Communications Director Job Description
Updated February 2017
Women’s Action for New Directions is a national nonprofit organization that seeks to empower women to act politically to reduce violence and militarism and to redirect excessive Pentagon resources toward unmet human and environmental needs. WAND has offices in Cambridge, MA and Washington, DC.
WAND operates two nonprofit organizations with one united vision. WAND Education Fund is a 501c3 organization that educations Congress, state legislators, and the public and progressive national security issues. WAND Inc. is a 501c4 organization that engages the grassroots in the political process to advocate for national security policy change. Additionally, our Women Legislators' Lobby (WiLL), a program of WAND, is a national nonpartisan network of women state legislators who work together to influence federal policy and budget priorities.
The Communications Director will focus on creating the strategy, systems, and structures for WAND to effectively grow its media coverage and elevate WAND staff and affiliated women as experts on national security issues for the media. S/he will work with WAND staff and WiLL members to create media campaigns that are integrated into our political and grassroots programs to meet WAND’s political and policy goals. The Communications Director will work closely with the political team, field team, WiLL team, development team, and the Executive and Deputy Directors to create media opportunities for WAND staff and members, both in the traditional and digital press, that increase WAND’s brand, membership engagement with the organization, and support women’s leadership.
- Strategy: Conceive a broad vision for using communications to further WAND’s goals and develop plans and long- and short-term strategies to execute that vision and measure progress. Determine ideal communications channels and tactics for distributing WAND news, promoting advocacy campaigns, publicizing events, broadening WAND audiences, and elevating women’s voices on national security issues as issue experts.
- Media Relations: Manage all aspects of media relations, including writing and disseminating press releases, statements, tip sheets, and advisories; pitching stories to targeted reporters; pitching expertise from WAND staff and the WiLL network of state legislators; fielding media requests; fielding media requests; managing a media database and building relevant, targeted lists; drafting talking points and message grids; making statements; and arranging interviews for WAND and WiLL spokespeople and coaching them. Monitor the media for opportunities to engage.
- Digital Communications: Supervise the online presence of WAND and WiLL, leading staff in strategically generating engaging and up-to-date content for the WAND website, social media (currently Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, and YouTube ), and emails that yields measurable action. Explore new media and innovative methods for engaging WAND’s network and elevating WAND’s brand and work.
- Integrated Advocacy: Work with the program staff to integrate policy and grassroots engagement with communications and public education, by supporting the drafting of external communications on policy issues, including legislative action alerts and fact sheets, talking points, letters to the editor, press statements, and op-eds.
- Other Responsibilities: As a member of the senior staff, work with the WAND team to participate in budget, donor, and planning meetings as needed, and other duties as assigned.
- At least 5 years of experience and demonstrated success in communications, journalism, or related field.
- Bachelor's degree, preferably with a major in journalism, marketing, or public relations. Graduate degree in a related field is desirable.
- Experience developing and implementing communications strategies through balancing strategic and tactical work, paired with exceptional initiative, vision, and ambition to build a vibrant, strategic, proactive communications program.
- Exceptional ability to write for both print and online audiences, to speak persuasively, and to edit the work of oneself and others to correct grammar, sharpen prose, make national security accessible, and tell a compelling story. Proven facility in distilling knowledge into exciting and useful messages and sharing it with targeted audiences through the most appropriate distribution channels.
- Demonstrated success directing media campaigns, writing press releases, handling press contacts, and training and coaching spokespeople. Knowledge of major media markets preferred.
- Creative aptitude and familiarity with interactive design, website and social media management, and email marketing strategy. Proficiency with digital content management systems a plus.
- Relationships in and understanding of major media outlets across the country, including print, digital, TV, and radio. Ability to identify key reporters covering national security issues and develop relationships with them to increase WAND’s exposure and credibility in major media markets.
- Passion for, and a well-articulated knowledge of, progressive national security issues and social justice.
- Strong political instincts and an understanding of how the federal government works.
- Ability to work effectively with diverse coalitions and community groups, work across the political spectrum, and value differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstances.
- Experience engaging effectively and respectfully in a team environment; ability to listen, guide, and support people to achieve common goals.
- Keen attention to detail; ability to work simultaneously on multiple projects at various stages of completion; good problem-solving skills and a positive, professional attitude with sound judgment, flexibility, determination, and good humor in a fast-paced, often high-pressure office.
- Ambitious, creative, and results-oriented initiative and a desire to learn, pitch-in, and anticipate new projects; ability to collaborate, including working closely with the Executive Director and colleagues at WAND, the WiLL network, WAND chapters and affiliates, and with board members and volunteers.
- An absolute commitment to the highest ethical and professional standards.
- Willingness to work beyond 9 to 5 and to travel as needed.
- Fluency with computers, databases, CRM systems, Microsoft Office, and Internet research.
This is a full time opportunity to be located in our Washington D.C. office. The salary range is $50-$70,000 commensurate with experience and also includes benefits.
Please submit a cover letter outlining your interest in the position, two writing samples, and a recent copy of your resume to email@example.com. WAND is an Equal Opportunity Employer and welcomes all applicants.