Media Strategist
ACLU - New York, NY

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MEDIA STRATEGIST [COMM-17]
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation
Communications Department, NY

For more than 92 years, the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLUF), has been at the forefront of virtually every major battle for civil liberties and equal justice in this country. Principled and nonpartisan, the ACLU has offices in all 50 states, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico, and brings together the country’s largest team of public interest lawyers, lobbyists, communication strategists, and members and activists in the advancement of equality, fairness, and freedom, especially for the most vulnerable in our society.

The Communications Department of the ACLU’s National Office in New York City is seeking applicants for the full-time position of Media Strategist .

OVERVIEW

The ACLU has made an unambiguous and unwavering commitment to the importance of communications as a central and essential element in the success of its mission. The organization places great emphasis on the role of communications in framing the debate on its issues, building support, and increasing the impact of its work.

The Media Strategist is a member of a team of New York and Washington, D.C. media professionals in the ACLU’s Communications Department. Based in New York, the Media Strategist will work with other departments including the Legal Department and the Washington Legislative Office in D.C. to gain visibility for priority issues and act as a liaison to the ACLU Center for Justice, with a focus on criminal law reform, prison and overincarceration and capital punishment . The Media Strategist will also work with staff members in our affiliate offices throughout the country.

The ideal candidate is an individual with a fine-tuned sense of “what sells” in the news business and who is comfortable pitching to journalists including reporters, editors, producers, bookers and bloggers affiliated with major news outlets. We are seeking a candidate who thrives in a fast-paced environment and who pursues a strategic approach to actively promoting issues and guiding prominent civil liberties experts on working with the media. The Media Strategist will report directly to the Associate Director of Strategic Communications.

ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
  • Pro-actively cultivate relationships with reporters, editors, producers, bookers, bloggers and other media professionals through phone, email and in-person meetings.
  • Draft and edit news releases, op-eds, blog posts, letters to the editor, fact sheets and talking points, and other press materials.
  • Pitch news and feature stories to journalists and media outlets and actively follow up to garner maximum media coverage for our issues and for the ACLU as an organization. Keep track of journalists contacted to expand networks and measure success.
  • Develop and strategize media plans in collaboration with Communications Strategist & media colleagues as well as the digital team, legal and advocacy colleagues. Work with the ACLU Legal Department’s Center for Justice, which houses the organization’s criminal justice work, to publicize its priority work as well as work on other issues as directed by the Associate Director for Strategic Communications.
  • Organize press conferences, teleconferences and other media events.
  • Monitor media email line as needed, sometimes after hours.
  • Provide guidance on media outreach and strategy to affiliate offices.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.

EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field required.
  • 3-5 years of public relations and media experience, including experience writing press materials and organizing press conferences.
  • Experience with advocacy-oriented media campaigns, a plus.
  • Demonstrated ability and success in pitching stories to news outlets, newspapers, TV networks and cable shows, radio and bloggers.
  • Established contacts with reporters, editors, producers, bloggers and other media professionals.
  • Ability to proactively identify and cultivate key media contacts and outlets that lead to the placement of ACLU stories.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Strong writing and editing skills; ability to produce clear, concise talking points, press releases and other materials within tight deadlines.
  • Exceptional interpersonal skills and the ability to contribute to a collegial work environment.
  • Experience using public opinion research to frame issues and develop messages, a plus.
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Office and Internet research. Experience with VOCUS, a plus.
  • Demonstrated interest and commitment to civil liberties and criminal justice issues.

COMPENSATION

The ACLU offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within the parameters of the ACLU compensation scale.

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The philosopher Socrates once said, "I am that gadfly which God has given the state." While the American Civil Liberties Union...