Communications Officer II
Type of Job
Jan 13, 2021
About the job
Communications Officer II
Union of Concerned Scientists
Washington, DC office preferred; Cambridge, Mass., Chicago, Ill., and Oakland, CA offices also considered
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) is an independent national nonprofit that uses science to protect our health, safety, and environment. We are scientists, engineers, economists, activists, and everyday people who develop and advocate for innovative, practical solutions to some of our planet’s most pressing problems—from combating global warming and developing sustainable ways to feed, power, and transport ourselves, to fighting misinformation, advancing racial equity, and reducing the threat of nuclear war.
UCS is looking for a smart, energetic, out-of-the-box thinker to serve as the media point person for one or two UCS campaigns. The position will develop proactive and reactive media strategies to help achieve our campaign goals through raising the visibility of our experts, issues, and products with a wide range of audiences. This position requires someone with a great news sense, excellent writing skills, a knack for collaborating well with others, and the ability to work under tight timelines while juggling multiple tasks.
• Position will serve as media point person for one or more UCS campaigns but must maintain flexibility to jump on media opportunities that may arise for other issue areas.
• In service of campaign goals, develop proactive and reactive media strategies to obtain widespread media coverage for UCS, our experts, positions, and analysis in targeted print, radio, online, television, and video news outlets, as well as podcasts.
• Write and distribute press releases, op-eds, factsheets, pitch letters, LTEs, staff bios, backgrounders, tweets, and other press materials.
• Increase UCS visibility in state, regional, trade, and national media outlets to further campaign goals.
• Organize road shows and radio talk show bookings, as well as in-person and telephone press conferences. Coordinate travel arrangements, media contacts, and facility logistics; staff events as required.
• Develop talking points and soundbites for UCS experts.
• Monitor press coverage of issue areas and proactively look for opportunities to insert UCS and our experts into stories.
• Establish relationships with members of press corps through email, social media, phone, and traditional methods to promote opportunities for positive reporting on UCS activities, positions, and experts.
• Arrange meetings and attend functions and conferences to educate reporters on UCS issues. Pitch reporters with suggestions for stories; provide necessary information to ensure accurate coverage. Respond promptly to requests for information; refer media representatives to colleagues, as necessary.
• Train UCS staff, scientists, and activists on successful media techniques, interview skills, and strategies.
• Develop cross-channel ideas (social media, email, SMS, digital ads, web, etc.) that can be leveraged for earned media purposes.
• Collaborate with campaign staff on strategies and messages to create a drumbeat of visibility opportunities through avenues such as earned media, blog posts, and social media, and promote grassroots support for campaign goals through online and offline communication channels.
• Utilize social media dashboard to develop strategies to cultivate and communicate with reporters, thought leaders, bloggers, and other key audiences.
• Represent UCS in coalition media efforts and assist in development of coalition messages/media strategy.
• Represent the communications department in program planning meetings to ensure strategies and tactics are developed with cross-channel promotions in mind and to maximize visibility, engage supporters in our campaigns, and contribute to campaign impact.
• Occasionally may be called upon to serve as UCS spokesperson with international, national, and local reporters.
• Track UCS press hits and contribute to quarterly media reporting.
• Participate in internal, staff working groups to evaluate and improve UCS internal structures, processes, and culture.
Qualifications and Experience
Position requires a minimum of five to seven years’ experience in media relations or journalism. Excellent writing and communication skill required. Experience writing press releases, op-eds, and other press materials. Proven ability to identify and exploit media opportunities and develop messages and sound bites.
Little or no exertion required. May spend extended periods at computer.
Some travel required.
At UCS, comparable training and/or experience can be substituted for degrees when appropriate.
UCS is an equal opportunity employer continually seeking to diversify its staff. In particular, we’re dedicated to broadening opportunities for individuals from demographic groups that are historically underrepresented in the sciences and in environmental advocacy. We’re also committed to building an inclusive workplace culture where talented people of widely diverse backgrounds can thrive. We've adopted this commitment because we believe the inclusion of culturally diverse perspectives will improve our work and produce better societal and environmental outcomes for all, including historically disenfranchised communities. We are actively seeking people who bring diverse backgrounds and perspectives to join us in this work.
Compensation, Hours and Location: This is a full-time position, preferably based in UCS’s Washington, DC office. But candidates wishing to work out of one of our other offices—in Cambridge, Mass., or Chicago, Ill, Oakland, CA (must be able to work EST work hours in CA)—will also be considered. For candidates who meet all position requirements, the salary is in the mid to high $60,000s. UCS offers excellent benefits and a rewarding work environment. Information about the organization is available at http://www.ucsusa.org.
To Apply: Please upload a cover letter, resume, and two media writing samples such as a press release or op-ed. Communications Officer - Union of Concerned Scientists (workable.com) In the cover letter, please confirm that the listed salary meets your expectations. Upload materials in Word or PDF format only. No phone calls, please.
Deadline: 2/12/2021 or until filled.