Director of Communications
The Southern Education Foundation (SEF), located in Atlanta, GA, seeks outstanding candidates to fill a Communications Director position. This position will develop and drive SEF’s communications, public relations, branding and messaging. This is an opportunity to play a key role in growing an organization with an exciting and dynamic work environment. We are looking for a leader who is a goal-oriented strategist, compelling storyteller, meticulous editor, and hardworking self-starter who knows how to build a following, engender trust, and create engagement using powerful messages, images, and relationships. The position will report to the President and CEO. Candidates interested in this position should have experience in public relations, media relations or communications and marketing, and genuine interest in improving educational opportunity across the P-20 continuum and working to ensure that education is the vehicle by which all students get fair chances to develop their talents and contribute to the common good.
For more than 150 years SEF has made outsized contributions to improving education at all levels, from pre-kindergarten through higher education. SEF works to improve equity, excellence, and opportunity in education nationally. Research, policy analysis, advocacy, and programs are the primary means through which SEF pursues its mission.
A bachelor’s degree is required, preferably in journalism, communications, public relations, or a related field. Candidates should: be able to organize and prioritize workload to effectively complete multiple assignments; possess strong writing and editing skills; have experience writing media materials; have some experience interacting with members of the media; be familiar with key social media platforms, including Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter, and YouTube; be familiar with WordPress and MailChimp; have the ability to interact with diverse external audiences; effectively communicate and embody the value, belief, purpose and mission of the organization; have experience working both independently and in cooperation with other staff members while displaying a positive, cooperative attitude; and exhibit sensitivity to and respect for differences in personal, professional and business relationships on behalf of the Foundation.
TYPICAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
- Develop and execute traditional and new media communications and marketing strategies that support SEF’s three pillars of work: 1) research and policy; 2) government affairs; and 3) leadership development
- Oversee and develop SEF’s communications strategy and its implementation, including alignment between digital, media, and public relations strategies, organizational priorities, and topline goals
- Conceptualize, supervise, and contribute to the design and production of publications, collateral, op-eds, toolkits, and digital assets
- Develop and lead SEF’s public relations strategy (i.e., generate pitches, create press releases, cultivate media relationships, prep staff for media appearances, provide on-site event media support, respond to media inquiries and photo requests, etc.)
- Draft speeches, remarks, thought pieces, and other communication from the president and CEO
- Draft and edit articles, reports, blog posts and other content for newsletters and website
- Generate reporting for all communication aspects of the organization, including for media metric reporting, board reports, etc.
- Coordinate with communications consultants, as needed, including: social media manager, graphic designer, photographer, and web designer.
- Proactively adjust communications and strategy to real-time news and work with the SEF team to keep all communications relevant to the news cycle
- Oversee and coordinate a strong digital program to build influence and advance the message and thought leadership of the organization
- Develop SEF’s “voice” on its range of communication platforms
- Develop internal processes for ensuring organizational content quality and take responsibility for all final communications
- Source, create, or curate content for print and digital media assets
- Maintain and grow the organization’s media relationships
- Evaluate and evolve marketing and communications efforts on an ongoing basis
MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE:
- 10+ years of communications and/or press experience
- Project management skills and experience, including developing and managing scopes of work and budgets
- Bachelor’s degree
- Tech and digital savvy, including proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite and Google Applications preferred
- Proven track record developing and implementing results-oriented communication strategies for a variety of organizations, stakeholders, and audiences and building successful relationships with press
- Outstanding written and oral communication skills; ability to distill and explain complex information to different audiences
- Excellent attention to detail and accuracy, time management, ability to meet deadlines, and responsibility prioritization
- Capacity to flourish in a fast-paced environment, enthusiasm for taking initiative and problem solving, and eagerness to preemptively meet the organization’s needs
- Strong media relationships, experience getting stories placed or working on background
- Knowledge of and passion for shaping the education justice conversation
- Superb interpersonal skills, including the ability to build relationships with internal and external colleagues
- A high level of professionalism, excellent judgment, and ability to exercise confidentiality
- Sense of humor, exhibiting grace under pressure
- Comfort with ambiguity
- Ability to occasionally travel (when permitted under CDC and expert guidance)
- Sensitivity to and respect for differences in personal, professional and business relationships on behalf of the Foundation
- Demonstrated commitment to equity and excellence for every young person, but especially students of color and students from low-income families in the South
This is an Atlanta based position currently SEF is working remotely with limited office attendance in accordance with CDC and other health guidance and recommendations.
Salary: $110K – $120K.
Excellent non-profit employee benefits.
Interested candidates should submit: 1) a letter of interest; 2) a current resume; 3) three writing samples; 4) names and contact information of three references to (email@example.com) with Communications Director in the subject line of the email.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
The Southern Education Foundation is an equal opportunity employer. Candidates of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
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