Director of Strategic Communications (NYC or remote)

  • 81 Prospect St, Brooklyn, NY 11201, USA
  • Full-time

Company Description

Equal Justice USA (EJUSA) is a national organization working to transform the justice system by promoting responses to violence that break cycles of trauma. We work at the intersection of criminal justice, public health, and racial justice to elevate healing and safety over retribution, advance racial equity, and meet the needs of survivors. Our primary programs work to end the death penalty, limit and transform policing, and change the national narrative on violence and accountability. For more information, visit: https://ejusa.org

Job Description

The Director of Strategic Communications is a new role that will oversee EJUSA’s growing work to shift the national narrative around violence, trauma, and race, and position EJUSA as a thought leader on criminal justice issues. We are building a national network of local leaders who have experienced trauma across different aspects of the justice system, and they will be key spokespeople in our communications. EJUSA has historically been a behind-the-scenes organization that invests in the visibility of our local partners. This is an opportunity for a communications superstar to help us continue to invest in these local voices while also coming out of the shadows ourselves to promote a transformational, forward-looking vision for justice that heals. 

The ideal person for the role will be an independent, creative thinker with a passion for telling stories, amplifying the voices of impacted people, making advocacy work come alive, and transcending divides around false frames and polarizing issues. The position reports to the Executive Director, is a member of the senior management team, and supervises a Communications Manager.

EJUSA has 17 staff spread throughout the country and a small national office in DUMBO, Brooklyn. This position would ideally be based in the Brooklyn office, but we will consider applicants from elsewhere who want to work remotely. We’re a terrific team that loves our work and really enjoys working together!

Responsibilities

Strategy & Message Development

  • Develop and implement a strategic communications plan to achieve our long-term narrative shifting, programmatic, and campaign goals, while increasing EJUSA’s visibility
  • Work with the Communications Manager to create high-impact, multi-channel communications campaigns that educate our audiences, shift narratives, and grow and mobilize our supporter base
  • Work with the Executive Team and program staff to transform our vision into effective messages that resonate with a variety of audiences
  • Help build a storytelling culture throughout the organization that embraces new ways to tell EJUSA’s story
  • Identify challenges and emerging issues faced by the movement and the organization, and work with the Executive Team and program staff to develop and implement strategies to support opportunities and solutions
  • Participate as a member of EJUSA’s Executive Team and Senior Program Team to help shape and drive our broader organizational strategy
  • Work across departments to ensure consistency of messaging and maximize use of existing materials

Press & PR

  • Manage EJUSA’s public relations and visibility, including the creation and placement of articles, blog posts, op-eds, letters to the editor, press releases, and other materials for external sources
  • Pitch and place high-impact news stories and perspective pieces that advance EJUSA’s work
  • Prepare EJUSA spokespeople (staff and external partners) for media interviews, and serve as an additional spokesperson when appropriate, ensuring sensitivity from the communications department when engaging with spokespeople who have experienced trauma
  • Develop and manage relationships with reporters, bloggers, and other members of the media, and supervise the Communications Manager in the maintenance of press lists and tracking of EJUSA media coverage
  • Collaborate with EJUSA’s external media relations firm (currently working on a specific aspect of our death penalty program) to ensure integration with EJUSA’s broader communications goals

Content Creation & Management

  • Supervise the Communications Manager to develop and disseminate compelling, persuasive, and accurate content that increases public engagement with EJUSA via email, web, social media, and print, including editing their work before publication
  • Take the lead in content creation for more complex pieces, such as talking points, remarks, commentary, opinion pieces, and publications for dissemination by EJUSA, its leadership, or external spokespeople
  • Create opportunities to collaborate with EJUSA’s network of local leaders impacted by trauma and the justice system, amplifying their voices and highlighting their work in the media, at speaking events, and on EJUSA communications channels
  • Partner with development staff in the creation of fundraising campaigns, projects, and materials
  • Oversee organizational branding and the implementation of EJUSA’s visual identity and message platform
  • Ensure all EJUSA materials, both online and offline are current, accurate, and in alignment with EJUSA messages and brand
  • Develop and manage communications infrastructure including editorial and digital calendars, databases, and departmental budgets
  • Manage third-party contractors, vendors, and partners, including PR firms and consultants

Qualifications

  • Minimum 7-10 years demonstrated success developing and implementing short- and long-term organizational and campaign-based communications strategies
  • Experience in issue-based advocacy communications, including content creation, message development, media outreach, and strategy
  • Experience leading framing, messaging, and narrative development; familiarity with criminal justice and racial equity messages and movements a plus
  • Top-notch writing skills, including a clear writing style, ease working with an editor, and the ability to make EJUSA’s mission and work come alive and inspire different types of audiences
  • Strong oral communication, networking, and social skills; comfort and excitement about working with EJUSA partners to expand their communications skills
  • Demonstrated ability to work sensitively with spokespeople such as trauma survivors to hone their personal stories and messages
  • Experience coordinating staff and contractors – including technical, research, and creative consultants – to achieve communications goals
  • Demonstrated effectiveness with all aspects of presswork (creating media advisories and press releases, pitching to and building relationships with reporters, training spokespeople etc.)
  • Experience with developing and implementing digital strategies and tactics across digital platforms
  • Experience developing and driving list-building strategies
  • Comfort with technology, including CRM databases, Microsoft Office suite, and working in a Mac-based environment
  • Tenacious, creative, entrepreneurial, flexible
  • A positive attitude, friendly personality, sense of humor, and the ability to get along with many types of people and be a team player
  • Commitment to the mission and core values of Equal Justice USA, including a commitment to racial equity

Additional Information

Location: Brooklyn, NY (remote/offsite arrangements possible)

Compensation: $85 -95K, commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits including employer-paid medical and dental care, retirement plan, paid vacation, sick days, and holidays, disability insurance, and professional development allowance.

Target start date: August 2018 (flexible) or until filled

To apply: Upload a cover letter, resume, and writing sample in PDF format only by clicking "I'm interested" on the top right of the job ad. Incomplete applications will not be considered. No calls please. Applications will be reviewed immediately on a rolling basis.

EJUSA is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We encourage a diverse pool of candidates to apply, including those impacted by the issues we work on. We consider all applicants on the basis of their ability to perform the job, without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, pregnancy, national or ethnic origin, genetic information, physical appearance, age, mental or physical disability, credit history, veteran status, uniform service member status, justice system involvement, victims of domestic violence, stalking, or other crimes, political affiliation, or any other legally protected class. EJUSA does not tolerate discrimination or harassment against any of the above listed classes.