Under the direction of the Communications Director, the Communications Strategist will develop and disseminate strategic messages for the ACLU of Arizona to broaden our reach and influence, mobilize support for our mission, and increase the power and capacity of the organization. The Communications Strategist will be focused on planning and implementing communications strategy, primarily related to the affiliate’s education equity and criminal justice reform work, and in other issue areas as needed.
The Communications Strategist will also be the ACLU of Arizona’s primary producer of content for the organization’s digital communications channels including www.acluaz.org, which contains a blog, Facebook and Twitter, as well as smartjusticeaz.org, other social media outlets, and emails to ACLU of Arizona supporters. This is a full-time position based in our Phoenix office. Please note that the position will be temporarily remote while our ACLU of Arizona offices remains closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Supervision Received: This position reports directly to the Communications Director.
Supervision Exercised: The Communications Strategist may be asked to supervise volunteers, interns, and consultants.
Salary range: $50,000-$60,000
ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS PERFORMED
- Assisting in the development and implementation of a communications plan to educate the public and elected officials about the urgent need for education equity and criminal justice reform in Arizona.
- Creating messaging and talking points related to education equity and criminal justice reform, and other issue areas as needed, for grassroots lobbying, media events, trainings, meetings, and broader public education.
- Building and sustaining constructive working relationships with key individuals—reporters, producers, and editors—at print, television, and digital media outlets throughout Arizona.
- Developing content for the web and social media that can elevate the organization’s work and communicate stories. Content may include copy for the web, emails to ACLU supporters, blog posts, social media posts, graphics, and videos.
- Handle electoral communications work, including developing messaging based on polling and reviewing and editing digital ad content.
- Actively pitching reporters and coordinating interview requests, bookings, and press coverage of campaign events.
- Identifying and leading response to breaking news events, often requiring sensitive judgment calls.
- Preparing staff, volunteers, and other spokespeople for media appearances.
- Act as an ACLU of Arizona spokesperson when necessary.
- Drafting op-eds, press releases, letters to the editor, statements, internal memoranda, briefings, message guidance, fact sheets, and other materials.
- Drafting and creating curriculums for workshops, preparing and delivering presentations, and engaging with community outreach as needed.
- Training and developing volunteer leaders on public speaking and giving media interviews.
- Overseeing the creation of collateral materials such as flyers and handouts that will be used by organizers and volunteers.
- Managing simultaneous projects, shifting priorities, and assisting with other projects as necessary.
- Advancing other ACLU of Arizona priorities, including immigrants’ and LGBTQ+ rights, through strategic communications.
- Track and analyze the ACLU of Arizona’s media engagement (quality and quantity) and compile reports on digital communications goals.
Desired qualifications are described below. Consideration will be given to individuals who may not meet the listed qualifications but demonstrate strong skills, knowledge, and potential.
- A minimum of two years of professional experience in one or more of the following areas: media, strategic communications, digital communications, and public relations.
- Commitment to the mission and principles of the ACLU, including equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging principles.
- Strong work ethic and the ability to interact effectively and compassionately with volunteers from diverse backgrounds regardless of race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or record of arrest or conviction.
- Experience working on electoral or issue-based advocacy campaigns.
- Must possess strong organizational skills, be detail-oriented, and possess the ability to follow projects through to completion.
- Ability to communicate persuasively and clearly in writing and verbally to a wide variety of media, political, stakeholder, influencer, and volunteer audiences.
- Experience working with the news media and cultivating relationships with print, radio, television, and online journalists.
- Proven experience in breaking news and rapid-response environments.
- Experience drafting social media messages and promoting issues through social media.
- Experience with social media, email, and other digital advocacy tactics, including an understanding of trends and best practices for online campaigning, and best practices for communicating via email, Facebook, and Twitter is preferred.
- Strong interpersonal skills and an ability to work collaboratively with others as part of a team.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office is required; familiarity with the Associated Press style is preferred.
- Proficiency with HTML and experience using a CMS to publish and update website content is preferred.
- Experience in photography, graphic design, and/or video editing is a plus.
- Knowledge of criminal justice and/or education policy issues is a plus but not a requirement.
EDUCATION and EXPERIENCE
Bachelor’s Degree in English, journalism, marketing or communications or related field preferred but not required. At least two years of professional experience in media, strategic communications, digital communications, or public relations.
The ACLU-AZ offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience, and competitive with public interest salaries. Benefits include three weeks paid vacation; 100% employer-paid medical, dental, and vision insurance, life, and long-term disability insurance; 401(k); and 16 paid holidays plus 1 personal day. This position is full-time, salaried, and exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Send a cover letter and resume by email to firstname.lastname@example.org. In the cover letter, describe why you are interested in this position and how your skills and experience would advance the ACLU of Arizona’s work. Please indicate in your cover letter where you heard about this career opportunity. Your resume should include contact information for three professional references and links to web-based samples of written and/or multimedia work you created (such as news clips, a demo reel, a press release, or a messaging guidance document). Use “Campaign Communications Strategist” as the subject line of your email. Please submit your materials in PDF format. No phone calls or walk-ins, please. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
You may also submit hard copies to the ACLU of Arizona, Re: Communications Strategist, P.O. Box 17148, Phoenix, AZ 85011.
The ACLU undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions. We encourage applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process to contact: email@example.com. Correspondence sent to this email address that is not related to requests for accommodations will not be reviewed. Applicants should follow the instructions above regarding how to apply.
ABOUT THE ACLU
With ACLU affiliate offices in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, the ACLU fights tirelessly in the courts, legislatures, and through community engagement to ensure that all individuals’ rights are protected. We are a passionate, highly motivated group of lawyers, public policy experts, lobbyists, community organizers, and fundraisers, and we’re looking for exceptional talent to join our team.
This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.
ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, and record of arrest or conviction.
The ACLU of Arizona comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union of Arizona and the ACLU Foundation of Arizona. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation of Arizona are statewide organizations with the same overall mission; they share office space and employees. The ACLU of Arizona has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU-AZ.”