The American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLU), founded in 1920, is a nationwide, nonprofit, nonpartisan organization, with more than 500,000 members and is dedicated to the principles of liberty and equality embodied in the U.S. Constitution. The Communications Department of the ACLU's National Office in New York City is seeking applicants for the full-time position of Media Relations Associate.
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 Relations Associate 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 Relations Associate will work with other departments including the Legal Department and the Washington Legislative Office in DC to gain visibility for priority issues, with a focus on: criminal law reform, prison and overincarceration and capital punishment. The Media Relations Associate 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 is comfortable liaising with reporters affiliated with major news outlets. We are seeking a candidate who thrives in a fast-paced environment and who pursues a strategic approach to promoting issues and guiding prominent civil liberties experts on working with the media. The Media Relations Associate will report directly to the Manager of Media Relations.
ROLES & RESPONSIBILITIES
- Cultivate relationships with reporters, editors, producers, bloggers and other media professionals.
- Prepare 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 media outlets and actively follow up to garner maximum media coverage for our issues; maintain a pitch log to keep track of journalists contacted and to expand networks.
- Develop and strategize media plans in collaboration with colleagues and management team.
- 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 Manager of Media Relations.
- Organize press conferences and teleconferences.
- Provide guidance on media outreach and strategy to affiliate offices.
EXPERIENCE AND QUALIFICATIONS
- Bachelor's degree in a related field required.
- A minimum of three 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 communications 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 utilizing 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 usage.
- Demonstrated interest in civil liberties and criminal justice issues.
The ACLU offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience and within parameters of the ACLU compensation scale.
HOW TO APPLY
Please submit a letter of interest (with salary requirements), a resume and a writing sample via email to firstname.lastname@example.org – reference [COMM-17/ACLU-W] in the subject line – or by regular mail to:
American Civil Liberties Union Foundation
125 Broad Street, 18th Floor
New York, NY 10004
Please indicate in your cover letter where you learned of this career opportunity.
Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.
This job description provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment. The ACLU reserves the right to change the job description and/or posting at any time without advance notice.
The ACLU is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and encourages applications from all qualified individuals including women, people of color, persons with disabilities, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals.
The ACLU comprises two separate corporate entities, the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation. Both the American Civil Liberties Union and the ACLU Foundation are national organizations with the same overall mission, and share office space and employees. The ACLU has two separate corporate entities in order to do a broad range of work to protect civil liberties. This job posting refers collectively to the two organizations under the name “ACLU.”