Director, Media and Communications

New York
Oct 10, 2013
Nov 09, 2013
IRC Recruiting
Full Time
The International Rescue Committee (IRC) responds to the world’s worst humanitarian crises and helps people to survive and rebuild their lives. Founded in 1933 at the request of Albert Einstein, the IRC offers lifesaving care and life-changing assistance to refugees forced to flee from war or disaster. At work today in over 40 countries and 22 U.S. cities, we restore safety, dignity and hope to millions who are uprooted and struggling to endure. The IRC leads the way from harm to home.

As a core member of the External Relations Department, the Director, Media and Communications oversees media relations for the International Rescue Committee and conceptualizes and executes strategies to raise the organization’s visibility, strengthen its credibility and brand, generate funding and spotlight key issues. Working collaboratively, the position develops and steers public positions and external messaging, provides leadership and training to global staff in effective communications and devises and directs media and communications initiatives that support public advocacy, marketing and fundraising campaigns. The Director of Communications manages a headquarters-based media team and guides the work of communications staff globally. The position reports to the Vice President of Communications and coordinates closely with senior management, all units in the External Relations Department and key advocacy and program staff. The position is based in New York with some field travel.

Major Responsibilities:

•Develop, oversee and implement strategic media plans (traditional and social) to increase brand identity and revenue and broaden awareness of the International Rescue Committee and its programs and priority issues.
•Identify communications opportunities, challenges, conflicts, and emerging issues and work with leadership team to determine and carryout appropriate strategies to address them.
•Recruit, manage and mentor headquarters-based media team to support the development and execution of media strategies. Help recruit, coordinate and guide the work of field-based communications staff.
•Coordinate media outreach, response and external messaging during emergencies—occasionally deploying to the field or assigning/working with others to do so.
•Engage, cultivate and manage relationships with global media, traditional and social, to generate coverage of IRC programs and advocacy issues.
•Assign, write, and/or edit press releases, statements, commentaries, reports and other content for external dissemination or placement.
•Pitch, arrange and facilitate media interviews and field visits, identifying stories, topics and experts, crafting talking points, coaching staff and organizing logistics
•Serve as in-house media resource for global staff –providing guidance on working and communicating effectively with media, conducting formal media training and providing regular coaching to build staff interviewing and public speaking skills.
•Serve as media spokesperson, speaker at events and IRC representative on panels.
•Update, maintain, disseminate and monitor communications policies for IRC staff globally.
•Facilitate field visits of delegations and prominent persons and help coordinate related advocacy, media and visibility events and activities.
•Oversee day-to-day activities of media relations unit, including budgeting, strategic planning and staff development.

Job Qualifications:

•Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, international affairs or related field
•At least 12 years of experience in journalism, media relations or public advocacy with a focus on international issues, including at least 8 years in a management role
•Extensive contacts and relationships with international and national media with demonstrated skill in building relationships with press
•Proven track record in identifying and marketing good story ideas and securing abundant and high profile interviews and coverage
•Extensive writing and editing experience with the ability to produce polished, persuasive and compelling press releases, commentaries, talking points, articles, reports and other content on deadline
•Team player, departmental partner, with a demonstrated ability to work collaboratively at both the departmental and agency-wide level.
•Strong listener, with a high degree of professionalism and flexibility; able to mentor and guide junior-level staff.
•Ability to prioritize, effectively manage assignments in a timely fashion and work proactively.
•Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications or related international field.
•Excellent written and verbal communications skills, with ability to write compellingly and on deadline.
•Creativity in tapping mainstream news, new media and social networking communities.
•Keen understanding of the news business and what makes journalists tick.
•Ability to work effectively and calmly in a fast-paced, high-pressure and culturally diverse environment.