Senior Communications Associate or Communications Manager, Voting Rights

The Opportunity

The freedom to vote is under assault across the country, as extremist state legislators and governors create deliberate barriers to voting for Black and brown people, young folks, and new Americans. At the same time, shadowy groups backed by billionaires and corporate special interests are pushing the Big Lie, undermining confidence in our elections, and trying to sabotage future elections. There’s little doubt that the next two years will be pivotal, and these are just a few of the questions at stake:

  • Will all Americans have equal access to the ballot, or will gerrymandering, voter purges, restrictions on voting by mail and early voting, onerous ID requirements, and poll closures shut people out from exercising their rights and silence their voices?

  • Will policies that willfully discriminate against poor people and communities of color prevail, or will we make progress in living up to our democratic ideals?

  • Will state-level campaigns successfully advance positive narratives of inclusion and equity?

  • Will the US Supreme Court and extremist judges continue to chip away at federal and state protections on voting rights and redistricting?

With these questions at the heart of our work, ReThink Media seeks a passionate advocate to join our Democracy program, alongside our larger team of committed staff. At present, we are seeking either a Senior Communications Associate (minimum three years of full-time, relevant work experience) or a Communications Manager (minimum four years of full-time, relevant work experience) and we have the flexibility to incorporate new talent at either experience level.

By the beginning of 2023, the successful candidate will be helping lead media skills training workshops with key state and national organizations. They will have developed or deepened relationships with top reporters, built a network of organizational contacts—and they will have made a major contribution toward shaping a media narrative through media placements arguing for a genuinely inclusive and representative democracy where all voices are heard. 

ReThink Media is a unique, nonprofit organization that places media and communications at the center of our movement building agenda. We strengthen the collaborative media and communications capacity of state and national advocacy groups; increase the “voice share” of their spokespeople; and provide in-depth media and opinion analysis to inform movement strategy.

We focus on long-term engagement with our advocacy partners and with the issues we take on—all driven by a belief that the stronger the groups are across an issue sector and the tighter their collaboration, the more likely they are to win real and lasting policy victories. 

ReThink Media’s Democracy Program is defined by our collaboration with a network of state and national organizations strengthening our democracy by championing pro-voter reforms that aim to address the corrosive influence of money in politics, expanding and protecting the freedom to vote, and promoting fair courts and judicial independence. We place particular strategic emphasis on building the power and visibility of state and local organizations. 

 

Description

This is a position where no two days are the same and where quick thinking in rapid response is equally balanced with longer term strategic planning. The ideal candidate will be an ambitious, independent problem solver with a proven record of success with media relations and placements. They will be an avid communicator who understands the role of storytelling in communications and is committed to social and racial justice.

Senior Associate candidates should have at least three years of relevant, full-time experience and should be advanced enough in their skills that they can assist or mentor others, including supervising interns and Fellows. Communications Manager candidates should have at least four years of relevant, full-time experience and should be advanced enough that they can supervise Associates and take on significant project management.

Experience working as a Capitol Hill, statehouse, or NGO communications staffer, in campaign or advocacy communications, or in pitching and placing content and/or spokespeople in the media are outstanding qualifications. Spanish language fluency (or proficiency in a second language other than English) is not required, but highly desired, to ensure we are meeting the needs of a diverse network of partner organizations in the democracy sector.

Principal Duties

Along with other team members, both Senior Communications Associates and Communications Managers are responsible for monitoring traditional and digital news coverage and responding rapidly and effectively to breaking news. This includes tracking key state and “beat” reporters, opposition spokespeople, and advocacy organizations. It also means building and maintaining shared press lists, assisting advocacy organizations in developing individual press lists and, where appropriate, assisting with the editing, pitching, and placement of content and spokespeople.

In either case, the person in this role will work to build capacity among organizational partners, positioning them to better lead communications and digital strategy from the ground. Communications Managers, however, will have larger project management responsibilities than Senior Associates and will assist in the supervision of junior staff and support the Program Director.

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

  • Monitor daily news, opinion, and social media coverage and review daily news digests from the sector in order to successfully capitalize on opportunities for rapid response. 

  • Draft and distribute daily clips in partnership with other team members and with an emphasis on Voting Rights, identifying top news stories and relevant social media content and providing guidance to partner groups.

  • Assist in the development of timely and effective talking points, messaging tips, and, where appropriate, draft op-eds and letters to the editor in response to breaking news developments and ahead of known media opportunities.

  • Consistently pitch and place stories and commentaries.

