in community and cultural life, making the museum a more inclusive and welcoming space – a place where our diverse visitor base sees themselves reflected in our programs, exhibitions and galleries. On a global level, our collections are international in scope, culturally diverse and uniquely multidisciplinary. Our reputation as a leader in original scholarship and scientific advances continues to grow and the strength of our collection is respected on a global scale, and as a resource to institutions and scholars around the world.
Situated in a 21st century context – in the most diverse major city in the world, within a province and country known for pluralism, openness and global perspectives, the ROM is well positioned for the future, and for an even greater role on the world stage. By leveraging our strengths and capabilities, and applying them in fresh and far-reaching ways, by investing to create greater engagement through inclusion, transdisciplinary thinking, digital practices and innovation, the ROM is charting a new and bold way forward as we pursue our goal to become one of the world’s foremost museums.
About the Director & CEO – Josh Basseches
Josh Basseches became the Director and CEO of the ROM in 2016, bringing with him more than two decades of experience transforming museums, enriching visitor experience, and guiding international initiatives. His bold vision for the ROM includes taking it from one of Canada’s great museums to a globally renowned innovator and thought leader.
Prior to ROM, Basseches was Deputy Director of the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem, Massachusetts, where he played a central role in the institution’s decade-long reinvention into one of America’s leading museums, and in its capital campaign, helping to raise more than $600M. Previously Basseches had served as Executive Director of the Harvard Museum of Natural History and repositioned it as a vibrant, public-serving institution. In addition, he has been active in the museum professional community. He currently serves on the Board of the Association of Art Museum Directors and is past president of the New England Museum Association. Basseches was also listed as one of Toronto Life’s 50 Must Influential Torontonians three times in a row. 

His research and writing focus are on international artistic and cultural exchange. Basseches holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, an MA from Boston University, and a BA from Amherst College. He is currently completing a PhD in the history of art and architecture at Boston University.

Job Description


The CMCO is a key member of the senior leadership team bringing creative leadership and vision, along with hands-on knowledge and skills to the ROM’s marketing, communications, membership, market research and visitor experience. Reporting directly to the CEO, you will be responsible for developing the ROM’s comprehensive brand and marketing strategy, encompassing all external and internal communications, on all platforms, to drive business and related goals, and to raise awareness of the ROM, its activities, research and programs. As a member of the senior leadership team, you promote a culture of collaboration and teamwork.
The CMCO is a results-oriented leader who can translate business and operational plans into marketing and communications strategies. You have the ability to inspire staff and other key stakeholders of the ROM with an exciting, compelling marketing and communications strategy.   You will build on the already strong brand of the ROM, resonating with both local and global audiences. 
You will lead and collaborate with a talented team of professionals, to implement and execute   the overall marketing and communication plans. As an engaging and supportive leader, you will bring a track record of motivating large teams to achieve impact through creativity, teamwork, and by leveraging individual strengths to meet organization goals.  As CMCO, you will oversee a team of approximately 120+ employees with an overall budget of $11M annually.
  • As CMCO, you will lead the Marketing, Communications, Visitor Experience, Membership and Market Research teams.  You will act as an effective motivator and manager of the group, mentoring them in their professional development, and ensuring they deliver consistently high-quality work, in a busy work environment. You will also ensure that your team members are effective contributors to cross-museum project teams.
  • You will develop and direct annual ROM’s strategic marketing and communication plans, including tangible and trackable KPIs. You will engage on an ongoing basis with the Executive Leadership Team to ensure that the visitor is a critical component of all decisions to support public-facing initiatives of the Museum. 
  • As CMCO you will work closely with the CEO and Executive Team in the development of exhibition and programming initiatives to ensure successful outcomes and drive attendance / admission revenue.  The CMCO plays an integral role in the assessment of exhibition and program viability, including the establishment of attendance targets.  An ability to adapt plans as financial and other realities change is essential.
  • You will lead the overall communication functions of the ROM, prepare reports as required and interpret results corresponding to the goals agreed, as well as ensure the staff reporting to you has a similar focus on results.  Your role will require the ability to identify challenges, risks and emerging issues faced by the organization.
  • The CMCO has direct responsibility for the ROM membership program that provides a significant source of ongoing revenue.  You will be responsible for establishing annual targets including retention and acquisition of new ROM members.
  • While working cross-functionally, you will deliver a memorable and inspirational experience across all touchpoints of the ROM for every visitor. You will ensure that a visitor’s first and last impressions feel personalized and exceed expectations.
  • You will establish and oversee promotional partnerships and media partnerships for the organization.
  • You will work with the ROM’s Governors Office to ensure philanthropic and sponsorship messages are aligned and support the ROM brand.
  • The CMCO will be accountable for the health of the ROM brand and ensure adherence to brand standards across the organization.  This includes working closely with the CEO on reputation management and strategic communication issues including communication with stakeholders and media. You will work closely with the Board of Trustees and ROM Governors to manage crisis communications and liaise with media in situations where donors, sponsors, or Board members are concerned.
  • As a key member of the ROM executive team, you will represent the organization in various capacities including external events, meetings and related activities.


