Director , Global Communications Insights and Issues



Director , Global Communications Insights and Issues

Job Description

Company Description

McDonald’s is proud to be one of the most recognized brands in the world, with restaurants in over 100 countries and billions of customers served each year. As the global leader in the food service industry, we have a legacy of innovation and hard work that continues to drive us. Today, we are growing with velocity and are focused on modernizing our experiences, not to make a different McDonald’s, but to build a better McDonald’s.

We are moving fast and are adding to our best-in-class team. Joining McDonald's means thinking big every day and preparing for a career that can have impact around the world. We are customer obsessed, committed to being leaders, and believe we are better when we work together. Over the last couple years, we’ve launched home delivery, modernized our restaurant experience through digital enhancements and have so much more to come.

We are dedicated to using our scale for good: good for people, our industry and the planet. From ambitious recycling initiatives and balanced sourcing efforts to our partnership with Ronald McDonald House Charities, we are constantly improving. We see every single day as a chance to have a genuine impact on our customers, our people and our partners.


We are looking for a Director of Insights and Issues (Insights) to lead the Data+Analytics and Primary Research functions within the group, ensuring nuanced and actionable insights inform strategic decision making. In this role, you will guide strategic vision and daily operations for the gathering of global insights and information from the public affairs function to inform long-term strategic vision for the brand. You will work with the team to establish long-term strategy for evolving reputation measurement, monitoring and analytics. This will include developing relationships with multiple internal analytics partners (communications, marketing and risk/intelligence) and managing external agencies/partners/service providers to harness multiple data sources into a consistent framework. The Issues and Insights team will track and analyze large amounts of media and partner data to uncover significant trends and then transform that data into rich, meaningful, holistic and actionable insights of our reputational opportunities and risks globally across all channels and campaigns. You will create compelling and persuasive presentation materials to communicate key findings, issues and recommendations. Additionally, you will oversee the development of a reputational tracker to inform senior leadership on key reputational indicators and develop actionable insights and strategy to inform brand health and growth. In this position you will collaborate within I+I, as well as the broader CR team. You will ‘connect the dots’ between disparate functions and initiatives creating cohesive plans, recommendations and strategies. The top responsibility for this position is to ensure that the primary and data and analytics teams are best positioned and supported to produce best-in-class work that is meaningful and actionable.

Job Description

In this role, you will:  You will play a key part to help shape decisions through the analysis and insights derived from social media listening and media monitoring, paid media campaign results, website performance and other McDonald’s reputational data sources. You will also oversee the qualitative intelligence gathering process needed to prioritize issues and inform both communications strategy and tactic development. This includes the continued evolution of stakeholder and issue mapping, original research (polling, quantitate, brand health measurements) that will shape issues management strategies.  You will:

·       Oversee the data+analytics and primary research groups, by leveraging best-in-class tools, professional relationships, documents, publications and research to develop valid and reliable insights. These insights will be integrated with public affairs and risk/crisis insights to inform nuanced and thorough understanding of key issues facing the brand for internal and external stakeholders.

·      Develop and grow relationships with internal and external stakeholders to better understand issues, challenges and priorities and inform I+I. You will be responsible for planning and integrating long- and short-term strategies for supporting reputational growth. Work, collaborate and partner closely with internal stakeholders across Global Corporate Relations, including Strategic Communications, Campaigns and Strategies and Media Relations, as well as US Communications, to ensure seamless integration and to maximize results.

·       Drive best-in-class research and innovation to unearth and leverage insights to strengthen strategy, positions and brand health.

·       Manage the budget and schedule for data and analytics and primary research supporting best-in-class operations. Communicate and integrate competing goals and deadlines ensuring both teams are positioned for success. Identify and address needs, including budget, staffing, scheduling and scope, among others. The primary goal for the individual in this position is to optimize performance and results from the functions he/she oversees.

·       Lead ongoing review of tools and offerings to ensure expert use of best-in-class products. Evaluate novel solutions, identifying analytical and research approach best suited to the business questions. You will lead and support the diffusion of tools and trainings to strengthen the use and applications of research throughout the company.

·       Ensure outstanding methodological rigor and theoretical applications of research. Lead I+I in evangelizing and implementing the AMEC’s Barcelona Principles throughout measurement and evaluation.

