The American Journalism Project is looking for a Head of Communications to be our chief storyteller and build our brand. This is a role for an entrepreneurial, collaborative, and creative leader who has a track-record of working cross-functionally and across teams in communications, digital media, data analytics, and storytelling to advance a mission. This is a unique opportunity to contribute to the future of local news and the strength of our democracy.
Who We Are
We’re an 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 nonprofit 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.
We are a distributed team and strive to maintain a healthy, fun, and productive workplace, working alongside smart, energetic colleagues who enjoy one another and the work. The Head of Communications may have the opportunity to bring on a Communications Associate and oversee contractors/vendors, as needed. Meet our full team.
- 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.
You will deploy the power of storytelling for social good and build awareness of the American Journalism Project’s purpose: to establish and sustain local journalism as a public good. Your work will touch on every part of our growing organization and help us mobilize a movement with excellence, humility, and greater impact.
The Head of Communications will design and execute a multifaceted communications strategy to share the work of the American Journalism Project and its grantee partners across the U.S. They will create a multi-channel communications roadmap for our young venture philanthropy. The Head of Communications will be our storyteller in chief and position the American Journalism Project as a leading organization working to solve the local news problem. In this role, they will have the following responsibilities:
Lead strategy and build a lean, impactful communications and marketing infrastructure
- Develop and execute on a multi-channel communications strategy that effectively targets key stakeholders and prospective stakeholders in the movement for local news, and motivates, educates, informs, and keeps them engaged
- Oversee all communications outputs, providing creative direction and executing on strategies. This includes implementing robust digital marketing strategy for our website and social media channels and proactively engaging on external opportunities (including op-eds, media placements, press releases, and speaking engagements)
- Devise and implement an overall brand strategy for all print, presented, social, and digital content in support of our mission
- Oversee the development of a tracking system and feedback loop for our marketing and communication metrics to ensure constant learning and improvement
- Create or edit material (sometimes crafted by others) with a strong eye toward appropriate framing and strategic impact on short deadlines
Strengthen external engagements
- Work collaboratively with leaders, grantees, and funders across the field, representing the American Journalism Project in a manner consistent with our mission
- Cultivate and maintain relationships with national, state, and local press that cover the civic news and philanthropic sectors to bring national and local attention to our work and success
- Identify and lead the support system for external speaking and conferences for AJP team members
- Conceptualize, oversee, and support the production of virtual and in-person events to meet strategic goals and promote our work
- Support the advancement of public policy for the future of local news and the development of a more robust policy agenda
Build cross-organizational communications and standards
- Collaborate with leaders across the organization to support their communication needs and the those of our grantee partners, and effectively capture and amplify stories of learning and impact
- Manage various consulting and/or agency relationships to support brand identity and related messaging
- Own and manage work plans for cross-functional communications projects; keep stakeholders apprised of progress and roadblocks, hold contributors accountable to quality and timelines, and drive work forward to successful outcomes
Who You Are
This role is a fit if you are…
- Strategic self-starter: You have communications experience which includes developing and managing a comprehensive, tactical brand and marketing communications strategy and managing teams or consultants. You thrive at understanding and navigating through complexity and setting clear strategy and prioritization.
- Excellent communicator: You are an elegant writer and a superb verbal communicator. You are able to effectively communicate strategy and are a marketer at heart who thinks in terms of movement building.
- Project-manager extraordinaire: You know how to create effective work plans and corral a cross-functional team towards a common goal; you take full ownership of your projects and are accountable for progress towards milestones.
- Detail-oriented: You cross your Ts and dot your Is. You pay meticulous attention to detail while managing competing priorities and multiple overlapping and concurrent deadlines.
- Collaborative and agile: You thrive in an environment where multitasking is the norm, the pace is fast, and priorities will evolve. You excel at collaborating across teams without direct authority and are able to build trust-based relationships with colleagues in a virtual setting.
- Committed to equity: You bring experience of managing across lines of difference. You’ve worked with organizations led by BIPOC and/or nonprofits that have a track record of serving diverse communities and bring a fluency that has been shaped by those experiences.
- Bold and mission-oriented: You wake up every day terrified about the future of local news in our country but boldly optimistic that we can reimagine our country’s local news infrastructure. You work with urgency to get us there faster.
- Fun and supportive: We are working hard to reimagine the future of local news and our mission is vitally important to the future of our country. We also love the people we work with and love to laugh.
What background and skills do you have? (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!):
- Significant knowledge of the journalism field, including awareness of prominent journalism institutions, journalists, awards, etc., and experience communicating with institutional and individual funder communities and influencers
- While a policy background is not required, the candidate should be able to get up to speed quickly on issues related to our work and be able to translate and message them to various audiences as needed
- Proficient with G-Suite and Asana (or similar tools)
Please submit an application through our portal. Download the full job description here. If you have any questions please feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org with “Head of Communications” 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.