Director of Communications
The NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is the country’s first and foremost civil and human rights law organization. Founded in 1940 under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall, who subsequently became the first Black U.S. Supreme Court Justice, LDF was launched at a time when the nation’s aspirations for equality and due process of law were stifled by widespread state-sponsored racial inequality. From that era to the present, LDF’s mission has been transformative -- to achieve racial justice, equality, and an inclusive society.
LDF’s litigation, public policy advocacy and public education programs in the substantive areas of criminal justice, economic justice, education and political participation seek to ensure the fundamental and basic human rights of all people to quality education, economic opportunity, the right to vote and fully participate in democracy, and the right to a fair and just judicial system.
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) seeks an experienced Director of Communications. The Director will report to the Chief Public Engagement and Communications Strategist (“CPECS) and will also have direct access to the President and Director-Counsel and the Associate Director-Counsel. S/he will have the opportunity to help build the Department and develop a comprehensive communication plan for the organization that will fit into the broader public engagement and communications strategy determined by the CPECS. S/he will have primary responsibility for the day-to-day management of the Department, including developing strategies to support the public education mission of the LDF and for ensuring that LDF’s legal and policy work is promoted in print, radio, television, electronic and social media.
The Director must work in collaboration with LDF staff attorneys and members of LDF Senior Management to develop effective communication strategies for LDF substantive programs and intiatives, especially policy and litigation. S/he will be expected to become familiar with the goals, priorities, interests and activities of the LDF legal program in order to maximize the communications capacity of the organization and its work.
- Work with the CPECS in the design and direction of a comprehensive institutional communications plan and program, taking into account the organization’s image, message and positioning, mission, goals, priorities and accomplishments;
- Direct specific activities to support communications strategies, including publications, website, video production, advertising, development/fundraising materials (or messaging), and public/media relations;
- Assure quality and appropriateness of marketing/communications activities and materials;
- Create and execute a plan for enhanced new media presence for LDF, including higher social networking profile, enhancement of website platform, and development of graphic, video and audio tools for public distribution;
- Establish and implement short and long range departmental goals, objectives, policies and operating procedures, monitor and evaluate program effectiveness, effect changes required for improvement;
- Coordinate evaluations and assessments of external communications activities in order to determine the effectiveness of the organization’s marketing and communications plans and strategies;
- Conduct mid-year and annual evaluations and assessments of staff to ensure continued growth and development, in coordination with CPECS;
- Evaluate current Communication department staffing needs; identify, cultivate and recruit new members of the communications team, as appropriate;
- Develop and manage annual budgets for the department, to be overseen by CPECS;
- Maintain a departmental atmosphere of excellence, cooperation and collegiality in coordination with existing department professionals; recruit and supervise additional staff as required;
- Occasional travel for special events.
The ideal candidate will possess the following:
- A minimum of 8-10 years of communications and media relations experience; political, government (especially Capitol Hill), non-profit and/or legal background preferred;
- Ability to develop, direct, manage and evaluate strategic communications plans and programs;
- Effective, team-oriented leader and manager of people; demonstrated ability to develop and motivate staff;
- Ability to supervise departmental staff, including organizing, prioritizing, and scheduling work assignments. Ability to work closely with other departmental heads in implementing shared goals, as well as with external vendors and consultants;
- Familiarity and affinity with the history, goals and mission of LDF and the struggle for social justice;
- Excellent editorial capabilities, including clear, concise and creative writing skills and ability to line edit with a critical eye for detail;
- Ability to make administrative and procedural decisions. Skill in examining operations and procedures and then developing and implementing new strategies;
- Strong interpersonal and communications skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community;
- Bachelor’s degree in related field. Advanced degree a plus.