Help us achieve our abolitionist messaging and communications goals! Bring your creative, experienced, energetic self to our dynamic and growing organization as our next Communications Director.
Communications Director (Philadelphia, posted 10.30.22)
The Abolitionist Law Center (ALC) seeks an experienced, effective, and creative Communications Director with 8-10 years of communications experience in the progressive political field and 2-4 years of supervisory experience.
Philadelphia, PA, with occasional travel to Harrisburg & Pittsburgh, PA.
The Abolitionist Law Center (ALC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit public interest law firm and community organizing project to end mass incarceration and protect the rights and wellbeing of people who encounter the racist, classist criminal punishment system in all its forms including policing, courts, jails, and prisons. Straight Ahead is ALC’s 501(c)(4) lobbying, legislative, and electoral arm. ALC uses litigation and community organizing to target the many harms caused by the criminal punishment system in Pennsylvania and Straight Ahead builds grassroots power, injects abolitionist candidates and agendas into the electoral and legislative systems, and holds elected officials and other leaders accountable. We have a commitment to abolitionist politics that seeks to replace punitive justice with healing justice, promotes decarceration and the elimination of the use of jails and prisons to deal with social problems, and centers the political agency and organizing activity of those individuals and communities most impacted by the criminal legal system.
About the position:
We are seeking a Communications Director who will help the Abolitionist Law Center and Straight Ahead achieve our messaging and communications goals. This position will be vital in managing communications to support and amplify ALC and Straight Ahead’s strategic goals and programmatic work, as well as the larger abolition and decarceral movement and messaging, and will do so in collaboration with the Executive Director and designated staff. As an organization heavily focused on litigation and court cases, this position will bridge the gap between legalese language used by the lawyers at ALC and the audiences of ALC’s public communications. The Communications Director will report to the Executive Director, will be part of the senior leadership team of the organization, and will manage staff.
The Communications Director will:
- Identify emerging issues, strategies, and narratives related to ALC and Straight Ahead’s work and seize communications opportunities associated with them;
- Ensure that all communications use an intersectional lens and employ principles of ethical storytelling by prioritizing agency and practicing informed consent for those whose stories are being told, and respectfully centering historically marginalized communities most impacted by the criminal punishment system;
- Develop and manage a strategic communications plan to meet integrated organizational goals for ALC and Straight Ahead;
- Develop an organizational identity and style kit and guidelines for consistent tone, language, visuals, and messaging across all communications, including working with the Development Director to ensure fundraising materials are consistent with other materials;
- Translate complex legal and political material and concepts into easy to understand content for social and traditional media for journalists, policymakers, and the general public;
- Build relationships with and develop targeted communications for people directly impacted by the criminal punishment system including currently and formerly incarcerated people and their support networks, activists, movement colleagues, journalists, scholars, and policy and thought leaders;
- Generate and manage local, regional, and national media coverage, including writing media advisories and press releases and pitching stories and op-eds to reporters and editors;
- Develop talking points and prepare staff and community members for public events and media interviews;
- Manage departmental budget;
- Establish goals for earned media coverage and website, Google Ads, email list development and bulk email program, and social media metrics, and track and analyze those metrics to achieve those goals;
- Manage one or more staff members and outside contractors and relevant vendors.
- 8-10 years of communications experience in the progressive political field, at least 4 of which involved work with a base-building organization;
- 2-4 years of supervisory experience;
- Ability to think strategically and participate effectively as part of a campaign team;
- Excellent writing, proofreading, desktop publishing, verbal, visual/graphic, and communications skills;
- Experience managing various social media platforms including Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (Youtube and TikTok preferred but not required);
- Experience pitching and placing stories and op-eds with news outlets;
- Ability to work on multiple projects, coordinating work with others to produce projects on time;
- Ability to work within timelines under pressure and minimal supervision;
- A commitment to racial and disability justice and an understanding of and commitment to abolitionism;
- Working knowledge of website content management;
- An understanding of and relationships with journalists in the Pennsylvania media market preferred but not required;
- Experience working in the abolition and decarceration movement (paid or unpaid) preferred but not required;
- Experience with communications for 501(c)(3) or 501(c)(4) organizations, or both, preferred but not required.
Salary and benefits:
Benefits: ALC offers a competitive benefits package covering 100% of health, dental, and vision insurance premiums for staff and their covered dependents, 280 hours of paid time off per year, parental leave, and FSA and 401k accounts.
Abolitionist Law Center is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, women, LGBTQI-GNC people, and formerly incarcerated people and individuals who have other lived experience with the criminal punishment system are strongly encouraged to apply.