Director of Media Relations
Overview of AJWS: American Jewish World Service (AJWS) is the leading Jewish organization working to pursue justice and fight poverty in the developing world. By supporting hundreds of social change organizations in 19 countries, we respond to the most pressing issues of our time—from disasters, genocide and hunger, to the persecution of women and minorities worldwide. With Jewish values and a global reach, AJWS is making a difference in millions of lives and bringing a more just and equitable world closer for all.
The Director of Media Relations (the Director) will elevate AJWS’s profile and that of its human rights grantees in 19 developing countries and advance their shared and specific social change and human rights advocacy goals. To that end, the Director will generate and implement media relations strategies in support of the organization’s well-defined programmatic, advocacy, communications and marketing goals through earned media placements, op-ed columns, letters to the editor, editorial board visits, podcasts, blog posts and other channels. Reporting to the Vice President for Communications, the Director will both manage and collaborate with AJWS’s outside media relations consultants, as well as work in close partnership with AJWS’s President and CEO and AJWS staff responsible for social media, international programs, advocacy, Jewish engagement, research and fundraising.
The Director must be an enterprising, hard-working, astute, creative, nimble and strategic professional with significant media relations experience. The Director will work with journalists and content creators from a wide array of publications and platforms—from major news organizations covering human rights issues in the developing world, to local and national Jewish community newspapers, to specialty publications dedicated to philanthropy, global development, foreign policy, research, etc.
The ideal candidate will demonstrate:
- A record of working effectively with writers, reporters, bloggers, editorial and op-ed columnists, producers, and other content developers.
- Experience in generating strategically significant coverage for previous employers and clients, especially nonprofit organizations, foundations, advocacy and political campaigns and elected officials.
- Outstanding writing and editorial skills with a track record of creating persuasive press statements, blog posts and op-eds, as well as tailored communications for editorial boards and columnists.
- An understanding of the intersection between social media and earned media.
The Director must thrive while working as part of a diverse staff of human rights advocates in a global organization that is committed to collaboration and inclusion. The Director must possess excellent interpersonal skills, treat every person with dignity and respect, and work confidently and comfortably with top officials and spokespersons.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Generate and ensure the success of all earned media
- Establish new earned media strategies
- Enrich and implement existing media relations strategies
- Manage and work collaboratively with outside media relations consultants
- Pitch stories to and build relationships with reporters, editorial board writers, columnists, bloggers, producers and bookers
- Maximize promotion of AJWS programs by identifying newsworthy trends and angles
- Create clear and persuasive press materials for effective communication with news media
- Develop systems for measuring the effectiveness of media relations efforts
- Regularly update AJWS staff on media relations strategies and activities
- Manage media relations budget
- Cultivate relationships with journalists via AJWS’s social media channels and the social media channels of the President and CEO. Work collaboratively with AJWS’s digital team, which manages AJWS’s digital presence, including its social media and web presence
- Serve as a member of AJWS’s Communications Leadership Team, directors’ group, and campaign teams
- Leverage earned and social media to achieve communications, fundraising and advocacy goals
- Brief and train AJWS spokespersons and grantees before their media interviews, provide them with constructive feedback, and improve their performances.
- Minimum of ten years of experience in media relations with a proven track record of establishing and implementing media relations strategies with measurable results
- A consumer of relevant news with a ceaseless appetite for news coverage and information about news organizations
- Keen understanding of what constitutes a good news story and what reporters and producers need to create a story of their own
- Extensive contacts with mainstream national and international press
- A love of engaging with reporters and producers, building relationships, and pitching stories
- Outstanding writing, editing, proofreading, and verbal and written communication skills, including crafting talking points and writing op-ed columns
- Successful track record of pitching stories to media and generating strategic coverage of individuals, issues, organizations and campaigns
- Experience organizing press conferences, calls, webinars and major events
- Experience briefing top-level staff for media interviews and training spokespersons to maximize the effectiveness of their media interviews
- Experience with online media management and evaluation tools
- Knowledge of global human rights and development issues, as well as U.S. politics and advocacy
- Extensive experience in a fast-paced domestic or global advocacy organization
- Ability to meet deadlines and work unusual hours, often within very tight timeframes
- Willingness to travel in developing countries
- Exceptional organizational skills and attention to detail
- Highly professional demeanor
- Ability to work proactively with focus, making and carrying out recommendations
- Strong interpersonal skills and judgment
- Capable of working well with a variety of personalities and leadership styles
- Demonstrated strong leadership capabilities
- B.A. required, Master’s degree a plus
- Experience building organizational relationships with reporters and influencers via social media, especially Twitter.