The Fines & Fees Justice Center (FFJC) is a national center for advocacy, information, and collaboration on effective solutions to the unjust and harmful imposition and enforcement of fines and fees in the justice system. FFJC’s mission is to create a justice system that treats individuals fairly, ensures public safety and is funded equitably. FFJC works with justice system stakeholders and affected communities to end abusive collection practices, eliminate fees in the justice system, and make fines proportional to the offense and the individual.
FFJC is hiring a Communications Director to develop and implement an organization-wide communications strategy and support communications needs of FFJC’s state and national advocacy campaigns. Reporting to FFJC’s Co-Directors, the Communications Director will act as FFJC’s media relations expert, responsible for fielding requests personally, directing reporters to appropriate programmatic staff, and pitching stories and op-eds.
The Communications Director will have the opportunity to work with outlets like the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal, and ProPublica, in addition to local media outlets. This position is an opportunity for a communications professional with leadership and strategy experience to work with a growing criminal justice advocacy organization and become immersed in efforts to change the national discourse around the criminalization of poverty.
This is an in-person position that will be located in FFJC’s New York City office.
- Strategy: Identify FFJC’s short and long term communications needs; work with FFJC staff to develop communications goals; create an organization-wide communications strategy to help FFJC achieve strategic goals.
- Messaging: Develop effective and consistent messaging for FFJC’s campaigns (including message testing); train FFJC staff on effectively delivering messages.
- Media Relations: Lead all aspects of media relations. Pitch stories and op-eds to reporters and editors, serve as FFJC’s principal point of contact with the media, field media requests and direct to appropriate programmatic staff, and manage other day-to-day operations as needed.
- Digital and Print Communications: Work with FFJC programmatic staff to plan, coordinate, and execute communications deliverables in coordination with external firm(s). Oversee FFJC’s communications channels (social media, newsletter, etc.).
- Brand Management: Refine and maintain FFJC’s brand identity. Act as editor for forward-facing materials for FFJC’s digital channels, state and national campaigns.
- Other: May be asked to help programmatic staff manage relationships with communications professionals from other organizations; may be assigned operational tasks such as managing Google Suites backend or managing content for FFJC’s website; other duties as assigned.
- College degree and/or relevant work experience
- 5+ years of experience in communications, marketing, and/or public relations, ideally with experience in social justice, advocacy, issue advocacy, policy, or electoral campaigns (or related fields)
- Has developed and implemented successful communications strategies with clear goals
- Excellent understanding of national media and deep relationships with journalists, editors, and producers — particularly those who cover justice issues and/or government
- Experience managing development of digital media deliverables, e.g. reports, interactive tools, logos, newsletters, social media campaigns, etc.
- Ability to write and edit professionally, and a stickler for proper punctuation, spelling, and grammar
- Ability to communicate professionally and persuasively with diverse audiences and stakeholders — FFJC works with legislators, public interest lawyers, grassroots activists, national advocacy organizations, business owners, judges, law enforcement, and more
- Intermediate proficiency with WordPress or comparable CMS
- Intermediate proficiency with Mailchimp or comparable email marketing platform
- Advanced to expert proficiency with Microsoft Office Suite
ADDITIONAL QUALIFICATIONS/NICE TO HAVE
- Familiarity with/demonstrated interest in criminal legal reform or related social justice issues
- Experience negotiating contracts/rates with external contractors to ensure timely completion of communications deliverables
- Intermediate to advanced proficiency with Adobe Creative Suite / graphic design; alternately, experience working with graphic design contractors
- Proficiency with basic technical aspects of web hosting/maintenance, e.g. buying web domains or updating nameservers
- Basic knowledge of or experience with search engine optimization; experience writing and editing copy with SEO goals in mind
- Familiarity with Salesforce
- Independent, proactive, and driven
- Detail-oriented, responsive, creative, and flexible
- Enthusiastic about developing processes to help a new organization mature
- Excellent professional judgment, priority-setting, and time management
- Sense of humor
People with personal experience with the impacts of the justice system are encouraged to apply.
Competitive Salary and Benefits Package
How to Apply: Submit a resume, cover letter explaining your interest in and qualifications for the position, and a professional writing sample to:
Please include “COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR” in the subject line.
In your cover letter, please specify one example of a successful communications strategy you have developed. Ideally, this would be a communications strategy for an organization, but successful strategies for individual projects or campaigns are also relevant.
New Venture Fund Careers: Fines & Fees Justice Center is a project of New Venture Fund (NVF), a 501(c)(3) public charity that incubates new and innovative public-interest projects and grant-making programs. NVF is committed to attracting, developing and retaining exceptional people, and to creating a work environment that is dynamic, rewarding and enables each of us to realize our potential. NVF’s work environment is safe and open to all employees and partners, respecting the full spectrum of race, color, religious creed, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, political affiliation, ancestry, age, disability, genetic information, veteran status, and all other classifications protected by law in the locality and/or state in which you are working.