Sunday, May 2, 2010

Communications Director, The Innocence Project

Communications Director
Organization: The Innocence Project
Title: Communications Director
Location: New York, NY
The Innocence Project, Inc. is seeking a Communications Director to supervise our Communications Department. The Innocence Project, a national organization based in NYC, is a nonprofit pro bono legal clinic founded in 1992 by Professor Barry Scheck and civil rights lawyer Peter Neufeld at the Cardozo School of Law/Yeshiva University. The Innocence Project represents prisoners nationwide for whom post-conviction DNA testing can prove innocence, and seeks to redress the underlying causes of wrongful convictions through systemic criminal justice reform. (
Reporting to the Executive Director and working closely with the organization founders, the Communications Director will be dedicated to the management of the day-to-day operation of press activities, and will direct the strategic communications function that supports the organizations’ mission and vision. This role calls for a talented professional with broad experience in the full range of communications – media relations, publications, online engagement and community outreach – and the ability to develop strategic initiatives that use multiple communications vehicles to educate the public and advance programmatic goals. The ideal candidate will have a strong familiarity with litigation, public policy, and an understanding of the criminal justice field. The Communications Director supervises a staff of four and works collaboratively as part of the senior management team.
Communications Director: Job Duties
  • Develop and manage integrated communications plans for the organization to include media relations, publications, online initiatives and community outreach.
  • Supervise and inspire the four other Communications staff members.
  • Oversee and manage the production of all written materials: brochures, reports, news releases, web content, newsletters and alerts to organization supporters and friends.
  • Create protocols for media activities by other staff and colleagues, and ensure that they are understood and working.
  • Develop effective media relations program (both responsive and proactive) and work with the other key staff on media strategies around key legal events, court rulings, legislative developments, etc.
  • Work with the policy staff to create media opportunities to accompany and support advocacy activities in Washington, D.C., and in states across the country.
  • Supervise and strategically guide the organization’s web presence (including web sites, social networking, online media and email outreach programs); work with the web manager to insure that material and initiatives are timely, effective and useful.
  • Work with fundraising staff in media activities and production of materials that support their work.
  • Develop and promote partnerships with journalists and radio/TV producers that further our organization’s agenda.
  • Coordinate and manage the activities of outside consultants, as needed.
  • Develop and manage the Communications Department budget.
Professional Qualifications:
  • At least 10 years of communications experience.
  • Exceptional writing, editing, presentation and analytical skills.
  • Extensive experience in media relations, with a flair for framing stories to suit any organizational need and convincing reporters and producers to create those stories.
  • A sophisticated understanding of the criminal justice system and the legal and political processes that can improve it.
  • Strong organizational skills including a well-developed attention to detail and follow-through and the ability to work well under pressure and deadlines. A client-service orientation.
  • A track record of making good judgments about communications priorities and management of resources.
  • A collaborative nature.
  • Supportive work style that motivates staff to deliver superior work and work well together.
  • A deep understanding of the role the Internet can play as part of a comprehensive communications program.
  • A passion for justice.
  • Strong managerial and strategic planning skills.
Personal Characteristics
  • Outstanding interpersonal skills; an approachable and collaborative personal style; an eagerness to learn as well as to teach; respect for the expertise and experience of colleagues.
  • A serious reader of newspapers, watcher of TV, surfer of the Internet
  • A lively, creative intellect; the ability to collaborate and engage thoughtfully with a team of world-class lawyers, scientists, and advocates passionate about their work. The capacity to understand and in turn distill complex policy issues and technical material. Resourcefulness and initiative; a bias for action and an orientation towards measurable results.
  • Resilience, optimism, flexibility, and tenacity along with an abundance of energy, common sense, and good judgment. A high degree of personal grace and good humor.
The salary for this position will be commensurate with experience, and the Innocence Project offers a competitive benefits package.
The Innocence Project is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to workplace diversity.
Inquiries and resumes with cover letters should be directed to No phone calls, please.

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