Senior Communications Specialist for Media Relations - Oakland, CA
SEIU 6 reviews - Oakland, CA

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SEIU-UHW (United Healthcare Workers West)

Oakland, CA

Position: Senior Communications Specialist for Media Relations

Classification: Full-time, Exempt

Position Summary:
SEIU-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) is a progressive, statewide California union made up of 150,000 healthcare workers who work in hospitals, nursing homes and in the community as home care providers.

We are hiring a senior media relations professional to develop and implement media relations and communications strategies that educate the public and build support for our efforts to improve the healthcare system with our mission to provide quality care for all patients, expand access to excellent, affordable healthcare for all Californians and improve living standards for all workers.

Principal Duties and Responsibilities:
Performs a wide range of duties as assigned by the SEIU-UHW officers, communications director, and other senior staff, including, but not limited to the following:

  • Assists in the development of strategies to improve the public image and visibility of SEIU-UHW and our "Let's Get Healthy California" initiative.
  • Develops plans and directs communications strategies and calendars for various campaigns within the local union.
  • Develops and maintains electronic and social communications strategy and vehicles including Facebook, Twitter feeds and others as applies to external/media outreach and relationship-building.
  • Writes op-eds, letters to the editor, background pieces, fact sheets, talking points, press kit materials, advisories/releases, speeches, statements and other materials as needed for various campaigns.
  • Assists the officers, senior staff, and leads in the development and coordination of communications strategies for campaign projects.
  • Acts as a liaison with communicators from other locals and the state council as needed for various campaigns. This coordination may include media training and other support for leaders and staff.
  • Provides support for local officers and senior staff attending campaign or other events.
  • Develops and maintains substantive relationships with reporters, columnists and editors in California media markets.
  • Coordinates public affairs messaging and engagement strategies with the rest of the communications department and their campaigns.
10. Pitches stories to reporters, columnists, and editors and fields all media queries.

11. Prepares SEIU-UHW members, leaders and staff for media interviews.

12. Monitors media coverage of various campaigns, maintains clipping files, makes recommendations on ways to improve media coverage.

13. Must be available for frequent travel with overnight stays required. Long and irregular hours are called for in some cases.

14. Provides background briefings for local union officers, senior staff, field staff and union members; in addition to coordinating event logistics and interviews (i.e. videography, still photography, advisories, news releases, stage-setting collateral, etc.)

15. In coordination with the Communications Director, develops and implements pro-active earned media outreach, as well as the targeting and placement of paid advertisements to support various campaigns and political action.

16. Performs other duties as required to assist the Communications department.

Requirements and qualifications:
  • At least five years of experience in a newsroom or in public relations work, particularly within California.
  • Demonstrated experience in performing pro-active media outreach, maintaining good working relationships with journalists and generating positive media coverage.
  • Excellent writing and communications skills (media/press-specific)*
  • Bilingual English-Spanish preferred
  • Ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds/cultures
  • Ability to work independently as well as on a team
  • Commitment to justice for working people
  • Willingness to work long and irregular hours a requirement
  • Willingness to travel is a requirement
  • Previous experience with the labor movement or other advocacy organizations preferred
Scope and Nature of Supervision:
  • Reports to the Communications Director or other department managers.
  • Must be able to act and organize time with extreme independence.
  • A high level of independent judgment is required, as well as the ability to take initiative and work independently; must be able to work with elected leaders, members and staff in complex and sometimes sensitive political situations.
  • Must be able to handle multiple "priority" projects simultaneously and meet established deadlines.
  • Position may include leading other staff in a non-management role.
Women and persons of color are strongly encouraged to apply.

  • Writing test required.

SEIU is an affirmative action employer and encourages applications from all qualified candidates regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, sexual orientation, marital status, religion, or disability.

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