HarvestPlus seeks a highly-motivated Senior Media Relations and Dissemination Specialist to join our team. The successful candidate will manage the organization’s media engagement as a part of broader dissemination strategies. This exempt position is a two-year, renewable appointment and is located at HarvestPlus headquarters in Washington, DC.
HarvestPlus, with over 150 staff based in 14 countries, improves nutrition and public health by developing and promoting biofortified food crops that are rich in vitamins and minerals while providing global leadership on evidence and technology. HarvestPlus is part of the CGIAR Research Program on Agriculture for Nutrition and Health (A4NH). CGIAR is a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. The 15 CGIAR centers around the world work in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations. The HarvestPlus program is coordinated by two of these centers, the International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT) and the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
The Communications team at HarvestPlus focuses on reaching and engaging target audiences globally and in specific countries. ur priority audiences include the media, research communities, policymakers and influencers, private companies in the food value chain, funders, and our numerous partner organizations. Management of media and dissemination activities is a critical element in achieving our communications objectives.
Specific duties include but are not limited to:
• Refine and update HarvestPlus’s external media strategy and tactics as needed to reach targeted audiences with information about biofortification research from HarvestPlus and research partners.
• Coordinate, develop, and implement the media team’s proactive media relations efforts to obtain coverage of HarvestPlus research and activities in targeted developed and developing countries.
• Organize media outreach campaigns and press events, including launches of HarvestPlus reports; write and edit press materials and other content.
• Working with other Communications team members and program staff, incorporate effective media engagement into broader dissemination strategies that can encompass social media, live events, and other platforms. Provide guidance on dissemination best practices and strategies.
• Build strong relationships with HarvestPlus researchers both in Washington, DC and in the field to represent and disseminate their research and publications to reporters, donors, policymakers and leaders of the international development community.
• Maintain and develop relationships in the U.S. and key nations globally with journalists and editors from key media outlets, including print, online, television, and radio reporters as well as bloggers, to ensure that HarvestPlus is a key source for biofortification, agriculture and nutrition news, among other topics.
• Work closely with field-based communications specialists to provide guidance and develop their capabilities on the ground; ensure their outreach is high-quality, engaging, and consistent with other HarvestPlus outreach.
• Provide content for various platforms as needed (fact sheets, success stories, press briefings, op-ed articles, blogs).
Provide media training for researchers and staff; and maintain strong internal communications with headquarters and country teams.
• Bachelor’s degree in Journalism, English, Communications or other relevant areas plus ten years of journalism or media relations experience (or master’s degree plus seven years of journalism or media relations experience).
• Experience designing and implementing communications/dissemination strategies, preferably in an international context.
• Exceptional writing, editing, and proofreading skills. Demonstrated ability to write clean, engaging copy, including op-eds, articles and reports of the highest quality on deadline.
• Existing contacts at major media outlets from which to build new relationships; a keen understanding of traditional and digital media and newsworthiness in the U.S. and globally and ability to persuade reporters to cover an issue or event.
• Experience using media monitoring and database tools to enhance media engagement.
• Ability to communicate complex research results in a concise and engaging fashion, both verbally and in writing.
• Experience proactively using social media channels to engage with the media and influencers, secure press coverage, and conduct overall dissemination/engagement.
• Ability to work well in a team setting and under pressure of deadlines when necessary; and, ability to work independently and in a multicultural environment.
• Background knowledge in economics, agriculture, science or global health strongly preferred
• Willingness and ability to travel internationally (approximately 2-3 trips per year).
• Experience in a communications/media department of a globally-oriented organization, ideally in the international development sector.
• Working knowledge of, or fluency in, French or Spanish.
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