• Communications Director, Policy

    Job Locations
    Regular, Full-Time
    Job Category
  • 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

    The Communications Director, Policy is responsible for the National Audubon Society’s  policy profile in the media. The  Communications Director will ensure a strong and increasing positive public perception of Audubon and Audubon’s positions and key strategic initiatives through message development and dissemination, media relations, and other communications work. As a senior member of the communications team, the s/he 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 role will report to the Vice President of Communications.

    Essential Functions

    • Develop and build on strong relationships with national, Washington-based reporters and media outlets (including print, digital, TV, radio) covering the White House and administration, Capitol Hill, key federal agencies and general, ongoing political news and developments
    • Develop state and federal policy driven communication campaigns with measurable goals and outcomes on key National Audubon Society policy issues
    • Develop message frameworks and talking points for key initiatives, strategic priorities of the organization, and events
    • Support the amplification and promotion of executive branch and legislative activities; leverage key moments like agency announcements, hearings, markups, floor votes to advance communications goals; and work closely with media outlets covering the Administration and Congress 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
    • Ghost write OpEds and blogs for leadership team.
    • Cultivate relationships with state-based communications staff in support of the development of greater collaboration
    • In collaboration with state-based communications staff, lead efforts to heighten Audubon’s media profile by developing and implementing strategies for outreach and relationship development to media contacts, growing our impact locally and nationally
    • 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.
    • 8-10+ years’ experience in media and public relations required, including at least 5years working in high-intensity national or international environments.
    • Minimum of five years of experience in U.S. government, political, or advocacy communications required, and 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.
    • Experience working as part of a federal agency’s or congressional office's communications team or working very closely with agencies and congressional offices, and maintaining relationships with key communications staff on the Hill.
    • 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.
    • Experience identifying and effectively communicating with diverse audiences.
    • Experience conducting or managing Spanish-language communications strongly preferred.
    • 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.
    • Proficiency with Excel, Word, PowerPoint, and other key Microsoft Office and web-based products.  Working knowledge of 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.


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