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Communications Officer

The American Journalism Project is seeking a Communications Officer to play a central role in the development and implementation of a multifaceted strategic communications strategy. Our goal is to ignite the national conversation around local news, foster cohesive internal communications practices, and amplify our mission and the work of our grantee newsrooms. 

This person should have a track record of developing and delivering effective, thoughtful, and strategic communications across multiple platforms and be excited about developing and executing on a brand strategy. This is a unique opportunity to contribute to the future of local news and support the next generation of civic news leaders.

Who we are
We’re a small but entrepreneurial team working to re-shape the future of local news in our country. We’re passionate about journalism, civic engagement, and how local news plays a unique role in shaping our democracy. We help build and grow sustainable local news organizations all over the country — through financial investment, venture support, and movement building — that are governed by, sustained by, and look like the public they serve.

Since 2019, the American Journalism Project has committed more than $33M of investment in 32 nonprofit news organizations across the United States. Learn about our grantees.

Our team is deeply connected to our mission and supportive of each other’s goals and overall well-being. We aim to be an organization where everyone feels heard, respected, and valued. We are an entirely remote, distributed team and strive to maintain a healthy, fun, and productive workplace, working alongside smart, energetic colleagues who enjoy one another and the work. Meet our full team.

Our values

  • Local First: We know that local journalism must serve and be led by local communities. We make a practice of listening to, and making decisions with – not for – those communities, and connecting them to find strength in each other.
  • Bold Leadership: We understand the severe economic challenge facing local news and thus democracy, and we embrace a sense of possibility with courage, urgency, and perseverance.
  • Constant Learning: We recognize the unknown in front of us. Therefore, we operate with humility and a commitment to continuous improvement and collaboration.
  • Commitment to Equity: We commit to creating a better, more diverse, and more inclusive news media that advances human and civil rights. We actively fight against injustice and racism, and that starts with doing the work ourselves.
  • Integrity: We accept the responsibility of earning trust every day. We operate with honesty, transparency, dignity, and respect, and without allegiance to party, ideology, profit, or power.

Your team
The Communications Team at the American Journalism Project leads a multi-channel communications strategy to share the work of the American Journalism Project and its grantee partners across the United States. This team works to galvanize support towards rebuilding local news and position the American Journalism Project as a leading organization working to solve the local news problem.

The Communications Officer will report to the Head of Communications. They will work closely with other teams across the organization to support their communication needs and effectively capture and amplify stories of our grantee partners and our organizational learnings and impact.

Compensation & benefits
Our total compensation package is competitive in the nonprofit and philanthropic sectors, and we are committed to supporting our team with what they need to show up every day ready to bolster the local press our democracy deserves.

We benchmark our salaries against similar organizations, and use a scale that considers job complexity and magnitude of responsibility to determine role levels and corresponding base salaries, as well as regular cost-of-living adjustments. The salary range for this position is $88,077 – $96,885. Read about our benefits here.

Your impact
Your work will touch nearly every aspect of our communications and marketing efforts and be crucial in our efforts to catalyze a movement and serve as a leading source of information on the nature of the local news problem and solutions. You’ll play a vital role in supporting local news organizations across the country and will lay the groundwork for the future of local news in the United States.

The position
The Communications Officer will work in a collaborative environment and execute on all aspects of brand strategy development and communications, with an emphasis on digital communications. They must be informed and passionate about local news and able to articulate the American Journalism Project’s vision and core values across multiple channels. They will have the following responsibilities:

Manage and boost our digital presence

  • Oversee our social media platforms by building a content management strategy and plan, drafting content and copy, and enhancing our presence and engagement
  • Conceptualize, create, and post content, including videos, blogs, news releases, and more
  • Manage content updates for our website and Medium publication
  • Manage email marketing strategy, including regular newsletter outreach
  • Support in advancing leadership’s digital presence and influence

Execute our communications strategy and foster cross-organizational norms and processes

  • Support the Head of Communications in the development of AJP’s multi-channel communications strategy
  • Collaborate with staff to strengthen their department communications, including working with colleagues on grants announcements, on the design and promotion of reports and white papers, and on event production and promotion
  • Support public relations and media activities across the organization 
  • Manage central operations for the Communications Team, including:
    • Work with Head of Communications on budget planning
    • Own the creation and maintenance of high-quality records and reports 
    • Support Head of Communications in staffing the team, including external consultants and communications firms
    • Evolve and improve systems across the team

Develop communications materials

  • Draft or edit public-facing materials including press releases, op-eds, blog posts, pitches, statements, factsheets, social media posts, and other marketing communications documents
  • Develop and update media kits, social toolkits, key messaging, talking points, and other materials as needed; ensure staff is supported and informed as needed
  • Create and manage content for the American Journalism Project newsletter
  • Develop and follow monthly and annual editorial and communications calendars to ensure that events, news, and programmatic updates are optimally shared

Oversee communications research and tracking efforts

  • Monitor the key performance metrics of our communications work; oversee media tracking for all garnered media coverage
  • Contribute communications data and research insights to departmental updates and reports
  • Conduct research to identify opportunities to generate audience growth and expand thought leadership of team members
  • Monitor news on our grantee partners, funders, partners, and the broader community

Who you are
This role might be a fit if you have demonstrated experience in communications, digital strategy or integrated marketing communications, such as…

  • Have excellent written and verbal communication skills, with a demonstrated ability to compose and edit effective, thoughtful, and strategic content across multiple platforms and for various audiences. 
  • Are proficient across social media platforms, with experience in managing content and engagement to maintain a seamless rhythm for your platforms
  • Are collaborative and agile; you have a consultative and service-oriented mindset. You know how to quickly jump into different scenarios and projects, to adapt your work style to the individual people or teams involved in each project and to approach that work with empathy at the core.
  • Are a motivated self-starter with demonstrated good judgment, critical thinking, flexibility, resourcefulness, and problem-solving skills. 
  • Are highly organized, detail-oriented; you love taking complex projects with competing priorities and many dimensions and wrestling them to clear project plans, and are comfortable and efficient working in a startup environment. 
  • Have strong interpersonal skills and an ability to work collaboratively with others in a team environment.
  • Entrepreneurial; you thrive in a fast-paced, dynamic environment that requires you to be nimble, adapt to change, and think outside of the box. You get energy from juggling different workflows and project managing against multiple deadlines.

We know not all strong candidates will have all the skills we list. That’s OK. What else do you bring to the table? Please tell us!

What background and skills do you have? 

  • Experience managing social media accounts, both content and analytics
  • Experience producing content and materials, particularly digital communications
  • Experience copyediting and knowledge of AP Style
  • Proficient with G-Suite and experience with project management tools (e.g. Asana, Slack), communications tools (e.g. Sprout Social, WordPress, Medium, MailChimp), and/or design tools (e.g. Adobe Creative Cloud tools, Canva)
  • Other pluses would be:
    • Experience with press and media outreach
    • Experience with event management
    • Experience in philanthropic communications or as a journalist

Please submit an application through our portal. Download the full job description here. If you have any questions please feel free to email careers@theajp.org with “Communications Officer” in the subject line.

The American Journalism Project is dedicated to equal employment opportunities for all applicants and employees. The American Journalism Project encourages people of all races, colors, national origins, ancestries, creeds, religions, genders, ages, disabilities, veteran status, sexual orientations, and marital statuses to apply.