Communications Director

Center for the Study of Social Policy | Washington, DC

Background

The Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) is a national, nonprofit public policy, research and technical assistance organization headquartered in Washington, DC, with offices in New York City and Los Angeles.  CSSP is committed to securing equitable opportunities and optimal outcomes for children and families. CSSP strives to achieve this by focusing on the families facing the most significant barriers – including families living in poverty and those whose lives are affected by discrimination based on race, immigration status, sexual orientation and gender identity.

CSSP strives to accomplish its mission by developing and advancing effective public policy; helping to transform public systems to be more preventive, results-oriented, accountable and caring; and supporting local leaders to create the community opportunities, supports, services and environments in which all children and families can thrive.  CSSP works in partnership with other national organizations, foundations and governmental and community leaders to test new ideas and approaches, provide technical assistance, generate new evidence and support networks of innovators.  All of our work reflects a long-standing organizational commitment to equity and social justice.   

Job Summary

CSSP is seeking a Communications Director, based in the DC office, to frame and implement a communications strategy for the organization.  The position is designed for an experienced, enthusiastic and energetic self-starter who has a track record in leading national communication efforts on social justice issues. 

Responsibilities

The director will be responsible for providing overall leadership and management for CSSP’s communications work, with the goal of improving CSSP’s impact, influence and visibility.   He/she/they will work closely with senior management and CSSP staff, partners, vendors and consultants across all program areas to support, strategize and disseminate information and messages.  In this role, the director will be responsible for:

  • Creation and implementation of an overall strategic communications plan at both the organizational and program level, including the accountability of the communications department’s goal setting and attainment of results
  • Supporting CSSP teams with communications needs, including helping to conceive and frame communications strategies for major projects; thinking about the format and design of key deliverables and products; and helping to create dissemination vehicles and materials
  • Website design and content management, including a redesign of the current CSSP website and evaluating web trends and activities to optimize the user experience and develop strategies to expand the user base
  • Assisting CSSP leadership with primary internal communications to staff on important issues, as well as external communications, blogs, etc., to the broader field
  • Media relations and media training/advising for staff and board, which includes building and maintaining relationships with reporters and journalists, drafting and sending pitch emails and making pitch phone calls and writing and distributing press releases and op-eds. (Knowledge of Meltwater or related media/social media monitoring platform recommended)
  • Provide oversight on the expansion and development of all online and digital platforms, including the CSSP website, monthly eNewsletters, blog and social media.
  • Working with CSSP staff teams to help generate content for social media and blogs
  • Managing and analyzing CSSP’s various email databases
  • Crafting, formatting and disseminating multiple email campaigns
  • Creating and managing an editorial calendar
  • Product review and editorial assistance
  • Management of a small team of staff and consultants charged with the communications tasks/activities involved in the above

Qualifications

Applicants should have a minimum of 10 years of progressive experience in implementing and managing communications needs for sizable nonprofit or public sector organizations. Experience with state-level or national organizations is preferred.  An undergraduate degree and experience in communications/marketing is preferred.

Skills and expertise that are essential and/or particularly valuable for this position include:

  • Strong interest in social policy, particularly in creating pathways out of poverty, reforming child welfare and other human service systems and revitalizing neighborhoods
  • A track record in  crafting messages that influence policymakers and the public
  • Knowledge of some or all of the substantive areas that contribute to successful outcomes for children and families, e.g., housing, neighborhood development, education, health and social services, resident engagement and promotion of constituents’ voice, economic development, collaborative decision-making, community capacity building, and other fields
  • Strong commitment to equity, to social justice and to working to reduce disparities based on race, ethnicity, sovereignty, gender, sexual orientation/gender identity and socioeconomics
  • Outstanding written and oral communication skills
  • Extensive experience in using the  media and communications strategies to advance an agenda for social change
  • Knowledge and experience with traditional and new kinds of social media
  • Skilled in using Constant Contact, desktop publishing (Adobe Creative Cloud), Google Analytics, PowerPoint/Prezi and other messaging/content management tools
  • Strong independent thinking and leadership skillsAbility to work effectively as a member of a team
  • Energy, enthusiasm and creativity.

Compensation

Starting salary is commensurate with experience.

Requirements/Other

Benefits

Excellent benefits including short- and long-term disability, life insurance, health insurance, retirement benefits, generous vacation, sick, and holiday leave schedules provided.  CSSP is an equal opportunity employer and strongly believe that our organization and our work benefit from the experiences and perspectives of a diverse staff.

How to Apply

Qualified applicants should send cover letter with salary requirements, resume, writing sample and at least one social networking profile and/or graphic design sample to jobs@cssp.org (subject:  Communications Director).  In your cover letter, please be sure to indicate where you found this position announcement.

Applications will be accepted until September 22 or until position is filled.

Center for the Study of Social Policy