·       Oversee the development and implementation of a reputational index with which to identify opportunities to strengthen the Brand’s position with multiple stakeholders. Ensure the development of meaningful and actionable strategy and insights from reporting.

·       Provide strategic oversight for Data+Analytics and Primary Research to best position activities for success. Advise on priorities and workflow.

·       Work closely with the Senior Director of Insights and Issues and the Director of Insights and Issues (Issues) to integrate and support all functions within I+I.

·      Work closely with CR Leadership teams to drive all decision-making with informed, data-driven perspectives.

·       Support Data+Analytics and Primary Research groups in providing insights across CR functions, including People, Planet and Food. Represent I+I and CR in key stakeholder groups and gatherings, continually learning and providing valuable insights to drive long-term strategy and goals.

·       Work closely with Insights and Issues (Issues) teams to socialize global resources and identify areas in which Global I+I can support and grow best-in-class insights functions throughout the business and markets. Guide and support I+I functions in developing two-way relationships where I+I can increase market-level awareness and provide value across functions.

·       Develop and adjust processes within team and supporting agencies to better meet goals and drive efficiencies.

·       Develop innovative approaches and applications of insights, synergizing key findings from primary research, public affairs, risk and/or data and analytics insights to best inform reputational and communication strategy around complex issues.

·       Analyze and represent multiple stakeholder perspectives within heavily consumer focused discussions.

·       Bring data to life, telling stories and creating narratives easily absorbed and activated on by multiple internal stakeholders.



·       Invests in talent and training, focused on driving optimal performance and growth. Comfortable providing timely, useful feedback on performance and expectations.

·      An aptitude for integration, making the whole worth more than the sum of its parts. Creatively aligning teams and functions for peak performance.

·      Comfortable leveraging relationships and skills to grow success and talent. Someone driven to grow talent, thereby growing the roles and the people.

·      A life-long learner, curious to gain understanding and ask questions.

·       Demonstrates a deep understanding of reputational research and insights within a global and regional context.

·      Experience with behavioral science concepts in an applied setting.

·      In-depth knowledge of primary research and data and anaytics in applied settings.

·       A highly collaborative team player with strong people, writing and communication skills. Little to none of the work will involve a lone effort, the right candidate will drive for team success, contributing and listening in equal parts.

·       An aptitude for seeing the big picture, able to integrate multiple data points and insights into broader strategy and recommendations.

·       Comfortable discussing research and insights-driven strategy from multiple sources and perspectives for a variety of audiences, including leadership. Can tailor conversation to meet the data/research comfort and skill level of stakeholders.

·       Comfortable juggling needs and expectations of multiple stakeholders.

·       Has long-term strategic vision and easily identifies short and medium-term goals to move the business towards long-term growth and success.

·       Thrives in a fast-paced environment, capable of quick turns and adjusting to rapidly changing and sometimes competing priorities.

·      Sets the tone for the group- serious about objectives and process and respectful of others. Someone who can maintain morale in stressful situations and can inspire top performance and a healthy and happy workforce.

·      Nimble and flexible in the face of change and readily reduces complexity in decision making across teams, functions and partners inside and outside of McDonald’s.



·       Experience in progressively responsible communications research roles. A minimum of three years management experience with success at leading execution successfully and developing and mentoring professionals.

·      Experienced with budget management and oversight as well as talent selection and development.

·       MA/MS preferred. Educational background in communications, public relations, public health, psychology, sociology or related field.

·       The ideal candidate is a proactive, strategic, solutions-focused leader with the following attributes:

o   Experience working with insights teams, collaborating across functions.

o   Experience writing and presenting findings for a variety of audiences with a spectrum of data and insights familiarity and comfort.

o   Strong business knowledge; a demonstrated ability to understand business strategy and how to use insights and analysis as a mechanism to drive positive change.

o   Comfortable developing strategy and insights and rolling up his/her sleeves to execute.

o  Comfortable negotiating competing demands and priorities; can develop efficiencies to reach multiple goals with finite resources.

o   A critical thinker with a bias for action; understands how to drive for clarity amidst ambiguity.

o   Experience and genuine interest in uncovering unique and innovative approaches to build/bolster reputation.

o   Thrives in fast-paced environments. Able to work independently with minimal direction in such an environment. Is flexible, collaborative and deadline driven.

o   Proven ability to counsel senior-level executives.

o   Is open, honest and direct but tactful and respectful in communications style and approach.


Additional Information

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