Reporting to the Chief Communications Officer (CCO), the Press Secretary (PS) will play a key role in advancing the Innocence Project’s (IP) mission through proactive and reactive media relations. The PS will support the COO in setting the media relations agenda to ensure the IP is reaching its desired audiences, developing the right messages and identifying the best messengers. The PS will be key in helping the IP more deeply engage its existing audience and more broadly engage new ones. The PS will support the daily operation of the department and establish both a proactive and reactive strategy across public affairs, media relations, speaking engagement coordination, media monitoring, developing public information collateral and working with the rest of the Communications team to maintain a cohesive voice for the brand’s internal and external communications.
ESSENTIAL JOB FUNCTIONS:
- Work closely with the CCO and other press staff to develop, coordinate and track a strategic media relations plan that includes proactive and reactive goals and tactics, including initiatives, programs, major announcements, events, and other activities.
- Work closely with the CCO and other press staff to develop a suite of messaging documents for the organization work across departments, specific high-profile issues, and client-related news.
- Serve as one of the organization’s spokespeople.
- Manage IP media relations, including pitching and placements in regional and national print, broadcast and online outlets.
- Respond to and help shape the stories from journalists’ who contact the IP with story ideas.
- Target press outreach to specific audiences and liaise with national, regional, community and ethnic media.
- Working with other press staff, draft, edit and finalize press materials, op-eds, statements and other communications materials to ensure they are readable, timely, informative, newsworthy and accurately reflect the work of the IP.
- Work with other press staff to develop and manage targeted media lists.
- Under the guidance of the CCO, develop and research proactive press pitches, and refine news hooks to promote the IP’s work.
- Serve as a resource to all departments, including Policy, Science & Research, Legal and Strategic Litigation.
- Staff IP representatives at exoneration events and other media-related activities to liaise with reporters and ensure accuracy of information and delivery of key messages and tone.
- Assist in the development of marketing materials, digital content, and campaigns.
- Monitor daily media coverage and work with press staff to assemble weekly, monthly, and quarterly reports.
- Coordinate media training with staff members, exonerees and other designated spokespeople.
- Represent the IP in dealings with other organizations regarding press strategy, coordinating messaging, quotes, releases, advisories and events.
- Bachelor’s degree in Communications, Media or related field.
- Bi-lingual fluency in Spanish.
- 5-10 years of communications experience, preferably working with a nonprofit or a political or advocacy campaign.
- Experience serving as an organizational spokesperson.
- Excellent attention to detail and superior writing, communication, and interpersonal skills.
- Experience in media relations, with a successful track record pitching and placing stories in all media formats.
- Experience drafting press releases, op-eds, backgrounders, fact sheets, action alerts, blog posts, etc.
- Experience in developing targeted press lists and developing and maintaining professional relationships with journalists.
- Experience organizing and managing press events, including press conferences and press conference calls.
- Keen ability to handle multiple assignments in a high-intensity environment.
- Ability to prioritize and follow up while meeting deadlines.
- Strong interpersonal, diplomacy, and communication (verbal & written) skills: the ability to interact effectively and sensitively with a wide variety of people of diverse professional and cultural backgrounds.
- Strong skills in organization, planning, and attention to details, with strong follow-through.
- Flexible and collaborative work style, resistance to stress, and ability to function effectively in a demanding environment and to juggle multiple tasks under pressure and deadlines.
- Ability to grasp legal and criminal justice issues and translate those issues into persuasive and easy-to-understand language.
- Ability to demonstrate initiative and reliability.
- A familiarity and passion for the organization’s work.
COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS:
The salary for this position is competitive and the Innocence Project offers an excellent benefits package, including health, dental and vision insurance, Flexible Spending Account, 401k plan with company-match, and paid Transitcheks.
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