Posted October 10, 2018

Position Summary

The American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont (ACLU-VT) seeks a highly motivated, organized, and skilled professional with demonstrated communications experience to join our team.

Reporting to the Executive Director and working closely with the Community Organizer, Policy Director, Senior Development Director, and other staff, the Communications Director will help to articulate ACLU-VT’s values, priorities, and mission across multiple initiatives, advocacy campaigns, and platforms—print, broadcast, and online media. The Communications Director will guide strategy and planning for all external ACLU-VT communications, including developing and executing strategies to increase ACLU-VT’s presence and influence in state and federal politics; maintain the organization’s position as a leading source for information about civil liberties in Vermont; and galvanize support for ACLU initiatives among ACLU members, supporters, and the public at large.

This is a full-time position, based in Montpelier and requiring some travel around the state.

About the ACLU of Vermont

The ACLU of Vermont combines impact litigation, policy advocacy, community organizing, public education, and strategic communications to defend and advance civil liberties for all people across a broad range of constitutionally protected rights and freedoms. Founded in 1967 and based in Montpelier, ACLU-VT is the statewide affiliate of the national ACLU, a nationwide organization with a presence in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and Washington, DC. The ACLU fights tirelessly for the principle that every individual’s rights must be protected equally under the law, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability or national origin. 

To learn more about the ACLU of Vermont, visit our website.

RESPONSIBILITIES

Strategy: Develop and execute a creative, multi-faceted communications strategy designed to further ACLU goals and mission and expand ACLU-VT’s influence and effectiveness at the state and federal levels. Identify specific communications goals, develop long- and short-term plans to reach them, and measure progress. Determine appropriate communications tactics to disseminate ACLU news, promote advocacy campaigns, publicize events, attract supporters, and make civil liberties accessible and relevant to a broad audience.

Messaging: Shape the language, images, and multimedia that represent ACLU-VT and its positions carefully, compellingly, and convincingly. Ensure that consistent, clear messaging follows through all modes of communications, for a range of audiences, and across all ACLU-VT programs. Respond timely and appropriately to significant news events, and anticipate, recognize, and capitalize on strategic communications opportunities.

Media Relations: Handle all aspects of media relations, including guiding ACLU-VT’s rapid response to daily events on issues related to the intersection of civil rights, politics, and legislation; field media requests; affirmatively pitch stories to reporters; write and disseminate press releases and advisories; manage a media database; draft talking points; give interviews and make public statements; and arrange and prepare for interviews with ACLU spokespersons.

Writing & Editing: Draft and edit a wide range of documents and resources for public education, fundraising, outreach, legislative advocacy, and other purposes. Manage development, distribution, and maintenance of all print collateral including newsletters, annual reports, brochures, invitations, and donor materials. Provide editorial and design direction, handle quality control and proofreading, guide production, and implement distribution plans. Oversee brand management and design of promotional materials.

Digital Communications: Manage the online presence of ACLU-VT, generating content that is engaging and results in measurable action. Continually develop and manage posting of content to ACLU-VT’s digital channels, including web site, social media and email to subscribers. Responsible for generating and managing ACLU-VT photo and video content. Implement long and short-term plans for the organization’s use of email, social media, web, video and emerging communications technologies, and proactively explore innovative methods for presenting ACLU-VT’s work to a wider audience.

Outreach: Identify outreach opportunities and represent ACLU-VT at events statewide, including community forums, presentations, panel discussions, press conferences, and rallies. Organize public events to educate and mobilize ACLU supporters and the broader public, utilizing volunteers and ACLU-VT board members as appropriate. Increase coverage of ACLU-VT messages by developing and maintaining positive relationships with reporters, editors, and producers.

Internal Communications & Supervision: Work collaboratively and respectfully with other departments and colleagues.  Facilitate interdepartmental communication so that staff are informed of ACLU-VT developments and activities. Recruit and manage communications volunteers and interns. Work with vendors and contractors to design and produce communications materials as needed.

Administrative & other duties: Create and maintain administrative resources such as media lists and protocol to enhance strategic planning. Attend national and regional ACLU training and staff conferences. Perform other related duties as assigned by the Director.

QUALIFICATIONS 

  • At least five years’ relevant experience and demonstrated success in communications, preferably in legislative or political communications.  
  • Familiarity with and demonstrated interest in ACLU issues—including racial justice, privacy, criminal justice reform, reproductive rights, freedom of speech, LGBTQ rights, and police accountability—strongly preferred. 
  • Excellent research, writing, and editing skills. Strong organizational and time management skills. Meticulous attention to detail and ability to produce clear, concise materials on tight deadlines, manage multiple projects simultaneously, and respond rapidly to significant developments.
  • Ability to communicate persuasively and professionally, in writing—including via press releases, email alerts, and social media—as well as verbally, to a variety of media, political, and stakeholder audiences. Proven ability to transform complex topics into exciting and useful messages, and disseminate information to targeted audiences through the most appropriate channels. Experience working with Vermont media outlets a plus.
  • Substantial experience in planning and executing media or advocacy campaigns strongly preferred, including experience creating earned media, developing and placing paid media, and using social media and other web-based communication in support of political or organizing campaigns. 
  • Experience overseeing the design and production of print materials and publications. 
  • Creative aptitude and familiarity with interactive design, website and social media management, and email marketing strategy.
  • Proficiency with computers, Microsoft Office software, database management, and various web platforms. Proficiency with digital content management systems a plus.
  • Highly developed interpersonal skills and an ability to work effectively with others in a fast-moving but collegial team environment. Commitment to equity and inclusion and a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regard to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and socio-economic circumstance. Ability to work with diverse individuals within the organization and the broader community.
  • Ability to work irregular hours, including evening and weekend events as necessary.
  • Valid driver’s license or driver’s privilege card, reliable vehicle, and willingness to travel.

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

Salary is commensurate with experience. Benefits include medical, dental, disability, and life insurance; 401(k); and vacation, holiday, and sick leave.

APPLICATION PROCEDURE

To apply, email a cover letter, resume, a traditional writing sample (i.e. a press release, blog post, op-ed, etc.), and a social media post sample to search@acluvt.org.  Include in the subject line of the email: your last name and Communications Director.  In your letter please indicate where you learned of the posting.

DEADLINE

We will begin reviewing applications on November 19, 2018.  Applications will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled, at which time the job announcement will be removed from our website at www.acluvt.org.

The ACLU of Vermont is an equal opportunity employer.  We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive office culture. The ACLU of Vermont encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or prior involvement in the criminal justice system.

The ACLU of Vermont undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to assure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions.

 

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