The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund (LDF) is the country’s first and foremost civil and human rights law organization. Founded in 1940 under the leadership of Thurgood Marshall, who subsequently became the first African-American U.S. Supreme Court Justice, LDF was launched at a time when the nation’s aspirations for equality and due process of law were stifled by widespread state-sponsored racial inequality. From that era to the present, LDF’s mission has always been transformative: to achieve racial justice, equality, and an inclusive society.
LDF’s litigation, public policy advocacy and public education programs in the areas of criminal justice, economic justice, education and political participation seek to ensure the fundamental and basic human rights of all people to quality education, economic opportunity, the right to vote and fully participate in democracy, and the right to a fair and just judicial system.
The NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) is seeking to hire a Director of Communications/Media Strategist. The Director will report to the President and Director-Counsel and the Associate Director-Counsel. S/he will have the opportunity to build the Department and to develop a comprehensive communication plan for the organization. S/he will have primary responsibility for creating and managing a department responsible for developing strategies to support the public education mission of the LDF and for ensuring that LDF’s legal work is promoted in print, radio, television, electronic and social media.
The Director must work in collaboration with LDF staff attorneys and the President and Director-Counsel to develop effective communication strategies for LDF initiatives and litigation. S/he will be expected to become familiar with the goals, priorities, interests and activities of the LDF legal program in order to maximize the communications capacity of the organization and its work.
- Design and direct comprehensive institutional communications plans and programs, taking into account the organization’s image, message and positioning, mission, goals, priorities and accomplishments.
- Direct specific activities to support communications strategies, including publications, website, video production, advertising, and public/media relations.
- Assure quality and appropriateness of marketing/communications activities and materials.
- Create and execute a plan for enhanced new media presence for LDF, including higher social networking profile, enhancement of website platform, development of video and audio tools for public distribution and increased blog presence
- Provide strategic communications counsel to organization’s management, legal and development staff.
- Establish and implement short and long range departmental goals, objectives, policies and operating procedures, monitor and evaluate program effectiveness, effect changes required for improvement.
- Coordinate evaluations and assessments of external communications activities in order to determine the effectiveness of the organization’s marketing and communications plans and strategies.
- Evaluate current Communication department staffing needs; identify, cultivate and recruit new members of the communications team, as appropriate.
- Develop and manage annual budgets for the department.
- Maintain a departmental atmosphere of excellence, cooperation and collegiality in coordination with existing department professionals; recruit and supervise additional staff as required.
- Serve as part of organizational management team, participating in the development and establishment of organizational planning and policy making procedures.
- Occasional travel for special events.
The ideal candidate will have the following experience and qualifications:
- Ability to develop, direct, manage and evaluate strategic communications plans and programs.
- Effective, team-oriented leader and manager of people; demonstrated ability to develop and motivate staff.
- Ability to supervise departmental staff, including organizing, prioritizing, and scheduling work assignments. Ability to work closely with other departmental heads in implementing shared goals, as well as with external vendors and consultants.
- Familiarity and affinity with the history, goals and mission of LDF and the struggle for social justice.
- Excellent editorial capabilities, including clear, concise and creative writing skills and ability to line edit with a critical eye for detail.
- Ability to make administrative and procedural decisions. Skill in examining operations and procedures and then developing and implementing new strategies.
- Strong interpersonal and communications skills and the ability to work effectively with a wide range of constituencies in a diverse community.
- Bachelor’s degree in related field. Advanced degree a plus.