Full Job Description
The National Audubon Society is a nonprofit conservation organization that protects birds and the places they need, today and tomorrow. We work throughout the Americas using science, advocacy, education, and on-the-ground conservation. Audubon’s state, regional, national, and international programs, nature centers, and chapters have an unparalleled wingspan that reaches millions of people each year to inform, inspire, and unite diverse communities in conservation action. As a sentinel species, we recognize that the fate of birds is inextricably tied to the fate of us all.
Audubon has more than 700 staff working across the United States and seven countries in 17 state and regional offices, 41 nature centers, and 23 wildlife sanctuaries. Together as one Audubon, we aspire to alter the course of climate change and habitat loss, leading to healthier bird populations and reversing current trends in biodiversity loss.
Audubon is committed to a culture of workplace excellence, where our talented and diverse staff are deeply engaged, with a strong sense of belonging. The birds Audubon pledges to protect differ in color, size, behavior, geographical preference, and countless other ways. By honoring and celebrating the equally remarkable diversity of the human species, Audubon will bring new creativity, effectiveness, and leadership to our work throughout the hemisphere.
The Communications Director, Water is responsible for overseeing the strategic communications work for the National Audubon Society’s water program, including projects in the Great Lakes, Mississippi River, Colorado River and Saline Lakes, Delaware River, and the Everglades. The Communications Director will use communications tools to increase the impact of our water work and ensure a strong public perception of Audubon and Audubon’s key strategic initiatives. The Communications Director will do so through message development and dissemination, media relations, and other communications work. As a senior member of the communications and water teams, they will provide counsel on water program strategy, design and execute strategic public relations campaigns, secure high-quality coverage across the media landscape, develop message frames and talking points, conduct media training for spokespeople, work with PR agencies, and coordinate and provide leadership for local and regional communications staff and program staff. The role will report to the Senior Director of Policy Communications.Essential Functions:
- Oversee communications work on Audubon’s water issues, including coordinating with local and regional staff; develop a holistic communications strategy that connects Audubon’s work on water issues
- Manage communications staff and interns supporting water program communications, and coordinate with communications staff in relevant state and regional offices
- Proactively identify opportunities to tell the story of water issues across the hemisphere and Audubon’s work; use communications tools to knit together and increase Audubon’s impact
- Build and strengthen relationships with local and national press covering water, conservation, and environmental issues; secure high-quality media coverage at national, regional and local levels across all types of media
- Develop message frameworks and talking points for key initiatives, campaigns, crisis moments, and events
- Draft press materials, including press releases, editorials, media pitches, statements and talking points, and digital materials, including social media and website content
- Ghost write op-eds and blog posts
- Help cultivate and prepare Audubon spokespeople, including developing and delivery of media trainings, and prepping for interviews and other press opportunities
- Cultivate relationships with state-based communications staff in support of the development of greater collaboration
- 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
Qualifications and Experience:
- Clearly demonstrated capacity for high-level strategic planning and campaign development to shape events and issues through proactive messaging and outreach
- Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, marketing or a closely related field required; equivalent combination of education and experience also considered
- At least 10 years’ experience in media and public relations required, including at least 5 years working in political, advocacy, and/or nonprofit communications
- Demonstrated success in crisis communications, including the ability to grasp and appropriately respond to both internally and externally precipitated crises
- Experience managing and mentoring staff, including guiding work, providing feedback, mentorship and professional growth opportunities
- Familiarity with environmental, energy, and conservation issues strongly preferred
- 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) with an established base of contacts in high-profile national media outlets
- 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 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
- 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 occasionally and participate in programs occurring after typical business hours
The National Audubon Society is a federal contractor and an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE). All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability or protected veteran status. We are committed to a policy of nondiscrimination, inclusion and equal opportunity and actively seek a diverse pool of candidates in this search.
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All new hires must be fully vaccinated prior to their start of employment unless they are pre-qualified by HR for exemption.