Communications Specialist

Location: Headquarters, Washington, DC
Department: Communications
Supervisor: Media Relations Director

BASIC SUMMARY:

The senior communications position is responsible for helping to plan and implement a wide variety of media activities to gain coverage for Defenders of Wildlife and the issues on which Defenders works.  The job includes strategizing and implementing media plans and coordinating events; writing news releases, factsheets and other press materials; contacting reporters and broadcast journalists; identifying spokespeople; creating video and podcasts; taking photographs at events, and other activities as assigned by the media director and/or vice president for communications.

ESSENTIAL DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

  • Writing: Generate press releases, statements, blog entries, factsheets, op-eds, letters to the editor, editorial board memos and other press materials

  • Media strategy: Work with program staff and communications team to develop and implement media plans for priority issues and campaigns 

  • Media relations: Establish working relationships with reporters in beat areas. Call, email and utilize social media to contact reporters to pitch Defenders-related stories; field inquiries from the media and forward reporters’ questions to pertinent program staff members

  • Research: Conduct research to develop factsheets, bill summaries, talking points and other media relations and programmatic materials as needed

  • Press events: Work with appropriate program staff to coordinate, execute and publicize press events, teleconferences, and other promotional activities

  • Advertising: Develop copy and manage design of advertisements; work with vendors to place advertisements; draft copy and coordinate social media advertisements internally, as needed

  • Audio/Visual: Coordinate with Marketing to create multimedia content such as videos and photo slideshows to support communications campaign work and Defenders of Wildlife’s brand; take photographs at events, press conferences, rallies, etc. 

  • General support: Aid in daily communications department work

  • Perform all other work-related duties as assigned, including, but not limited to, coordinating focus groups, polling, Twitter outreach, etc.

QUALIFICATIONS:

  • Education: Bachelor’s degree (B.A./B.S.) or equivalent in Journalism, English, Communication Studies, Public Policy, Broadcasting or other related discipline (including Biology of Environmental Studies

  • Experience:  3-5 years of experience working with news media

  • An equivalent combination of education and experience may be accepted as a satisfactory substitute for the specific education and experience listed above.

  • Other:

    • Seasoned media professional with knowledge of natural resources and environmental issues and commitment to environmental conservation

    • Strong news judgement and proven ability to pitch reporters to achieve coverage

    • Ability to manage several tasks at once, use sound judgment, and follow up on prioritized assignments  

    • Excellent writing and verbal communications skills; working knowledge of AP style a plus

    • Experience with Capitol Hill or advocacy a plus

    • Work effectively with others on team assignments

    • Video production, podcast, photography skills a plus

    • Computer proficiency in Microsoft Word and other Windows applications

    • Fluency in Spanish a plus

PHYSICAL DEMANDS:

  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use a computer and communicate with others while doing so. 

WORK ENVIRONMENT:

  • General office working conditions, the noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.

HOW TO APPLY

Interested applicants please reference Communications Specialist in your subject line and submit a letter of interest, resume, writing sample, and salary history to us via e-mail at: HR@defenders.org

It is the policy of Defenders of Wildlife to provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to their race, color, national origin, religion, sex, gender identity (including gender expression), sexual orientation, disability, age, marital status, family/parental status, or any other characteristic protected by law, in all personnel actions.

All employees are required to satisfactorily perform the essential duties and responsibilities of their positions. The essential duties and responsibilities listed above are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.