Managing Director of Communications

Washington D.C.
Salary based on Experience; benefits included
Apr 21, 2017
Metro Area
Full Time


Advancement Project’s National Office seeks a creative, highly strategic, energetic, and committed professional to serve as Managing Director, Communications. The Communications Director will be charged with leading a cross-institutional and rapid-response communications team, which will carry out activities to achieve Advancement Project’s core communications goals, including providing grassroots racial justice organizations with strategic communications support, developing effective umbrella messaging, positioning Advancement Project to become a stronger voice in media for racial justice and developing strategies that shape public attitudes and perceptions about racial and justice issues in communities across the nation.

As a member of the senior leadership team, the Communications Director will participate with other senior leaders in determining the strategic priorities and activities of the organization. The Communications Director reports directly to the Executive Director, directs a team of six staff and coordinates with program staff.

The Communications Director will be responsible for a broad range of activities, including:

Branding and Identity

  • Manage and further develop the organizational brand, including an elevator pitch, websites, and oversight of content production to ensure compliance;
  • Work with Managing Director, Development to execute communications strategies to increase the visibility of the organization and raise resources;
  • Coordinate branding with California office communications department and Board of Directors.

Narrative Change and Public Relations

  • Create highly effective communications strategies and tactics for advocacy campaigns on racial justice issues;
  • Work with program teams throughout the organization and grassroots partner organizations to develop and execute highly effective communications plans;
  • Oversee public opinion research (polling, focus groups, etc.) and consultants;
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with national, state and local media, bloggers, etc.;
  • Outreach to the media; identify opportunities for organization and its partners to be represented in key media outlets and positioned as experts;
  • Pitch compelling story ideas, schedule interviews, prepare talking points for interviewees, and generate coverage of key issues;
  • Develop, cultivate and support a network of organizations and activists that will expand the reach of messaging and narratives;
  • Develop and maintain collaborative relationships with communications professionals at allied organizations and funders;
  • Train staff and grassroots partner organizations to serve as spokespersons and on strategic communications tactics and messaging;
  • Develop and produce integrated strategic messages for specific target audiences;
  • Fulfill media requests, manage speaking opportunities, and provide support for dissemination of reports and other publications;

Content Production and Management

  • Write, edit and manage content and publication of content including op-eds, press releases, newsletters, public statements, fact sheets, reports, brochures and other materials;
  • Manage multi-media content production for campaigns.

Organizational Development

  • In consultation with Executive Director and Leadership Team, develop and implement a communications work plan with benchmarks and tangible goals, and manage the communications department budget;
  • Inspire, mentor, and lead departmental staff. Lead the effort to recruit, hire and retain communications department staff;
  • Promote an environment of high performance and continuous improvement;
  • Provide strategic communications advice and guidance to senior leadership as well as internal project directors and grassroots partners;
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of communications efforts;
  • Monitor Communications trends and provide regular updates and recommendations to senior staff;
  • Manage communications consultants such as branding specialists, focus group and polling companies, and freelance writers;
  • Oversee the growth of the organization’s online communities, direct the organization’s website, stay current about emerging online strategies, incorporate new technologies as appropriate, ensure that online and offline strategies work well together;
  • Provide/secure training for staff;
  • Work with Leadership Team to continuously improve the organization and maintain a collaborative environment that promotes the values of the organization internally and externally.


  • College degree in Communications or related field and significant experience in working on advocacy campaigns. Advanced degree preferred, with ten years of experience in media relations, communications, or related areas;
  • Significant knowledge and understanding of structural racism and racial justice issues;
  • Demonstrated commitment to racial justice;
  • Experience in skillfully organizing and executing strategic communications and media plans and campaigns;
  • Excellent oral communications, writing, editing, critical and strategic thinking, and leadership skills;
  • Experience in managing and supervising a staff within a collaborative and collegial organizational structure required;
  • Strong interpersonal skills, high emotional intelligence and a strong comfort level with engaging in new relationships;
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment with the demonstrated ability to coordinate multiple, competing tasks and demands;
  • Ability to distill major policy reports, program initiatives, and issue positions into usable information for consumption by media, community organizations and other stakeholders;
  • Bilingual in Spanish/English preferred;
  • Experience in public relations or public affairs a plus.

Salary based on experience; benefits included.

To apply for the position qualified applicants should submit a cover letter with current resume, a writing sample,  and three professional references describing your interest in the position and your sense of fit with its qualifications.

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