Senior Communications Manager

New York City, New York (US)
Consummate with experience.
May 16, 2018
Metro Area
New York
Full Time

Co-founded in 1915 by Helen Keller, Helen Keller International is dedicated to saving the sight and lives of the world’s vulnerable. We combat the causes and consequences of preventable blindness, malnutrition and diseases of poverty with more than 120 programs in 20 African and Asian countries, as well as in the United States. Renowned for its reliability, efficiency and high level of technical expertise, Helen Keller International promotes the development of large-scale, sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing issues in public health. We deliver scientific rigor and effectively leverage donor dollars with our hallmark characteristics of grit, compassion and integrity. If you share these characteristics, we invite you to apply to open positions at Helen Keller International.

Scope of Position:

The Global Communications team is seeking a Senior Communications Manager to expertly develop and efficiently coordinate both within and outside the External Relations department, to draft and deliver on ambitious strategies, with a focus on rebranding and repositioning HKI to achieve concrete marketing and private sector fundraising goals.

The Senior Communications Manager will be responsible for projects such as spearheading complex publications and publicity initiatives; synthesizing and strategizing content development needs and objectives; amplifying nuanced messages and market positioning.

Functional Relationships:

Reporting to the Director of Global Communications, the Senior Communications Manager works closely with the Digital Marketing Manager within the Global Communications team of the External Relations department. He/she will work closely with the Office of the President, the VP for External Relations, department colleagues and program colleagues across the global organization.

HKI has a matrixed reporting structure that respects both line management and authority within departments and regional hierarchies; and the accountability and oversight duties of subject matter experts outside of each department and region. Regular communication and a spirit of team work among colleagues, both hierarchically and laterally are essential to make this structure thrive.


  • Liaise and collaborate with HKI colleagues worldwide to identify and develop program documentation and stories for communications and marketing focused on engaging new and broader audiences and public support.
  • Identify, research and develop media relationships with U.S. and international based journalists, producers and bloggers, to generate and elevate publicity HKI’s work and objectives.
  • Serve as media liaison for the organization, fielding and vetting media inquiries and pitching stories to local and national outlets; coordinating and preparing staff for interviews
  • Develop, oversee and grow the reach of public relations engagements and activities for key media, donor, community and brand or cause-marketing partnerships.
  • Develop positioning briefs, backgrounders and talking points; support senior leadership with speaking engagements.
  • Develop, draft and place key stories and op-eds for organizational leadership.
  • Draft and edit press releases, media advisories, blog posts, and other public-facing materials to ensure adherence to the organization’s voice and priorities.
  • Develop content plans; source content; edit and write for HKI’s public facing documents, including annual and special reports, official correspondence, newsletters, and publications.
  • Edit and write for the news and documentation sections of HKI’s website, and become the in-house authority on topline editorial content.
  • Lead a community of practice for org-wide Communications coordination, media trainings, brand enforcement and dissemination of best practices.
  • Research and collate background material for special reports, pitch decks, and media communications, including fact-checking documents and third-party sources.
  • Manage press at HKI and sector events.
  • Manage media monitoring and sentiment tracking platforms.
  • Manage media production projects; including interfacing with external vendors such as web designers, photographers, videographers and podcasters.
  • Monitor HKI communication plans to ensure consistency in messaging across media, policy announcements and partnership communications.
  • Keep abreast of media and marketing trends; apply insights and learnings to establish HKI baselines and set defined, measurable plan for progress to public relations goals.


  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, or related field, plus 10+ years of relevant experience; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Excellent writing and editing ability, especially in distilling complex issues and developing story, interest, and point of view from technical content.
  • Experience with communicating policy based information to media outlets, plus a confident, proactive approach to pitching stories to journalists, producers and outlets.
  • Experience working for a nonprofit, multilateral or international institution. Familiarity with public relations, marketing, or fundraising preferred.
  • Excellent communication skills; familiarity and interest in diverse global teams.
  • Excellent writing, editing, and proofreading skills, with focus and experience in synthesizing complex content into essential, compelling messages.
  • Savvy, flexible, versatile, self-starter; creative thinker and innovator; ability to build multiple relationships to develop and implement cross-cutting ideas and solutions.
  • Ability to work independently but with strong accountability, driving projects effectively from conceptual stages to launch, and handling multiple and often competing deadlines.
  • Personal commitment to HKI’s mission and goals and the values demonstrated by HKI co-founder, Helen Keller: compassion, grit, and optimism. Sense of humor preferred.
  • Willingness for occasional domestic and international travel.
  • US work authorization and residence in or willingness to relocate to the NY metro area.

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