Communications Officer

New York City, New York
Commensurate with experience
Jun 11, 2019
Metro Area
New York
Full Time

Vital Strategies, headquartered in New York City, is an international public health organization. Our programs strengthen public health systems and address the world’s leading causes of illness, injury and death. We currently work in 73 countries, supporting data-driven decision making in government, advancing evidence-based public health policies and mounting strategic communication campaigns. Vital Strategies’ priorities are driven by the greatest potential to improve and save lives. They include non- communicable disease prevention, cardiovascular health promotion, tobacco control, road safety, obesity prevention, epidemic prevention, environmental health, vital statistics systems building and Multi-drug resistant tuberculosis treatment research. Our programs are concentrated in low- and middle-income countries and cities in Africa, Latin America, Asia and the Pacific. Please visit our website at to find out more about our work.

The Position

Vital Strategies is looking for a Communications Officer to support PR and communication activities for the organization’s Partnership for Healthy Cities and Data for Health initiatives. This is a full-time position based in New York. Applicants must possess a valid working permit to work in New York.

The Partnership for Healthy Cities is a prestigious global network of cities committed to saving lives by preventing noncommunicable diseases (NCDs) and injuries. Supported by Bloomberg Philanthropies in partnership with the World Health Organization and Vital Strategies, this initiative enables cities around the world to deliver a high-impact policy or programmatic intervention to reduce NCD risk factors in their communities. Data for Health is a global initiative committed to the better understanding and use of data for public health policymaking. Vital Strategies’ involvement includes providing technical assistance to improve civil registration/vital statistics systems and public health data use in twenty countries.

Working closely with Vital Strategies’ technical staff and partners, the Communications Officer will lead the design and execution of publicity strategies and campaigns for the two initiatives. The position is part of Vital Strategies’ global Policy, Advocacy and Communications (PAC) team, comprised of over 50 people from varying backgrounds, including research, social marketing, public relations and public health.

Reporting to the PR Director, the Communications Officer will work cross-functionally with the Partnership for Healthy Cities working group and Data for Health technical staff and regional communication leads across the globe. The Communications Officer will also work on other program areas as part of the PAC division, as needed.

Specific Duties 

  • Write and edit compelling content including, press releases, case studies, fact sheets, briefings, statements, newsletters, blogs, and op-eds
  • Plan and execute publicity and campaign strategies that result in high-quality media coverage for the Partnership for Healthy Cities and Data for Health initiatives
  • Build and maintain relationships with city and country communication officers, project teams, and other key stakeholders to stay informed on initiatives’ activities, proactively identify milestones, support press and communication strategies, and track/follow up on media impact
  • Support city and country offices in securing media opportunities and develop and execute plan for communicating key milestones
  • Establish and maintain effective relationships with journalists and maintain a media database
  • Develop news angles, stories and pitches to further the initiatives’ goals, activities, and impact
  • Support interviews, workshops, events, press briefings and other press and media engagements to advance the initiatives’ mission with regional, national and international media
  • Track communication activities and prepare and submit PR reports
  • Monitor news and follow trends in relevant areas including global health, urban health, health data, health policy and development and proactively pitch ideas for stories and articles, including interviews and statements from key spokespeople
  • Organize press conferences and other press events and pitch speakers and panels for relevant conferences
  • Address inquiries from the media and other parties
  • Develop and update general promotional material and publications (brochures, web content and toolkits, fact sheets, one-pagers) and other collateral material, as needed
  • Support the work of the larger PAC team including writing, editing, media relations, message development, event planning, as needed


  • 5+ years of PR, communication and/or marketing experience
  • Superb writer (a writing assignment will be given), editor and storyteller. You have a knack for connecting with audiences through exceptional written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to work fast, meet deadlines, manage multiple tasks, and thrive in a fast-paced environment
  • Excellent organizational and problem-solving skills, and ability to think outside the box
  • Experience writing and preparing marketing materials, including press releases, fact sheets, pitches, programs, one-pagers, web, newsletter and social content
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Proven success in pitching and securing press
  • Experience with media intelligence platforms (i.e. Cision; Meltwater); email marketing services (i.e. Mailchimp); social media channels


  • Ability to communicate and collaborate effectively across time zones and platforms
  • Excellent interpersonal skills
  • Ability to work fast, meet deadlines, manage multiple tasks, and thrive in a fast-paced environment
  • Ability to go the extra mile to provide ultimate service for internal and external stakeholders
  • Ability to bring new creative ideas to communicate the initiatives’ work, and grow audiences and reach
  • Excellent organizational and problem-solving skills, and ability to think outside the box
  • Contribute to a team atmosphere and work well with others
  • Preferred:
  • 2+ years of agency experience
  • 3+ years public health / Nonprofit experience
  • Candidate based in New York

How to Apply

Please submit your cover letter, resume and a writing sample. The deadline for receipt of applications is June 21, 2019. Only applications with a cover letter will be considered and shortlisted candidates will be contacted to be interviewed.

Vital Strategies offers competitive compensation for full-time employees  and  pro-rata for part-  time employees based on prior experience and qualifications as well as comprehensive benefits in order to best support our people. Benefits we offer include: health, dental and  vision  insurance where Vital Strategies pays generously towards the cost of these benefits for employees and their families/domestic partners; 15 paid vacation days (rising to 20 paid vacation days from fourth year of service and 25 from seventh year onwards), 13 paid federal holidays  and paid  days off  between  the Christmas and New Year's holidays; paid sick days; retirement savings plan; commuter benefits; and basic life and personal accident insurance.

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