Communications Manager (Field Brand Reputation)


Our story starts with one man.

Back in 1954, a man named Ray Kroc discovered a small burger restaurant in California, and wrote the first page of our history. From humble beginnings as a small restaurant, we're proud to have become one of the world's leading food service brands with more than 36,000 restaurants in more than 100 countries.

Position Details

Communications Manager (Field Brand Reputation)
Metro Atlanta and North Georgia
Atlanta, GA

We are building a field communications team that is changing the perceptions of one of the most recognized brands in the world. This team will be comprised of creative, innovative and disciplined grassroots storytellers that are committed to developing and telling a steady cadence of local stories on behalf of McDonalds.

If you are looking to join an organization as a proactive strategic communications leader that acts as a change agent and that builds third party support for the brand in local communities, this position is for you. This position will proactively support operators in the role of local brand spokespeople and execute grassroots brand initiatives that strategically move the brand message in key markets (Los Angeles, San Diego). This person is responsible for developing positive working relations with local stakeholders (e.g. local community organizations, job development boards etc.) and local media.

This person will work closely with owner operators, General Managers and a cross-functional corporate relations team (communications, government relations, public affairs) to develop proactive and bespoke plans that support the activities of the field brand reputation team: earned media, stakeholder engagement, local event activation, and issues and crisis management. This person will work to ensure a steady drumbeat of local people, food and community stories that support corporate and local business opportunities. In addition the role will focus on enabling operators to effectively engage with key influencers, media and stakeholders.

The ideal candidate has at least five years of experience with external communications in a corporate communications, public affairs or public relations agency role.

This role is based in Atlanta, GA.


In addition to following McDonalds policies and procedures, principal accountabilities include, but are not limited to:

Strategic Plan Development

  • Work with key internal regional and corporate stakeholders to identify and utilize data driven business and consumer insights to inform local plan development and execution
  • In coordination with a cross-functional team (government relations, public affairs, communications) lead the development of proactive strategic communications plans for markets in geographic scope of responsibility. These annual communications plans will include a mix of national to local business priority activations and grassroots brand reputation initiatives.
  • Use KPIs to track success of plan and local initiatives and make real-time adjustments to the communications plan as needed

National to Local Business Priority Activations

  • Support plan development and execution of multi-channel communications activations that make national brand priority activations locally relevant to key local media, stakeholders and consumers
  • Orchestrate local co-op agencies, operations, and deployment teams (as needed) in the execution of national to local activations
  • Pitch and engage key media, social influencers in the region in the execution of the business priority activations

Grassroots Brand Reputation Initiatives

  • Lead development and execution of grassroots brand reputation initiatives for the markets under scope of responsibility.
  • Coordinate with government relations, public affairs and corporate communications team in plan development
  • Work with owner operators to identify potential story ideas within the region that support always-on approach to storytelling to local media, social influencers and stakeholders
  • Engage and pitch media in the execution of grassroots brand trust initiatives
  • Work with public affairs and government relations to support building relationships with grassroots stakeholders and organizations who influence the debate that impacts McDonalds. This may include supporting outreach to tell the brand story and cultivating third-party support for the brand.
  • Support a local brand ambassador program; oversee message trainings for local leaders who interface with the public, stakeholders and media and enable leaders to effectively engage with influencers, media and stakeholders

Issues & Crisis Management

  • Serve as issues and crisis management point of contact for owner operators in an assigned geographical area in the region
  • Work in collaboration with home office media team to provide crisis and issues management for the brand in local markets
  • Stay ahead of the issues by keeping a pulse on external hot topics and key audience sentiment 
  • Proactively develop relationships with key local media


  • Establish a cadence of regular communication to local owner operators and regional teams to build the internal profile of the brand reputation management role and report on results

Minimum Requirements:

This role requires at least five years of previous experience, preferably in a corporate or political communications role or agency. The ideal candidate will be a proactive, strategic, solutions-focused leader with the following attributes:

  • Natural storyteller with excellent speaking, writing and editing skills
  • Strong business knowledge with a demonstrated ability to understand business strategy and how to use communications as a mechanism to drive that strategy
  • The ability to thrive in fast-paced environments, while being flexible, collaborative and deadline driven
  • Experience and genuine interest in uncovering unique and innovative communication approaches to build brand reputation
  • A rich background building and nurturing relationships with owner/operators, corporate staff, media and key external stakeholders
  • Proven ability to support and counsel senior-level executives
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Experience in project management and large-scale event planning/implementation
  • Communications experience including message development, message distribution via myriad channels, dealing with reporters, and writing communications plans
  • Ability to lead and command respect among local team
  • Understanding of the importance of owner-operator buy-in
  • Knowledge of the roles each function at McDonalds plays
  • Experience managing agencies
  • Political-style campaign experience is preferred but not required
  • Crisis and issues management

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