Director, PR & Media Relations

National Geographic Society
  • Location
    Washington, D.C.
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career / Advanced
  • Posted
    Sep 01

Position description

The Communications Division uses creative and strategic tools to further the mission of the National Geographic Society (NGS), while maintaining our place as one of the world’s most trusted non-profit organizations and global brands. The team’s creative minds develop and execute mission-driven, on-brand and strategic communications, marketing, creative and impact media for the NGS and amplify this content on our own channels, across National Geographic Partners (NGP) and through outside partners and earned media. The team is composed of six integrated departments: Engagement and Marketing Strategy, Brand, Creative, Strategic Communications, Executive Communications, and Content and Editorial.


The Director, PR and Media Relations is responsible for securing a sustained drumbeat of earned media amplification of the Society’s overall narrative, as well as elevating the public profile of its community of National Geographic Explorers. In addition to leading the team focused on generating visibility for the Society, the Director, PR and Media Relations plays a key role in message development, reputational communications and crisis communications. The Director, PR and Media Relations reports to the Vice President, Strategic Communications.Your Impact 

Responsibilities Include:

  • Develop and oversee the execution of an annual PR and earned media plan that secures visibility — proactively and reactively — for the National Geographic Society, its CEO/leadership team and community of Explorers in a variety of media outlets. Actively engage, cultivate, and manage media relationships to ensure high-quality press coverage and influencer opportunities. (40%)
  • Lead the development of all external positioning and messaging strategies for NGS. Create and implement a messaging platform to be leveraged across narrative-building activities and PR outreach. Draft, review and approve external-facing communications, including talking points, speeches, press releases, blog posts and social media posts. (20%)
  • Advise on all matters related to reputational and crisis communications. Development mitigation strategies for challenges and emerging issues faced by the organization. (15%)
  • Create and lead media training sessions for National Geographic spokespeople, including executives and Explorers. Oversee the development of media training materials that highlight the Society’s overarching narrative. (10%)
  • Manage a team to support the development and execution of the PR and earned media strategy. Establish and monitor staff performance and development goals, assign accountabilities, set objectives, establish priorities and conduct annual performance appraisals. (15%)

What You’ll Bring


Bachelor's degree required

Minimum Years of Experience   

10+ years of communications and/or PR experience at an agency or in-house corporate communications

3+ years of management experience

Necessary Knowledge and Skills

  • Excellent news judgment, media relations skills and crisis communications skills.
  • Excellent understanding of the changing media landscape, including media relations.
  • Ability to identify compelling narratives, develop clear messaging and tell stories that demonstrate impact.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills; ability to work with a variety of constituents ranging from executives and Explorers to government officials and corporate partners.
  • Ability to handle sensitive information confidentially and exercise good professional judgement.
  • Strong leadership and management skills with the ability to mentor team members effectively.
  • Ability to work some late nights and weekends and periodic national and international travel.

Desired Qualifications

  • Proven track record of securing earned media
  • PR agency experience and/or managing a PR agency a plus
  • Strong relationships with journalists — especially those covering science, the environment, education and/or nonprofits, within the U.S. and internationally — a plus


2-3 Direct Reports with a team of approximately 4 staff

We encourage you to apply even if your experience is not a 100% match with the position. We are looking for someone with relevant skills and experience, not a checklist that exactly matches the job description. We want to help you grow and in return, you help us grow into a stronger, more inclusive organization. 

Application instructions

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