About Understood 

Understood is dedicated to shaping the world for difference. Our programs focus on empowering people who learn and think differently, and those who support them, by offering customized, accessible resources and a compassionate community. To learn more about Understood and our programs, please visit: www.understood.org 

About the role

Understood.org is looking for a Director of External Communications. In this role, you’ll lead the teamlet driving external communication programming that supports our organization and brand objectives. Your efforts are grounded in strategy and include creation, and management of integrated communications efforts, including media relations, brand storytelling, and thought leadership with a data-driven mindset.

Reporting to the Executive Director of Communications, you’ll partner across the marketing and other functions within the organization to build brand awareness, develop communications strategies and lead implementation of the work. You’ll have a strong understanding of and interest in who we serve -- the 1 in 5 with learning and thinking differences, such as ADHD and dyslexia -- and can conceptualize the best way to reach and connect with key stakeholders. Your integrated approach to communications is collaborative, and will resonate, energize, engage, and inform external audiences.

You’re well-versed in creative storytelling, content creation methods, stakeholder engagement across traditional and digital media channels. And you have experience working within an integrated marketing environment and an active knowledge of communication trends. 


  • Own creative and results-driven communication programs- from ideation through to execution - that establishes thought leadership, builds issue/brand awareness, drives engagement, and are measurable
  • Lead storytelling and content planning and efforts across earned, select shared, and specific owned channels that result in media coverage and engagement on other channels
  • Develop executive thought leadership program and speakers bureau to present opportunities that support the organization’s mission and program goals
  • Direct the development of communications materials for interviews, launches, initiatives and speaking engagements
  • Own communications executions around key partnership initiatives
  • Insert the Understood brand into relevant moments and make the work culturally relevant, and engaging across all communications channels
  • Assume day-to-day management of external communications agency
  • Cultivate existing and develop new media and influential stakeholder relationships
  • Identify and execute campaign amplification strategies, including influencer, integrations, etc.
  • Contribute to integrated marketing strategies and tightly collaborate with internal teams to produce best-in-class outputs, with an earned media lens
  • Lead external communications teamlet, provide development and mentorship to more junior team members
  • Lead with a metrics-driven approach, and consistently are looking for ways to demonstrate ROI
  • Operate and execute within budget parameters for teamlet


  • 7-8+ years of relevant PR experience, start-up or agency
  • Experience in managing, developing, and inspiring a team
  • Current relationships with bloggers, media, and influencers

Knowledge, Skills, Abilities

  • A collaborative approach to your work and ability to tackle challenges to achieve goals
  • Corporate communications experience with an understanding of consumer-facing brands
  • Track record of developing strategies and programming that drives awareness of a cause/issue and digital experiences
  • Ability to effectively influence internal and external stakeholders
  • Familiarity with the use of data to support decision making
  • Strong knowledge of social and emerging platforms to leverage communications
  • Strong writing and editing skills and a keen attention to detail

Commitment to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

Understood encourages individuals of all learning styles, ethnic, racial, and socioeconomic backgrounds, including those whose life experiences may include the challenge of access due to a disability, to apply for this position. We are committed to maximizing the diversity of our organization, as we want to engage all those who can contribute to supporting this work.

Understood is an equal opportunity employer and considers all applications without regard to race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, ancestry, age, alienage or citizenship status, marital or familial status, domestic partnership status, caregiver status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or expression, change of sex or transgender status, genetic information, medical condition, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, physical or mental disability (where the applicant or employee is qualified to perform the essential functions of the job with or without reasonable accommodation), any protected military or veteran status, or status as a victim of domestic or dating violence, sexual assault or offense, stalking, or any other characteristics protected by federal, state, or local law or that of persons with whom that individual associates, or any other legally protected characteristics.

For additional information on learning and thinking differences, including ADD/ADHD, dyslexia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, dyspraxia, executive functioning issues, nonverbal learning disabilities, processing issues, and more, please visit www.understood.org.

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