Program Director, Democracy Reform Campaigns

THE OPPORTUNITY

ReThink Media seeks a talented, visionary, and accomplished media strategist to assume a leadership role on our Democracy team. Amidst everything else, the 2020 elections saw a surge in support for democracy reforms at the state and local level while major national reform legislation is moving forward as well. ReThink works closely with movement activists to advance an agenda of democratic reform grounded in social and racial justice. Our work driven by a vision of genuinely inclusive and representative democracy where all people are heard from equally and where monied special interests do not wield disproportionate influence.

The ideal candidate will be an experienced media strategist and campaigner who is ready to seize the historic moment and work alongside groups campaigning to strengthen American democracy through ballot initiatives, state and federal legislative campaigns and other forms of public advocacy. Working alongside the other members of our Democracy team, this position will focus on addressing the influence of money in politics and advancing an agenda of fair and impartial courts while also assisting in advocacy for Voting Rights.

Building a Just Democracy

Working alongside our funding partners and nearly 100 state and national groups, our goal is to help move our country toward a democratic system where all citizens are equally engaged and where both discriminatory practices and economic barriers to democratic participation have been eliminated. 

This currently involves three primary threads of work: 

  • Challenging the corrosive influence of campaign money on our electoral system, which currently gives disproportionate power to wealthy interests while systemically excluding poor, working class and middle-class citizens as well as communities of color and religious minorities.
  • Strengthening the independence of the judiciary, by both raising public awareness of the growing corporate influence on the courts and by increasing public understanding of the courts role in advancing and defending civil and constitutional rights. 
  • Working to expand voter participation through better access to the ballot, strengthening voting rights, and challenging the suppression of voting rights in communities of color.

Description

The Program Director, in coordination with the Director and Deputy Director of Strategy and the Program Director for Voting Rights, serves as an organizational lead for our work in this sector. In this senior level position, the Program Director will oversee initiatives to develop shared media and messaging strategies, provide media and spokesperson training, build organizations’ media outreach and rapid response capacity, and support multi-organizational communications initiatives and campaigns. 

Our experience has proven that by providing shared resources, eliminating duplication of efforts among organizations, developing agreed-upon overarching messages, and providing consistent high-quality consulting advice and staff support, we can successfully impact media discourse and move issues forward. While we value and affirm the importance of differentiation amongst advocacy organizations, we work to reduce competition for media attention because it often detracts from a sector achieving its maximum potential. 

The Program Director will supervise a 1-2 communications professionals, supported by Interns and Fellows. Additionally, they work closely with ReThink’s Analysis Team (public opinion, media framing, message development). 

The ideal candidate will be a highly motivated communications strategist with five or more years of management and supervision experience as well as experience in the field of advocacy, political or campaign communications, and/or public relations and will have a strong understanding of the workings of the non-profit research and advocacy community. S/he will have direct experience and/or demonstrated commitment to the issues outlined above and an understanding of the organizations working in this field. S/he will have a proven track record of project management, innovation and creativity. She/he will have experience working as a campaigner, supervising or managing a communications team or campaign, and/or a proven track record in developing media outreach strategies, and successfully pitching and placing content and/or spokespeople in the media.

PRINCIPAL DUTIES

Specific goals will be set quarterly, corresponding to the following duties:

  • Execute annual work plans to achieve organizational and campaign objectives and grant deliverables. Meet regularly with the Director of Strategy to discuss work, adapt and revaluate plans, respond to breaking events, etc.
  • Serve on ReThink’s senior management team. Participate in setting organizational policies, establishing strategic priorities, advancing organizational development plans, etc.
  • Effectively supervise and mentor a small team of communications professionals. Develop work plans, facilitate ongoing check-ins and planning meetings, conduct annual performance reviews, manage the hiring process for any new hires, ensure adherence to organizational policies and values, and develop written professional development plans for each team member.
  • Serve as a primary point of contact with allied organizations, helping to set priorities and identify media strategies that will have the greatest positive impact for organizations and campaigns.
  • Edit the quality of content produced by the team including daily news clips, messaging and talking points, shared press lists, training materials and presentations, media and rapid response resources and engagement on listservs, and any other guides or publications.
  • Keep abreast of the media landscape and identify media opportunities for organizations. Be able to quickly identify the most appropriate organizations or experts to connect to a reporter, provide spokespeople, write an op-ed, etc.
  • Manage the delivery of high quality media skills trainings to improve the core skills of key leaders from field.
  • Facilitate the use by our allied organizations of a range of media tools, including a media database, distribution system, and news clipping service.
  • Assist in the development of annual grant proposals and prepare regular progress reports and briefings of key stakeholders and funders.
  • Participate in longer-term research initiatives such as message testing and media and public opinion audits; coordinate between ReThink’s research team or outside consultants and member organizations to ensure that research is aligned with the field’s needs.
  • Facilitate rapid response media engagement, using coverage monitoring to identify and coordinate joint responses to breaking news developments.

ESSENTIAL SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS

  • A strong commitment to advancing a social justice agenda.
  • Ambition to develop and win innovative campaigns, capitalize on media opportunities, and drive policy objectives via the media.
  • The ability to be substantially self-directed and drive work forward following consultations on broad strategic objectives.
  • Strong writing and presentation skills.
  • Demonstrated experience in communications strategy and campaign management.
  • Strong facilitation and project management skills.
  • Detail-orientation.
  • Strong supervisory skills with experience effectively managing and mentoring others.
  • Knowledge of print, broadcast, online and social media.
  • Demonstrated knowledge and background in the major democracy issues identified above.
  • Ability to communicate effectively, both verbally and in writing, with varying levels of organizational staff, clients, contractors, and foundations.
  • Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations, Communications, Journalism or other applicable field, or demonstrated equivalent experience.

LOCATION, BENEFITS, & SALARY

This is a full-time position based in either our Washington, DC or San Francisco Bay Area offices (currently working remotely). Applicants must be comfortable with the requirements of remote management and with working alongside a geographically diversified staff. . The position will require moderate travel to conferences and training workshops, as well as staff and planning meetings. Planning meetings will most commonly be held at our head office in California; travel to key states for trainings, and to other states for conferences will be an important aspect of the position.

The salary range for this position is $90,000–$100,000 per year, plus a generous benefits package. Benefits and related issues will be shared with qualified candidates prior to interviews.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

This position is open until filled and we are assessing candidates on a rolling basis. Our number one priority is finding the ideal candidate, but we are moving quickly to fill this position, so we encourage you to apply as promptly as possible. All applications will be acknowledged, but please, no phone calls.

To apply, send an email to [email protected] with the words “Program Director – Democracy” in the subject line of your email. Include your resume and cover letter as PDF attachments and make sure to have your name in the filename of each attachment (e.g., cover letter-Jones.pdf).