The American Civil Liberties Union of Missouri Foundation, Inc., (ACLU-MO) seeks a full-time creative trailblazer to serve as our Deputy Director for Communications. This individual will work in partnership with the Director of Integrated Advocacy to spearhead a high-performing strategic communications program across multiple platforms and media to reach a broad array of audiences throughout Missouri. The position is in St. Louis and reports to the Director of Integrated Advocacy.

Founded in 1920, the ACLU-MO is one of Missouri’s premier public advocacy organizations. The ACLU-MO, headquartered in St. Louis, is committed to defending and expanding the constitutional rights and civil liberties guaranteed to all Missourians under the United States and Missouri Constitutions through an integrated advocacy approach, using strategic litigation, legislative advocacy, and communications programs on a broad range of issues.  We are in the midst of planned growth and increasing prominence in policy issues including racial equity, education equity, voting rights, equitable policing, reducing mass incarceration, threats to reproductive rights, prosecutorial accountability, LGBT equality, free speech, and protecting privacy in the digital age.   The ACLU-MO is an IRS 501(c)(3) organization and works closely with its sister 501(c)(4) organization.  

We have a diverse staff of seventeen individuals, with offices in Kansas City and St. Louis. To learn more about our work, please visit www.aclu-mo.org and www.aclu.org.

POSITION OVERVIEW

The Deputy Director for Communications is a part of the intermediate management team of the Integrated Advocacy Department. Under the supervision and direction of the Director of Integrated Advocacy, the Deputy Director for Communications leads all aspects of statewide public relations and communications efforts for the organization.  The Deputy Director for Communications serves as a thought partner to the Director of Integrated Advocacy and realizes the vision for the organization’s communications strategy, which aims to reach current and potential members, donors and activists, opinion leaders, elected officials, and target audiences who can help achieve specific strategic goals.  Communications strategy will be developed with the Director of Integrated Advocacy, Executive Director, and additional cross-departmental team members. The communications team, consisting of the Deputy Director for Communications and one direct report, will implement strategic initiatives to greatly increase visibility, brand awareness, and knowledge of ACLU work and invite engagement. ACLU-MO should be seen as the source for information about constitutional rights and civil liberties in Missouri. 

The Deputy Director for Communications will work closely with other intermediate management team members to build our integrated advocacy muscle. The Deputy Director for Communications will serve 

as a strategic leadership partner to the Director of Integrated Advocacy and will bring communications best practices to team discussions and apply their knowledge and skills to a variety of strategic initiatives to increase public awareness and appreciation of civil liberties, advocate for positive changes in the civil liberties landscape, and engage supporters in achieving our mission.

RESPONSIBILITIES & DUTIES

The Deputy Director for Communications will serve as a thought leader and partner with the Director of Integrated Advocacy for planning and executing all communications and public relations activities that promote awareness of ACLU-MO and advance our integrated advocacy work. Duties include working closely with the Director of Integrated Advocacy on spearheading communications planning, media relations, external and internal communications, publications, and website and social media management. 

Strategic Planning

  • Serve as a strategic leadership partner with the Director of Integrated Advocacy to create and implement long-range communications plans to further the ACLU-MO agenda, which supports the organization’s broad strategic plan and leverages integrated communications to advance our legal, legislative, public education, organizing, and development goals.
  • Identify specific, measurable communications goals for the ACLU-MO, creating and implementing proactive strategies to reach them, and using key performance indicators to evaluate progress.
  • Work closely with the Director of Integrated Advocacy to build capacity and infrastructure to guide, support, and advance engagement through our communications advocacy tools.  
  • Work closely with intermediate management team and other ACLU-MO staff as appropriate to develop and implement integrated advocacy campaigns and high-impact strategies.

Press Relations

  • Build and sustain constructive working relationships with key individuals in media outlets throughout Missouri to increase media coverage of ACLU-MO work.
  • Write, edit, and produce compelling press releases, publications, opinion pieces, and talking points.
  • Coordinate all media activity related to ACLU-MO press conferences, events, symposia, etc.   in alignment with mission-critical priority areas as adopted by the ACLU-MO.
  • Prepare ACLU spokespersons and clients for interviews.

Digital Media

  • Manage the digital presence of the ACLU-MO, with the support of a direct report, to generate content that is engaging, up-to-date, and results in measurable action.
  • Develop and manage posting of content to our digital channels, including web site, social media (currently Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) and emails to subscribers.
  • Explore opportunities for and implement paid media strategy.

