Status: Full-Time; Exempt
The Fines & Fees Justice Center (FFJC) is a national center for advocacy, policy, information, and collaboration on effective solutions to the unjust and harmful imposition and enforcement of fines and fees in the criminal legal system. FFJC’s mission is to end abusive collection practices, eliminate fees in the criminal legal justice system, and make fines proportional to the offense and the individual. FFJC works with impacted communities, advocates, and justice system stakeholders to create an equitably-funded justice system that treats individuals fairly and ensures public safety.
Reporting to FFJC’s two Co-Directors, the Communications Director will lead a small team to develop and implement an organization-wide communications strategy, design and promote advocacy tools and elevate the profile of fines and fees. The Communications Director will act as FFJC’s media relations expert, responsible for fielding media requests, directing reporters to appropriate programmatic staff, and pitching stories and op-eds.
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.
Essential Responsibilities and Tasks
- 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 state and national campaigns (including message testing); develop materials for those campaigns; train FFJC staff on effectively delivering messages. Develop varied, nuanced messaging strategies designed to resonate with a diversity of stakeholders, advocates, lawmakers and constituencies.
- Media Relations: Lead all aspects of media relations. Draft press releases, op-eds, and other media content; develop pitches for reporters and editors; build and maintain national and state-level press lists; 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 tools for advocates and campaign materials in coordination with external firm(s). Oversee FFJC’s communications channels (social media, newsletter, etc.)
- Social Media: Review social media landscape related to fines and fees reforms, bills and general stories. Create daily posts about promoting relevant content, FFJC publications and/or partner work. Participate in social media days-of-action for specific campaigns as needed.
- Audience Engagement: Strategize, supervise, and evaluate digital marketing campaigns aimed to further FFJC goals with key audiences at the national and local level. Campaigns may be aimed at surveying sentiment, message testing, awareness and issue engagement, and specific calls to action.
- Supervision: Supervise the Communications Deputy Director, incoming Communications Manager and other external consultants working on communications needs.
- Coalition Work: May be asked to help programmatic staff manage relationships with communications professionals from other organizations; other duties as assigned.
- 10+ years of experience in communications 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, poverty, racial justice issues, and/or government.
- Experience managing development of digital media deliverables, e.g. reports, interactive tools, logos, newsletters, social media campaigns, etc.
- Experience conducting digital marketing campaigns on various platforms either directly or in coordination with vendors. Ability to analyze campaign efficiency and effectiveness.
- Experience producing and/or supervising production of short video packages for social and video platforms, instructional videos, video live streams of events, live video conference events, etc. Experience directly producing and/or supervising production of audio content for radio/podcasts. Ability to produce videos/photography/audio independently is a plus.
- Proven track record of building a robust social media presence organically. Deep understanding of how to engage and activate audiences with platform-specific strategies.
- 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 — including legislators, public interest lawyers, grassroots activists, national advocacy organizations, business owners, judges, law enforcement, and others from across the political spectrum.
Additional Qualifications/Nice to Have
- Familiarity with/demonstrated interest in fines and fees reform, criminal legal reform or related social justice issues.
- Experience overseeing external contractors to ensure timely completion of communications deliverables.
- Basic knowledge of or experience with search engine optimization; experience writing and editing copy with SEO goals in mind.
- Intermediate proficiency with WordPress or comparable CMS
- Intermediate proficiency with Mailchimp or comparable email marketing platform
- Intermediate proficiency with Meltwater or comparable media relations platform
- Experience with Canva design platform
- Experience with action alert platforms
- Independent, proactive, and driven
- Detail-oriented, responsive, creative, and flexible
- Excellent professional judgment, priority-setting, and time management
- Sense of humor
Those with personal experience with the impacts of the justice system are encouraged to apply.
Compensation: $115,000-145,000, depending on experience and location, with excellent benefits including 401k matching, 100% premium coverage for health care, and generous leave policy.
How to Apply: Submit a resume and cover letter (as attachments), explaining your interest in and qualifications for the position, and a professional writing sample to: firstname.lastname@example.org
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
The 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 they are working.
To center the safety and well-being of its employees, New Venture Fund requires that any employee who is required to conduct in-person activities for their job must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 within four weeks of their start date. This position may require candidates to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Accommodations may be sought and approved in accordance with the law by contacting human resources at HR@newventurefund.org.