Communications Manager

Helen Keller International (HKI)
  • Location
    New York, New York
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Dec 06

Position description

Co-founded in 1915 by Helen Keller, Helen Keller International is dedicated to saving the sight and lives of the world’s vulnerable. We combat the causes and consequences of preventable blindness, malnutrition and neglected tropical diseases with more than 120 programs in 20 African and Asian countries, as well as in the United States.

Renowned for its reliability, efficiency and high level of technical expertise, Helen Keller International promotes the development of large-scale, sustainable solutions to some of the most pressing issues in public health. We deliver scientific rigor and effectively leverage donor dollars with our hallmark characteristics of grit, compassion and integrity. If you share these characteristics, we invite you to apply to open positions at Helen Keller International.


Global Communications is an integral unit of HKI’s entrepreneurial External Relations Department responsible for raising some $18 million annually in unrestricted and restricted support from individuals, corporations, and foundations. Our donor-centered approach advocates for our organization to our donors, and for our donors to our organization. We also foster a culture of quality and critical thinking within the organization that competitively positions us within the not-for-profit marketplace.

The Global Communications unit is seeking a Communications Manager to expertly develop and efficiently coordinate both within and outside the External Relations department to ensure the successful completion of the unit’s goals, and to collaborate with colleagues to formulate and execute an ambitious strategy, with a focus on rebranding and repositioning HKI to achieve concrete marketing and private sector fundraising goals.

Functional Relationships

Reporting to the Director of Global Communications, the Communications Manager will work closely with the Office of the President, the VP for External Relations, department colleagues and program colleagues across the global organization.

HKI has a matrixed reporting structure that respects both line management and authority within

departments and regional hierarchies; and the accountability and oversight duties of subject matter experts outside of each department and region. Regular communication and a spirit of team work among colleagues, both hierarchically and laterally are essential to make this structure thrive.

The Communications Manager will be responsible for projects such as spearheading complex publications and publicity initiatives; synthesizing and strategizing content development needs and objectives; amplifying nuanced messages and market positioning.

  • Liaise and collaborate with HKI colleagues worldwide to identify and develop program documentation and stories for communications and marketing focused on engaging new and broader audiences and public support.
  • Identify, research and develop media relationships with U.S. and international based journalists, producers and bloggers, to generate and elevate publicity HKI’s work and objectives.
  • Serve as media liaison for the organization, fielding and vetting media inquiries and pitching stories to local and national outlets; coordinating and preparing staff for interviews, including developing talking points and supporting senior leadership with speaking engagements.
  • Draft and place stories and op-eds for leadership.
  • Draft and edit press releases, media advisories, blog posts, and other public-facing materials to ensure adherence to the organization’s voice and priorities.
  • Edit and write for HKI’s public facing documents – annual and special reports, official correspondence, newsletters, and publications.
  • Edit and write for the news and documentation sections of HKI’s website, and become the in-house authority on topline editorial content.
  • Research and collate background material for special reports and media communications, including fact-checking documents and third party sources.
  • Manage media production projects; which will include interfacing with external vendors including web designers, photographers, videographers and podcasters.
  • Monitor HKI communication plans to ensure consistency in messaging across media, policy announcements and partnership communications.


  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, journalism, or related field, plus 6-8 years of relevant experience; or an equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Experience with communicating policy based information to media outlets, plus a confident approach to pitching news stories to journalists, producers and outlets.
  • Excellent writing and editing ability, especially in distilling complex issues and developing story, interest, and point of view from technical content.
  • Experience working for a nonprofit, multilateral or international institution.
  • Self-starter able to manage multiple media production projects.
  • Attention to detail and adherence to deadlines.
  • Team player, problem solver, relationship-builder.
  • Sense of humor, integrity, highly organized, delivers results in a fast-paced environment.
  • Willingness for occasional domestic and international travel.
  • Ability to work under pressure and handle stress.
  • US work authorization and residence in or willingness to relocate to the NY metro area.

Application instructions

Qualified candidates should submit a cover letter and resume noting the job title in the subject line. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. 

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