JOB TITLE: Assistant Director of Communications for National Media
GRADE: MGT F
Annual Salary: $120,449
LOCATION: Washington, DC (Headquarters)
ORGANIZATIONAL OVERVIEW: The 2 million members united in the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) are at the forefront of a movement to build power for working people and empower all workers to form unions, no matter what job they do. SEIU members are from every walk of life, every political party, every background, every faith. They come from communities with their own stories and strengths, and that makes the Union all the more powerful because there's strength in numbers. SEIU members work across the healthcare spectrum providing high quality care and services. They are the workers who keep our nation's airports running and make sure landmark buildings are clean and secure. They provide essential public services and give a foundation of learning to our youngest and brightest. SEIU members believe in and are fighting for a Just Society where all workers are valued and all people respected-no matter where they come from or what color they are; where all families and communities can thrive; and where we leave a better and more equitable world for generations to come.
PURPOSE: Supervises, manages, and provides overall leadership and direction to all SEIU national media relations efforts to propel coverage and awareness of issue priorities and initiatives involving members and the public and to grow and evolve SEIU's public profile as the union working to improve the lives of all working families.
PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITES: (Any one position may not include all of the specific duties and responsibilities listed. Examples provide a general summary of the work required and should not be treated as a total and complete list of expected duties to be performed by employees in the classification.)
- Directs media relations strategy and leads the national media team in execution of communicating priorities to targeted audiences through the media on SEIU's national economic, political, and legislative initiatives, including issue campaigns.
- Directs, develops, and drives both proactive and reactive/rapid response communications strategies focused on penetrating the national and mainstream media on SEIU's key issues and campaigns, includes media relations work with state level, issue and audience specific press and key influencers, elites, and opinion-makers.
- Directs strategies and activities to improve the public image and visibility of the SEIU and allied issue organizations to maintain effective relations with national and targeted media.
- Coordinates joint media relations efforts with local unions and strategic partners, with other senior members of the department.
- Serves as primary press contact at national level for International union issues and campaigns. Focus includes all print, broadcast, and online national media, national columnists, news magazines and shows, influencers in the media, and commentators.
- Supervises and coordinates with other SEIU communications staff and consultants assigned to national level work including national issue, legislative, and political campaigns. Works with SEIU's Digital team to integrate online strategies and initiatives related to national media penetration and influence.
- Coordinates with the Executive Office, divisions, departments and field on strategies, staffing, and other issues.
- Serves as surrogate for Director of Communications, Deputy Directors of Communications, and senior leadership in a wide variety of settings.
- Directs allocation of staff team resources.
- Directs recruiting, reviewing, and recommending hiring for all national media team communications staff.
- Directly responsible for retention of media team communications staff, including training, feedback, reviews, skill and career development.
- Performs other duties as assigned in support of the work of the department.
CONTACTS: Must be able to represent the International Union with local leaders, members, staff, and outside organizations while utilizing independent judgment and the highest level of professionalism. Interfaces with highest-level organizational and external contact, including:
- SEIU officers, division leadership, International senior staff, project and program managers, field and organizing directors, local union officers and staff.
- External: news media, politicians, government officials, partners and allies.
- Vendors: consultants, pollsters, freelancers, video and multi-media producers, advertising agencies.
Ensure that sophisticated choices are made about appropriate vendors and support services.
DIRECTION AND DECISION MAKING: The position will report to the Deputy National Communications Director and works with extreme independence and the utmost initiative.
- Must have demonstrated ability to manage own work and work of others without supervision.
- Requires a high level of judgment and sophistication, professionalism, ability to take initiative, and work independently.
- Must use a high level of judgment and discretion in resolving problems within the Communications Department, the division, and throughout SEIU.
- Must maintain the highest level of confidentiality in handling SEIU affairs.
- Must be able to work with International and local union elected leaders and senior staff in complex and sometimes politically sensitive situations.
- Must be able to handle multiple "priority" projects simultaneously and set and meet deadlines, and ensure that staff team does the same.
EDUCATION AND EXPERIENCE: Bachelor's Degree in communications-related field preferred. Five to seven years of experience in communications, media, or related work, including at least five years strategy, planning, and/or program development, or a combination of education and experience that would provide for the following knowledge, skills and abilities:
- Experience developing and implementing high-level content and/or media strategy on a wide range of issues and/or campaigns, including organizing, contract, economic, political, and/or legislative.
- Superior writing, verbal, and analytical skills in media reports, speeches, releases, and/or other types of communications.
- Proven ability to craft and/or dictate information to be used on the record by media or in social media.
- Thorough and extensive knowledge of proactive, crisis, and other media relations strategies.
- Strong and established relationships with national media.
- Knowledge of the landscape of unions or other progressive organizations.
- High-level of critical thinking, and the ability to extract and synthesize information.
- Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to quickly gain the trust and respect of the others.
- Ability to work effectively with members and staff from diverse ethnic, social, and economic groups.
- Thorough knowledge of online, digital, and print media systems. Knowledge of advertising techniques and some familiarity with aspects of literature, audio-visual and online production process required.
- Demonstrated capacity to continuously develop knowledge and skills related to use of rapidly changing technology.
- Skill in the use of personal computer including Microsoft Office Suite and of media relations software systems.
PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS: Work is generally performed in an office setting, but job may require work in the field or in other settings to perform the tasks required to complete assignments. Must be available for frequent travel with overnight stays. Long and irregular hours.