The ideal candidate will have following minimum skills, experiences and qualifications:
  • Minimum 10 years’ relevant and progressive senior leadership experience in marketing and communications for a public-facing organization.  This will include a comprehensive knowledge of Advertising, Media and Public Relations, Brand Strategy, digital marketing and social media.
  • Demonstrated ability to inspire and develop a team across a wide range of Marketing and Communication areas, including Membership, Visitor Experience and Brand Strategy. Strong knowledge of how to use market research to inform strategies and decision-making regarding audience-facing services and products. A strong understanding of membership, visitor experience, and best practices to inspire loyalty.
  • Possesses considerable experience and judgment in all communication matters, including media and government relations, and can work effectively in crisis-like situations to give the best advice to senior management.
  • Demonstrated ability to oversee the development and execution of an annual marketing & communications strategic plan.
  • An entrepreneurial spirit with superior business acumen, management and decision-making skills. Future-oriented, with demonstrated ability to understand trends, promote experimentation where appropriate, and comfortable leading a team during a time of rapid change in communications.
  • Familiarity with fundraising and the ability to market exhibitions and programs in the context of donors and sponsors.
  • Ability to collaborate with others, contribute to team initiatives, demonstrate a willingness to work with team members, support ideas, and use judgment to balance the exercise of innovation and fiscal responsibility. Meets performance objectives, communicates and measures goals, stays focused in spite of multiple priorities, and accepts personal responsibility for quality and meeting deadlines.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills including strong presentation ability, particularly in the context of presenting information to diverse groups and relating to what may be competing priorities and resource requirements.
  • Relevant undergraduate or graduate degree, such as an MBA or BComm.
  • Ability to speak French and other languages is an asset.
  • A demonstrated commitment to innovation and creativity with a commitment to thinking outside traditional boundaries across art, culture, and nature.
  • A dynamic, professional and persuasive leader who inspires creativity.
  • A passion for the mission of the museum and appreciation for the significant role played by the ROM in the lives of our community, country and abroad.
  • A natural leader who is highly articulate and a strong communicator with proven managerial, problem-solving and planning capabilities. Willing to take a stand on principle yet knows when to adjust and be flexible.
  • Ability to foster trust, collaboration, teamwork, and initiative-taking; capacity to manage up, down and sideways, as well as the flexibility to manage through change.
  • Intellectual curiosity, creativity and enthusiasm for museums and how to innovate to remain relevant and vibrant to ROM visitors. This includes an understanding of, and sensitivity to, the diverse communities of Toronto.
  • Experience working in a unionized or professional association environment is an asset.
  • Be sufficiently confident to articulate a point of view, engage in iterative discussions, and revise plans where the evidence is to the contrary. Serve as a role model, coach, and mentor with the ability to attract, develop, and retain excellent talent.
  • Ability to build rapport and establish credibility with a wide range of stakeholders across the ROM as well as externally. Be accessible and create opportunities for discussion, debate and exploration of important issues. Solicit input, listen well and synthesize information.

Additional Info:

An experienced-based compensation and benefits package will be provided.

How to Apply:

Please submit your application by emailing your cover letter and résumé no later than March 16th, 2020 to:
The ROM is an equal-opportunity employer and committed to fair and accessible employment practices. Upon request, suitable accommodations are available under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) for applicants invited to an interview.

We thank applicants for their interest, however, only those advancing in the process will be contacted.


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