• Communications Director, Advocacy

    Job Locations
    US-NY-New York | US-DC-Washington
    Regular, Full-Time
    Job Category
    New York
    Additional Location : City
    Additional Location : State/Province
  • Overview

    Now in its second century, Audubon is dedicated to protecting birds and other wildlife and the habitat that supports them. Audubon’s mission is engaging people in bird conservation on a hemispheric scale through science, policy, education and on-the-ground conservation action.  By mobilizing and aligning its network of Chapters, Centers, State and Important Bird Area programs in the four major migratory flyways in the Americas, the organization will bring the full power of Audubon to bear on protecting common and threatened bird species and the critical habitat they need to survive.  And as part of BirdLife International, Audubon will join people in over 100 in-country organizations all working to protect a network of Important Bird Areas around the world, leveraging the impact of actions they take at a local level.  What defines Audubon’s unique value is a powerful grassroots network of nearly 500 local chapters, 23 state offices, 41 Audubon Centers, Important Bird Area Programs in 50 states, and 700 staff across the country.  Audubon is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).



    Position Summary

    Reporting to National Audubon Society’s Vice President of Communications, the Communications Director, Advocacy is responsible for overseeing the organization’s advocacy & climate policy profile in the media, ensuring a strong and increasing positive public perception of Audubon, its positions and key strategic initiatives through message development and dissemination, media relations, and other communications work. As a senior member of the communications team, they will design and execute strategic public relations campaigns, work with PR agencies, develop message frames and talking points for key initiatives and issues, conduct media training for spokespeople, provide leadership for local and regional media relations staff and program staff, oversee media coverage reporting, and secure high-quality coverage across the media landscape nationwide.


    The Communications Director, Advocacy will ideally be based in New York City, although Washington, DC will also be considered. Additionally, this role is grant-funded and anticipated to last three years, with the potential to continue pending funding and programmatic needs.


    Candidates should include a cover letter when applying to this position.

    Essential Functions

    • Provide strategic communications guidance and technical support to communications and campaign field staff.
    • Develop and build on strong relationships with national and regional reporters and media outlets (including print, digital, TV, radio) covering climate, energy and the environment.
    • Develop state and federal policy driven communication campaigns with measurable goals and outcomes for climate priorities. 
    • Develop message frameworks and talking points for key initiatives, strategic priorities of the organization, and events.
    • Support field staff in the amplification and promotion of legislative activities; leverage key moments like agency announcements, hearings, markups, floor votes to advance communications goals; and work closely with media outlets covering climate policy to create news moments and shape larger news narratives around policy priorities.
    • Draft press releases, editorials, media pitches, holding statements and talking points that publicize and support Audubon’s mission and goals.
    • Draft op-eds and blogs for leadership team.
    • Cultivate relationships with communications field staff to increase collaboration and support to teams across the organization.
    • Synthesize national statements, policy and program materials to develop story angles and pitches for media.
    • Collaborate with internal communications team to communicate external organizational priorities.
    • Manage projects and campaigns on time and on budget.
    • Manage relationships with public relations agencies and other vendors, providing relevant tools and services across Audubon departments and ensuring successful completion of projects and campaigns.
    • Write, edit and distribute news releases and statements from Audubon leaders.
    • Craft personalized pitches for reporters, editors and producers.
    • Land high-quality media coverage at national, regional and local levels across all types of media.
    • Develop and deliver media trainings for Audubon spokespeople.

    Qualifications and Experience

    • Bachelor's degree in journalism, communications, marketing or a closely related field required; equivalent combination of education and experience also considered.
    • 10 solid years of experience with media/public relations in the U.S. government, political, or advocacy communications field required, including at least 3 years working in high-intensity national environment. Experience with nonprofit communications strongly preferred.
    • Clearly demonstrated capacity for high-level strategic planning and campaign development to shape events and issues through proactive messaging and outreach.
    • Demonstrated success in crisis communications, including the ability to grasp and appropriately respond to both internally and externally precipitated crises.
    • Familiarity with environmental, energy, and conservation issues strongly preferred.
    • Experience and fluency with digital communications tools, including social media platforms, and leveraging technology to identify and effectively communicating with diverse audiences.
    • Experience conducting or managing Spanish-language communications desired.
    • Exceptional organizational and project management capacity with demonstrated ability to direct complex campaigns on time and on budget.
    • Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to build and maintain positive working relationships.
    • Excellent problem-solving, organizational, and time-management skills and the ability to maintain a team-focused attitude in a fast-paced environment.
    • Outstanding writing and editorial skills required with demonstrated ability to write quickly and well on deadline.
    • Proven track record of high-quality media placements (web, print and broadcast).
    • Established base of contacts in high-profile national media outlets.
    • A tech-savvy individual, one who has proficiency with Microsoft Office applications and comfort navigating project management platforms, media relations tools and databases, and social media platforms required.
    • A flexible approach to work, with a willingness to travel, as needed, and participate in programs occurring after typical business hours.
    • Genuine interest in conservation and the mission of the National Audubon Society.


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