The News Literacy Project (NLP), a national, nonpartisan education nonprofit, is seeking a Director of Media Relations to join our communications team. Founded in 2008, NLP is the leading provider of news literacy education for the general public and middle and high school students, primarily through its signature e-learning platform, Checkology®.
Where you fit in
NLP is poised to take on a greater national presence to meet the intense interest in its programs from school districts across the country while it works to build a national movement to advance the practice of news literacy in all sectors of American society. In 2020, we expanded our work to help the general public gain the skills to be news literate, and to reach our objectives, NLP is rapidly expanding its capacity. This is a great opportunity for you to drive media reporting about news literacy.
The ideal candidate will have most, if not all, of the following:
- At least five years of experience in journalism, communications, public relations, or public affairs.
- Former journalists with experience pitching news media are strongly preferred.
- Must speak Spanish and be able to do interviews and communicate with diverse audiences.
- Track record of successfully placing stories, op-eds and other content in national, state and local media outlets.
- The ability to recognize compelling stories within NLP and a knack for sharing and telling those stories.
- Unafraid to try to find new and creative ways to reach journalists and the public.
- Knowledge of and comfort with creating posts and using social media.
- Strong writing and editing skills.
- Strong contacts and relationships with journalists – including education, tech, social media, misinformation, political, and opinion writers/reporters/producers.
- Strong and proactive interpersonal communication skills.
- Experience with virtual work environment (both technology tools and personal skills).
We’re looking for someone who can have an immediate and meaningful impact on our work, through persistent pitching, a good sense of where and how to tell our story and doing everything you can to advance NLP’s brand through the news media. Must have a good sense of humor and enjoy working with staff independently and collaboratively.
This position reports to the Senior Vice President, Communications.
About the position
As a member of NLP’s communications team, you will spend most of your time pitching stories, coordinating interview requests, doing interviews when appropriate, and building relationships with members of the press for future pieces. You’ll implement and help develop communications strategies to raise awareness of our current work, mission and impact, assist our different teams with messaging and constituent engagement, and amplify our message across multiple channels. You will join the communications team’s efforts to inform journalists, educators, donors and other key constituencies with our work and find new opportunities to partner with them. You’ll be a key point person in the implementation of National News Literacy Week, and we’ll want you to hit the ground running, be ready to experiment and be a highly motivated self-starter who displays personal integrity and positive influence.
In addition, you will be responsible for:
- Being a tenacious pitcher who writes pitches and makes follow up calls to ensure journalists are informed about our work.
- Coordinating media interview requests (responding to requests, performing interviews, booking/confirming, preparing interviewee, drafting talking points if needed).
- Researching, maintaining and updating media contact list database in Cision
- Tracking media placements and sharing key hits with staff
- Assisting with crisis comms response and thought leadership development
- Being co-backup to social media manager
- Occasionally writing and editing op-eds and other content and working with the team to target and place them.
- Podcast production assistance (depending on your background)
- Other duties as assigned.
Note: Very occasional evening and weekend work may be required.
This position is largely virtual; ideally, the successful candidate will live in or near Washington, D.C., where NLP’s office is located. Other locations may be acceptable for a highly qualified candidate.
The News Literacy Project welcomes applicants from diverse backgrounds. We offer equal opportunity in employment for all qualified persons and prohibit discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, creed, sex (including sexual orientation and gender identity), national origin, ancestry, age, veteran status, disability unrelated to job requirements, genetic information, military service or other protected status.
In addition to the experience and skills noted at the beginning of this job description, the successful candidate will also have all or most of the following:
- Passion for journalism and education.
- Bachelor’s degree.
- Five to seven years of relevant experience in media and/or communications.
- Deep knowledge of the news media ecosystem and how it works.
- Relationships with and contacts at mainstream, alternative and diverse media outlets.
- Knowledge of digital marketing and emerging social media trends.
- Superior written and verbal communications skills, and the ability to translate jargon and technical education language into compelling copy.
- Familiarity with AP style.
- Ability to operate effectively under deadline pressure.
- Fluent Spanish and English speaker.
- Experience and comfort with working in a virtual work environment (in terms of both technology tools and personal skills).
- Knowledge of the state of misinformation today is a plus.
The starting salary range for this role is $90,000 to $95,000. NLP also offers outstanding benefits, including health and dental insurance, a 401(k) plan match and more.
To apply, upload a cover letter, three writing samples and a résumé to https://bit.ly/NLPJobs. The cover letter should be in the form of a pitch note that you would send to the media to promote yourself. The application deadline is 5 p.m. ET on May 20, 2022 We hope to hire as quickly as possible for a start date in early July.