  • Develop expert knowledge of the key reporters and outlets covering these issues, with particular attention paid to developing relationships with ethnic media. 

  • Train groups to develop and maintain their own tailored press lists.

  • Build meaningful relationships with partner organizations, develop expertise on the issues they work on, and become a go-to source for concrete media support.

  • Assist partners in developing strategic communications plans and implementing media strategies.

  • Provide effective and impactful media skills training.

  • Assist our Research & Analysis staff with longer-term research projects, such as media and public opinion audits and coverage analysis of specific issues, frames, editorial coverage, and outlets.

Essential Skills and Qualifications

  • Experience monitoring news coverage, writing press materials, developing traditional and social media strategies, and pitching and landing news stories and opinion pieces.

  • Strong writing, editing, and public presentation skills.

  • Ability to frame ideas, develop stories, and synthesize complex policy issues in a way that appeals to the news media and reaches a wide variety of audiences.

  • Experience with digital content and social media strategy.

  • Demonstrated experience in fast-paced communications, with preference for experience in state-based advocacy/political media relations.

  • Excellent news sense and political savvy.

  • Willingness to work flexible hours on occasion (NOTE: ReThink is committed to work/life balance but rapid response moments arise in our media work. This position is salaried and would constitute an “exempt employee.”)

  • Demonstrated resourcefulness and flexibility in approach to project assignments.

Highly Desired but not required

  • Fluency in a second language, especially Spanish.

LOCATION, BENEFITS, AND SALARY

This is a remote, full-time position. The position will require occasional travel to staff and planning meetings, and to presentations and trainings. ReThink aims to recruit the best people for every position and we have recently moved to an all-remote staffing model. At the same time, some locations are more immediately relevant to the strategic objectives of our work. Applicants are welcome from across the country but will be considered in conjunction with their strategic proximity to key partner locations or constituencies. In all cases, ReThink requires employees to live within 90 minutes of a major airport to facilitate occasional travel. The salary range listed below pertains to employees in Washington, DC and might be adjusted for candidates in locations with significantly lower costs of living.

ReThink Media is committed to pay equity and transparency in our salary, raise, and benefits structure. We regularly conduct market comparisons. All staff receive an annual 360º performance review and ReThink is strongly committed to internal and external professional development. We aim to attract, develop, and retain diverse, talented, and growth-minded staff.

This is a mid-level position that comes with generous benefits, vacation, health savings, sabbatical, and a retirement package. Salary is commensurate with experience and, if the employee is based in the Washington, DC, area the starting salary range for Senior Communications Associates is $58,800–71,000 a year and the starting salary range for Communications Manager is $71,400–95,000 a year.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

To apply, please follow these instructions carefully. Send your resume as a PDF attachment and make sure to include your name in the title of the attachment (e.g., resume-Jones.pdf). Also include a Cover Letter specifying whether you are applying for Communications Manager or Senior Communications Associate, stating the reason for your interest in the position and providing a summary of your professional experience. Make sure to include your name in the title of the attachment (e.g., CoverLetter-Jones.pdf). Email your application to [email protected], Subject: Open Position, Voting Rights.

We believe in treating people with respect and all applications will be acknowledged. Qualified applicants will be asked to complete a brief questionnaire prior to the scheduling of interviews.

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYER

ReThink Media is an equal opportunity employer and it is a fundamental policy of the Organization not to discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion (including religious dress and personal appearance), political affiliation, sex (including pregnancy, breastfeeding women, childbirth, or related medical conditions), national origin, age, mental or physical disability, ancestry, sexual orientation, gender (including gender identity and expression) legally protected medical condition, family care or medical leave status, military or veteran status, marital status, genetic information, genetic expression or any other basis protected by state or federal laws. Reasonable accommodation, when necessary, for disabled employees and pregnant employees who request an accommodation with respect to recruitment, hiring, training, promotion and other terms and conditions of employment.

DIVERSITY STATEMENT

ReThink is committed to a just and equitable society wherein all people are treated equally, opportunity is justly distributed, and all voices are heard. We affirm and seek diversity in gender, race, color, ethnicity & national origin, age, sex (including pregnancy, gender identity and sexual orientation), class, religion, ability, life experiences, and background as both a positive contribution to our organizational environment and a critical asset for informing and enabling our work. With this in mind, we are committed to maintaining a work environment that recognizes, understands, respects, and encourages the unique contributions of each member and we approach every hiring decision with a commitment to workplace diversity.