Drafting and Publications

  • Draft and edit engaging printed materials including the affiliate’s Annual Report; Litigation Docket (with Deputy Director for Litigation); Legislative Updates (with Deputy Director for Policy and Campaigns); and other substantive materials and reports.
  • Manage production of Affiliate publications; provide editorial, design, and vendor direction.
  • Work intra- and interdepartmentally to produce email messaging, action alerts to engage ACLU supporters, and materials to increase public engagement at events.
  • Coordinating rapid-response crisis communications

Managerial and Administrative, Professional Development, Miscellaneous

  • Work with the Director of Integrated Advocacy to create and oversee the communications and marketing budget.
  • Participate in the recruitment, hiring and training of Communications Program staff.
  • Supervise and direct the work of Communications Program staff   
  • Evaluate and assess Communications Program staff performance and conduct performance reviews of Communications Program staff.
  • Evaluate the necessity for and manage independent contractors and vendors.
  • Support the training and deployment of volunteers involved in community engagement with teachable assets from the voice of the ACLU.
  • Attend national and regional ACLU trainings and staff conferences and ACLU-MO functions, including occasional Board meetings and other ACLU events. 
  • Share and disseminate information about ACLU-MO work to the staff and Board.
  • Work with the Director of Integrated Advocacy to create and share the crisis communications plan to staff.
  • Serve as a source of internal communications about ACLU work within the affiliate.
  • Present the work of the Communications Program to staff and Board at internal meetings.
  • Perform other related duties as assigned by the Director of Integrated Advocacy, which may include support for development work​​​​​​.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Proven experience in developing and implementing communications strategies and plans that integrate tactics using paid, earned, shared and owned communications channels. Experience applying communications strategies to advance advocacy work is preferred.
  • Proven experience managing at least one full-time direct report and working collaboratively with a leadership team.
  • Experience working with media outlets at the national, regional, and local levels. Knowledge of Missouri media preferred.
  • Excellent writing skills and strong message development skills for a variety of communications channels.
  • Excellent editing and proofreading skills, and a keen eye for design, layout, and presentation.
  • Excellent organizational skills: detail-oriented with ability to prioritize and manage multiple projects simultaneously, and to meet fast-changing deadlines.

Expertise or familiarity with a broad range of constitutional rights and civil liberties issues, including racial justice, education equity, voting rights, privacy, equal protection, First Amendment, etc.; and with litigation, the courts, and the American legal system, and/or the legislative and political process at the local, state, and/or federal level.

  • Bachelor’s degree in communications, marketing or related field.
  • Broad knowledge of communications strategy and digital tools in order to direct video production, interactive design, web-based technologies, social media management, and email marketing. 

​​​​​​​Personal Characteristics

  • A personal commitment to the ACLU’s values, mission, goals and programs, including a personal approach that values equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging, respecting differences of race, ethnicity, age, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio-economic circumstance.
  • Ability to work in a team and be a team player.
  • Ability to take initiative and work independently, managing time and projects.
  • Utilize a self-reflective and self-awareness lens in leadership and collaborative work.
  • Able to work evenings or weekends as needed, and to travel to events and meetings throughout the state.
  • Able to work under pressure and deadlines.

This job announcement provides a general but not comprehensive list of the essential responsibilities and qualifications required. It does not represent a contract of employment, and the description and/or posting may be changed at any time without advance notice.

COMPENSATION AND BENEFITS

ACLU-MO offers a generous and comprehensive compensation and benefits package, commensurate with experience, within the parameters of a Missouri-based non-profit including paid vacation and holidays; medical, dental and vision insurance; life and disability insurance; and 401(K) retirement plan with employer contributions, and employer match of optional employee contributions. This position is full-time, salaried, and exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act.

TO APPLY

Please submit a resume, cover letter, salary requirement, and two writing samples consisting of one news release and one planning document (strategic plan, annual workplan, campaign plan, issue-specific plan, media relations or social media strategy) to application@aclu-mo.org. Please indicate “Deputy Director for Communications” in the subject line of your email.

For your cover letter in addition to expressing your interest in this position, your salary requirement, and where you saw this positing, make sure you address the following question:  

At the ACLU-MO, we value lived experiences and experiences working with individuals across a range of settings. Please discuss such experiences in your cover letter

Please, no phone calls.

DEADLINE

Application materials will be reviewed as received and will be accepted until the position is filled. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply by December 1, 2021.

ACLU is an equal opportunity employer. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The ACLU encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status and record of arrest or conviction. 

The ACLU undertakes affirmative action strategies in its recruitment and employment efforts to enssure that persons with disabilities have full opportunities for employment in all positions. We encourage applicants with disabilities who may need accommodations in the application process to contact: application@aclu-mo.org.